How to Build an Email List
Email marketing lists can be acquired in a number of ways, such as:
- You can assimilate information onto a new email list from existing customers, prospects, leads, vendors, etc.
- You can buy them from bankrupt competitors, vendors, etc.
- You can surf the web and build them yourself
- You can build them using incentives, such as eBooks, newsletters, contests, etc.
I always like the last option; however, sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. So, I'll teach you some deadly marketing tactics to quickly get a list to sell to as quickly as humanly possible.
1- I don't believe in "Buying" Email Lists
Frankly, most email lists that are sold today are outdated, and have tons of useless emails.
Also, many of the recipients on these lists have probably changed their email, don't work at that company anymore or maybe they died. Fact is, I've found that about 15% of any given email list is worthless after one year.
That means after 7 years, all lists are worthless.
This is why I don't allow clients to buy lists.
We did marketing for a company that bought an Rx Pad company whose email list hadn't been used in 2 years.
When we sent out an initial email, 35% of the list bounced, and only 79% of people actually received it. And this was to Doctors who you'd expect to be in business for decades. Oh well.
2- Why Should People Join Your List
I laugh every time I see an opt-in box with: "Join Our Newsletter!" with absolutely no sub-text.
Web visitor: "Why... What's in it for me... And who are you?"
An email opt-in box should make people want to get out of a warm Jacuzzi, towel off, put on clothes, and walk over to their laptop and sign up.
So, you MUST include a GREAT incentive!
I like using eBooks to increase email sign ups.
If you go to my homepage, you'll see 3 which receive about 5-10 subscribers a week.
It's so easy just to write an eBook, and make people fill out a form to receive it (use the WordPress plugin: Contact Form 7).
Newsletters are great, but unless you're already a thought leader in your field, you're not going to get much traction.
So start by building at least 1 eBook, get it on your most visited webpage (most likely your homepage), and watch the subscribers pour in!
3- Promote Your Email List Building Incentives!
Once you have a really great blog posting, video, eBook, newsletter or whatever the hell else you have, start promoting it to drive new subscribers.
For example, I created a blog for music schools looking to increase their student body.
A lot of people found it on Google, and it became a very popular page on this site.
So, I turned it into an eBook, created a landing page for it (so people would have to join my email list to receive it), and then paid Facebook $1,000 to promote it specifically to people who give music lessons.
Very quickly, I had hundreds of new subscribers which I began marketing a very specific service to. Can you guess what it was...
Yes, Music School Marketing.
4- If You're in a Huge Hurry (build, don't buy)...
Every month we spend about $10-20k building email lists for clients, from politicians, Big Pharma, engineers all the way to nonprofits, and attorneys. We do this to quickly put them in front of more-and-more of potential customers, every single month.
It's a very simple process, albeit very time consuming.
We hire people to surf the web and create lists. That's it, and nothing more.
All they do is look for particular people, in particular industries, and record that information into Excel or a Google Drive Spreadsheet.
We obviously then use that list to market our clients' offerings directly to, and yes, it is very lucrative for them.
Is it unethical?
I'd say having your email on the web is like having a Facebook page: You're inviting friend requests.
So, feel free to use this tactic for yourself. If you can't afford to hire anyone, try just adding 10-50 each day yourself, which is about 250/week and 1k/month and 12k/year email recipients each year. That's a great start!
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