Email marketers who rely on so-called "opt-in" lists to protect their brands are fooling themselves. Recipients, don't always remember when they opt in. So the best you can do is to gather email addresses from all clients and prospects and find others who should be interested in your emails (i.e. demographics of the people on your list and the subjects of your emails match)
How to Build an Email List and Conduct an Email Marketing Campaign
Get Email Lists from Your Clients
In addition to asking your clients for their email address, ask your clients for list of email addresses they may have. They may be willing to share them with you or make a solicitation for you. For example, say you have a client that belongs to the local senior garden club with 250 members. Your client may be happy to give you a copy of that list or solicit the members on your behalf (e.g. provide an offer in his next email to club members offering your booklet on IRA Distribution Planning)
Rent an Email List
Just like you rent lists to send direct mail, you can rent lists for direct email marketing. You can find available email lists in the SRDS Direct List Source.
At your library, you can find a copy of the “SRDS” Direct Marketing List Source (your library may have this service on-line from a PC at the library).
If they have the physical books, find the section with the email lists and look down the lists for lists that contain people with money, such as
- People who take cruises
- People who own luxury cars
- People who subscribe to the Wall Street Journal
Most of these lists for targeted direct email marketing are available by zip code and by age of person.
If the library has the service on line, search on keyword and request only email lists.
Please note that unlike regular mailing lists, email list vendors usually will not give you the list. They will want to do the email for you. So you are not going to be emailing anything at first. Rather, you provide the email list owner your message, e.g. you are going to be emailing them a solicitation to subscribe to your newsletter. It is those people who respond that you will add to your email newsletter list. Once they respond you then "own" that email address and can then send whatever messages you desire.
Inexpensive Ads on Local Web Sites
There are dozens of web sites focused only on a particular group. Just for fun, we did a search on “Columbus Ohio Senior.” Here’s what we got without looking any further:
http://www.ohiosenior.com—a web site for Ohio retirees—$49 a month for a banner ad
http://www.columbuswired.net/SeniorLiving/default.htm—the senior page of Ohio’s web magazine—$20 a month
http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~seniors/—the Aging in Ohio web site
http://www.subasekb.navy.mil/retkbnews.htm—the site for local Navy retirees
http://www.oshpra.org/mends.htm—the Retiree Association of the Ohio State Patrol
The ads are very inexpensive ($20 -$50 per month) and thousands of seniors can see your ad to subscribe to your free senior newsletter. So for a very small investment, you can build a great financial planner email list.
Subscribe to Our National Email Service
We advertise on all of the national senior web sites asking seniors if they want to subscribe to the SeniorFinances email newsletter. We will email to national lists of seniors and get their request for the newsletter. If you subscribe for that service, we provide you the leads for your area and you grow a list financial investors email addresses very quickly. You pay us a small amount for each newsletter subscriber we get for you.
Have a Sign-Up Form on Your Own Web site
If you have your own web site, be sure to promote the newsletter or any free item on the site and have lots of places where visitors can sign up for it. If you don't already have your own web site, we suggest you contact Financial Visions at www.fvisions.com. Below is advice for using an external electronic marketing form to assist with your email prospecting.
Email Delivery Standards
Email delivery services that satisfy one or more of the following criteria are properly building relationships with the consumers who have enrolled to receive email through them. And a direct marketer can leverage the strength of this relationship in his or her own pitch. The stronger the relationship the stronger the pitch on top of it. So let's look at the best ways to build relationships with online consumers through email by looking at the most fundamental components of effective email marketing.
Make sure the email service you are using has made a strong privacy pledge to the consumers enrolled in it.
With a strong privacy pledge in place, consumers will be more willing to share personal information with you -- I mean, fill out a demographic profile. Such data enables the email delivery service to target messages according to members' interests. And online consumers -- as Tom Hespos notes -- appreciate relevant offers as much as they are frustrated by unrelated ones.
Before going with an email delivery service, ask yourself, does the service allow the consumer to control the experience by, for instance, controlling the content of ads through a personal profile or the volume of email sent to him or her? Does the service give consumers a clear way to "opt out" of mailings? Giving the online consumer more control over the direct marketing relationship is a sure way of building strong relationships through email.
Some email delivery services now enable direct marketers to offer consumers a tangible incentive to respond to their offers. Online reward points are powerful tools, and a consumer who is being rewarded to participate in an email list is very unlikely to forget he or she is on it. In fact, in a recent survey of BonusMail membership, members eager to earn reward points, had only one complaint -- send more email! (When's the last time an Internet consumer said that?)
Protect your brand in an email campaign by making sure you're keeping good company. Are you joining strong brands like Sprint and Macy's in the consumer's email box, or are you joining get-rich-quick schemes and Florida real estate offers? An atmosphere of trust grows in the light of strong brands. Take advantage of it.
Lastly, keep in mind that email is no longer just a text message with lots of mysterious code. In BonusMail, for instance, more than half of our members receive their email in HTML form (with all the bells and whistles of today's web pages). Moreover, the email is personalized with each member's name. Such interactive techniques can increase your brand presence substantially -- which translates into higher general awareness and higher response rates. Email can be an enormously powerful and cost-effective medium -- a piece of targeted, HTML-enhanced email costs less than the price of a postage stamp, yet deliver results many times greater than offline direct mail. And responses start piling up in a matter of hours -- as opposed to days, or weeks, in the physical world.
But effective email prospecting requires direct marketers to play by a new set of rules -- many of which I have listed above. Together, they comprise a new kind of marketing, one that combines the best of Internet interactivity with traditional relationship building.
Email Point is like no other email list provider you will find on the internet. All of our email lists are compiled and updated from the previous week making them the freshest lists available to date.
Email IQ is a company that offers permission email marketing services.