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How to build a quality email list

Effective strategies for developing your own email marketing list.

Email marketing is an ideal way to reinforce your brand, grow and maintain a customer base, and keep in touch with prospects over time. Although it may be enticing to rent or purchase a large email list to help jump start your marketing efforts, a more effective approach would be to develop your own email list.

Here are a few reasons why you may not want to buy an email list:

The prospects don’t know you. The main reason to not buy (or rent) an email marketing list is because you haven’t established name recognition with your prospects. Assuming the company from whom you have purchased the list has acquired the names through reputable opt-in means, the problem is that the contacts have opted-in to receive emails from the list company and not your particular company. That means that the recipients may mark you as spam because they don’t recognize you or remember opting-in to receive communications from you.

The leads aren’t fresh. Repeatedly marketing to the same email lists may diminish their value as prospects become increasingly unreceptive to any marketing message.

The lead origin is questionable. When you purchase a list, you may have no way of confirming where the email addresses originated, how often the emails have been used, or whether the emails have been scrubbed for word bounces to prevent identifying you as a spammer. It may simply not be worth the risk of list quality or your reputation to send to a purchased list.

Here are a few ways to grow an email list effectively and strategically:

Generate interest and brand awareness. A sound email list building strategy is to acquire the leads more organically. Make contact through trade shows and organizations. Offer to add prospects to your email list, put an opt-in button or pop-up on your website, and provide something of interest and value. Create multiple means by which interested parties can sign up to receive information from your company. Don’t force your marketing content on leads you don’t know. If someone hasn’t asked to hear from you, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be interested later.

Offer premium content. If the offer is valuable enough to your prospects, they will likely enter or supply their email. Good content examples include webinars, eBooks, templates, white papers, blog posts, specials, services and events (depending on the type of company making the offer). The broader the content appeal, the wider the prospective audience.

Promote your content and get creative. Make sure your content gets out through social media. Blog post analytics can be leveraged to generate leads. For example, if you write 10 blog posts per month and generate 2 leads per blog post, you will acquire a total of 20 leads per month. The compounding results of an effective marketing strategy would continue to drive leads throughout the year. A clever email marketing campaign can actually grow your database through forwarded emails and a call-to-action can encourage sharing. In addition, a re-engagement campaign can help scrub an existing email list, help avoid spam allegations, and remind old contacts about your valuable product or service.

Combine with other marketing efforts. For most companies, email marketing should be only one aspect of an overall marketing effort that encompasses several touchpoints to increase effectiveness. Grow a database of qualified leads by combining with direct mail, company trade show appearances and social media. Multi-channel marketing will help foster brand awareness and drive sales.

How you acquire leads could affect your marketing objectives and ultimately your reputation. The main objective of an email marketing campaign should be brand awareness. Reap long-term advantages by taking the time to grow your own high-quality list. Utilize various marketing channels and encourage email signup by offering quality content your prospects will appreciate and remember. Then, when your prospect is ready to make a decision, you will be top of mind.

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