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Email List Building Do’s and Don’ts

Guest post by Audrey Howes, Social Media and special projects for Swiftpage.

We all want more people on our email lists. More people means more reach and more business, right? Well, not necessarily. Here are some email list building do’s and don’ts that will get you the most return on your email marketing efforts.

Dont1.    Don’t Send an Email without Permission
This is the big one. Ready? All email marketing should be PERMISSION-BASED. Sending emails to people who did not give you permission puts you on the fast track to spam folders and blacklists. With this in mind, purchasing email lists is never a good idea. Be sure to comply with the federal rules on email marketing.

Do2.    Do Give Lots of Ways to Opt-In
Just because email marketing is permission-based, doesn’t mean that you can’t get creative with your list collection techniques. Start by making it easy to subscribe to your email communications from your homepage. Consider asking for email addresses in order to gain access to value-added material such as whitepapers or webinars. Collect email addresses at tradeshows… just be sure to let them know how you’ll be using their email address. Add an email subscription sign-up form to your blog and Facebook page to extend your reach. The possibilities are only limited by your creativity. The key here is to be clear about what subscribers are signing up to receive.

Dont3.    Don’t Share Information with No Value
One of my biggest pet peeves in the email marketing world is when I sign up to receive communication from a company and they fail to deliver on what they promised me. Perhaps all I get are emails so full of ads that I can’t find the real message, or I receive emails on topics that are totally irrelevant to what the company provides. Keep your finger on the pulse of your customers and send content that adds value to them. Bottom line: don’t waste their time.

Do4.    Do Give Subscribers a Way Out
Sometimes we all decide to part ways with an email subscription. Don’t take it personally. It happens to all of us. With that in mind, it is important to provide a way for email subscribers to quickly and easily leave your list. Services such as Swiftpage Connect manage the unsubscribe function for you making it quick and easy and keeping you CAN-SPAM compliant. You can always find creative ways to get them to come back.

Dont5.    Don’t Discourage Replies
Email communication should be a two way street. Sending from an email address such as donotreply@yourcompany.com, does not give your readers warm fuzzies when they open your email, especially if you are a small business. In fact, it likely has the opposite effect. Instead, make your send email address friendlier by using your name or something like newsletter@yourcompany.com.

Do6.    Do Connect via Other Avenues
Email marketing is the gateway to many other channels such as social media. Staying connected outside of your email gives you an excellent picture of your customer base. It is also important to share your emails in the social world. Tools such as Social Sharing make this process quick and painless.

Email marketing list building doesn’t have to be hard. Choose a few of the tips above and get started on your path to a subscriber list that creates results.

About Audrey Howes
Audrey Howes manages Social Media and special projects for Swiftpage,  a  leading provider of digital marketing and CRM solutions that help businesses grow. You can reach Audrey at ahowes@swiftpage.com.