If you have been involved with internet marketing for any length of time, there is no doubt that you have come across the phrase, “The Fortune Is In The List”. This phrase refers to the importance of building and managing your own in-house email marketing list.
Top Internet Marketers, entertainers, restauranteurs, hotel managers, real estate professionals, doctors, service providers and more know that building a targeted and responsive email marketing list can be a powerful weapon in closing more sales and building business.
Let’s take a look at what email marketing is, how to get started, and how to succeed doing it.
What is Email Marketing?
Email Marketing should not be confused with sending our unsolicited commercial emails (UCE) or “spam” messages. We are not talking about buying or harvesting lists. We are talking about building a list of people who actually WANT to hear from you and they have given permission for you to email them directly with your information.
Why Do You Want An Email Marketing List?
Before you get started, you will need to make some decisions about why you want to build your email marketing list and how you will use it.
A network marketer will want to build a list of prospects (people that are interested in learning more about the product, service, or opportunity being offered.
A restaurant or hotel would want to build a list of customers that they can email on a regular basis with seasonal offers, updates, coupons, etc…
An entertainer will want to build a fan base list so they can let fans know where they will be performing next, when new merchandise becomes available, etc…
Coaches and mentors will want to build a list of students that they can send updates to on a regular basis, let them know where they are speaking next, etc…
In many cases, the purpose and function of your email marketing lists may cross over in to multiple areas or you may want to build multiple lists. For example, you may want to start by building a prospect list and as those prospects buy from you, they would be moved to a customer list. Your purpose for mailing email list would be different. You would mail your prospect list to confer them to customers and you would mail your customer list to encourage repeat business.
How To Build Your Email Marketing Lists
Building your email marketing lists starts by getting permission from your prospects and/or customers to add them to your lists. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this, both offline and online. The following two articles will be very helpful in getting you started:
Building and Managing Email Marketing Lists
A big decision for you is deciding how you want to manage your email marketing lists as you build them. You have a few options:
- Sending From Your Regular Email Program – Some marketing strategies have started this way. The problem comes in when your list begins to grow. Your email program may have problems processing large volumes of email. Your internet service provider may place limits on how many messages you can send out at one time.Managing requests to be added and removed from your list can become overwhelming. In addition, scheduling messages is not typically available with your regular email programs.
This method of building and managing your email marketing lists is terribly inefficient.
- Install Your Own Email Marketing Program – If you are the kind of person that loves configuring servers, installing and managing software, and dealing with ever changing compliance requirements with large companies like gmail, yahoo, etc… this may be a good option for you.
- Using an Email Marketing or AutoResponder Service – There are services available that have already handled all of the installation of software, will maintain the systems, and manage compliance requirements with large companies like gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc… to help your messages get delivered.
Using a service like this helps you more efficiently build and manage your lists, schedule send times, create attractive templates, and manage your lists in greater detail for maximum efficiency.
Companies that provide these services include:
One thing to keep in mind with email marketing is that you will want to take the time to learn how to use whatever service you have chosen to its fullest potential. Each service has its own particular way of setting up email marketing campaigns, sending out your messages, scheduling, tracking, etc… The time you spend learning about these features in the beginning will pay off for years down the road as you master your email marketing skills.
The Future of Email Marketing
If you keep an eye on Internet news, you will continually see stories about the death of email marketing, as well as stories about upturns in email marketing success. As long as people continue to send and receive emails, email marketing will most likely be around for some time and will, no doubt constantly evolve.