Email marketing can be an easy and cost effective way to market directly to your target audience. However, unsolicited commercial emails are often immediately deleted of filtered and marked as spam, which can result in blacklisting or list audits from third party email service providers.

Customers who have voluntarily signed up or “opted in” to receive emails from you are more likely to read them, plain and simple. The key is encouraging current and prospective customers to give their permission for you to communicate with them by email. You’ll have better open and click through rates, online sales and avoid the hassles and potential brand damage associated with mass, unsolicited emailing.

Here are some ideas for building a quality email database:

  1. Start with your existing customer base and contacts and invite them to opt-in to receive regular information and newsletters about your business. By and large, your existing customers will want to receive updates from you about new products and services, sales, promotions, etc.
  2. Collect addresses through your website – as a bonus, offer a special white paper, newsletter or sales discount in exchange for signing up.
  3. Promote yourself as an “industry expert”. Build your reputation as an expert by submitting articles and opinions to industry and trade websites. Always be sure to include a link to your email registration.
  4. Advertise! As you establish your newsletter, make sure people know about it. Advertise with industry associations, run press releases, and include messaging about where to sign up for your newsletter on all your marketing materials.
  5. Ask for recommendations. If subscribers like the content you’re putting out there, ask them to recommend or forward your newsletter to a friend or business contact.
  6. Share or rent lists from industry-related associations or groups. Be careful with this one – make sure that list contacts have given permission to have their email addresses shared. Anyone who responds to your emails can then be added to your in-house list.

When done properly, email marketing can be one of the most cost-effective
means of delivering a targeted message to your audience!