There are a number of ways to get your email marketing list: you can buy one, you can rent one, or you can make your own. The first two options — buying or renting a list — seem to be the quickest way to get a large number of contacts and get your email campaign off to a big start. But are you really getting the most value for your dollar when you rent or buy an email list? Probably not, which is why you want to grow your own contact list.
The Problem with Rented or Purchased Lists
When you purchase or rent a contact list, you really can’t be sure about the quality of the leads that you’ll be getting. The list could have a number of duplicate emails, alias emails, or the dreaded honeypot email addresses (email addresses that are designed to identify the sender as a spammer, which can seriously harm your email sending reputation). So right out of the gate, the return on your marketing investment is decreased.
The other problem with buying contact lists is that these prospects don’t know who you are. You are going in cold and that may leave a bad first impression with potential customers. Many email service providers give their users the option of categorizing the types of email, too; so your email may skip the inbox and end up in the rarely checked “promotions” box — or worse yet, get trapped in the spam filter.
How to Create Brand Awareness and Grow Your Contact List
- Start with Social Media. Think about the first thing you check when you reach for your phone — especially when you have idle time. I bet you’re looking at a social media site. Spending some time engaging with your customers on social media is a great way to grow your contact list.
- Create Amazing Content. You want your customers engaged for sure, but you also want them to spread the word. Help them do that by creating content that they’ll want to forward on to other people.
- Always Include a Share Button. Make it easy for your prospects to share your email campaigns with their friends by including a share button that makes it simple for your contact list to forward your amazing content.
- Create Gated Assets. Want people to willingly hand over their email addresses? Create a gated asset that will make them want. Gated assets are long form pieces of content that can be anything from templates to eBooks. If you can put them behind landing pages, even better! If you don’t have the time or talent to write an eBook, create a tool that will be useful to your prospects. Don’t forget to include links to these to your gated materials on all your social media channels.
- Entice Them With a Free Sample. Not all gated content is going to make folks want to sign up for future email campaigns. So pique their interest with some free content. You can start with a blog post or email that offers the first steps in a process, or some beginner advice, and then offer them the “bonus” gated content if they sign up.
- Tailor Your Messaging. Email campaigns aren’t one-size-fits-all, so you should tailor your messaging to the buyer persona you’re targeting. You’ll see more engagement from your email marketing efforts if you tailor your messaging to target your audiences’ interests.
These are all methods that you can use today to start growing your contact list. The key is to use as many methods as possible to build your list as quickly as possible. As your list grows, because it’s full of folks who want to hear from you, it will be easier for you to convert prospects to customers.