Yet, ask anyone today if they were willing to give up their email address, for real; you would get an incredulous look. How can you survive in the modern world without an email?
It is precisely the fact that emails have become so much a part of our lives, that email marketing is and will always be, an important marketing channel. The real problem comes from the mis-use of email marketing, and that has really destroyed the market for many.
If someone came up to you and offered you something that you wanted, you would be interested to learn more. However, if you are repeatedly confronted with junk that you do not want, and you cannot seem to stop it, that is when you have a problem. What can you do as a marketer?
One good way is to ensure that you do proper segmenting and have a coherent strategy to find your target market. If you sent an unmarried woman information about diapers and baby clothes, it’s junk. Send the same information to an expectant mother or to a lady with young kids, and you are providing a valid offer. Same information, totally different effect. Stuffing your flyers into the coat pocket of every passer-by might seem really clever, but you will not see much results, if you don’t get beaten to a pulp first.
Once you have got your target segment, how then are you going to get a list? This is tough. There are basically two ways to get a list.
The first is to simply buy one. It is tempting to just buy the largest list you can find at the cheapest price. That might not be the best strategy (see paragraphs above). Or, you could find a reputable list provider and purchase a truly targeted list.
You can take a look at List Giant. The fact that they run their list through the NCOA (National Change of Address) information provided by the USPS, is an indication of the quality of the information that they keep. However, as with all things, test first. A good way to test is to purchase a small list, and monitor the results. If you are running your own small business, one good thing about List Giant is that its services are available 24/7 and you can get your lists any time you are ready to send out your marketing pitch.
The second way to get a list is to do it yourself. In the course of running your business, you will have many opportunities to collect information from clients and potential clients. Most businesses do not bother to keep track of this information. They are missing out on a goldmine of opportunities.
The best approach would be to combine both of these strategies. Use reputable lists to kick start your email marketing or list marketing, and at the same time, begin collecting your own lists from customers, potential customers and other interested parties.