Build or Buy--Should You Build Your Own Opt-in Email List?
The easiest way to acquire an email list for your ezine or email marketing is just to buy one. They're not too expensive, and they provide you with a long list of names and email addresses.
But if there is one thing I've learned as the owner of an ezine, it is that the easy road is not always the one that brings you the best results. The problem with buying an email list is that none of the people on that list know who you are. When they receive an email from you, most likely they will just delete it without bothering to open it.
That is why it is so beneficial to build your own opt-in email list. Yes, creating a list from scratch is the more difficult and time-consuming solution, but at least it is a solution. Email lists rarely bring the desired results, so the money you spend on them might as well be flushed down the toilet.
Email marketing and ezine distribution isn't about blasting a bunch of strangers with sales pitches and information they don't want and didn't ask for. If you really want to achieve results with your email list, you need to build your own.
Here is a list of questions you need to ask yourself when building your email list:
*Who is your target audience and what do you have to offer them?
*What kind of relationship do you want with the recipients of your emailings?
*What method or methods will you use to collect email addresses? Web forms, registration or subscription forms, trade shows, telephone contacts and sales calls are all viable ways to get the email addresses of people who will be interested in what you have to offer.
*Will your emails come in the form of ads, newsletters, deals and specials, company announcements and press releases, or discussion lists?
*Will you handle the creative aspects of your mailings, such as copywriting and editing, or will you need a little help?
Once you're ready to start building your list, use outside lists to help you get started. You can recruit opt-in list members by renting an opt-in list to send out an announcement. You could also try taking out an ad in a targeted email newsletter or discussion list.