Does your company have a client or customer mailing list? If not, why not? Mailing lists can be the lifeblood of many businesses.

According to Derek Halpern, the founder of Social Triggers, if you aren’t building a mailing list “you’re an idiot.” It’s pretty blunt. But, it’s also true. He describes how he shared some great content on his website with his followers on Twitter and his with his email list.

Halpern tells how when he shared a link with his Twitter followers, he was able to get 300 visitors to his website. But, when he shared the same link with his email list, which has a similar number of people on it as his Twitter followers, he got 4,200 visits to his website!

And, needless to say, the more people you get to your site the more likely you are to be able to convert a visitor into a client or customer.

Why not just rely on social media?

A lot of business owners and bloggers don’t think that building their mailing list is important and often just rely on social media outlets to get their information out there. This is especially true when they are just getting started. But, considering the impact these type of email lists can have on revenue and website traffic they just may need to rethink that strategy.

“An email list is critical because you can’t build your content on rented land,” according to Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute in an article on Campaign Monitor.

Email Marketing List Building

Pulizzi continued by saying, “So many brands and companies build their audiences on Facebook and Google+, which is fine, but we don’t own those names – Facebook and Google do. If we are thinking like real media companies, the asset is in the audience.”

“Getting an email address is the first critical step to figuring out who my reader is, and hopefully in the future, my customer of some sort. If our goal is to drive sales or keep customers happy in some way, we first need to get them as part of our audience.”

And, while certainly Facebook and Twitter don’t look like they are going anywhere soon, keep in mind that plenty of social media platforms such as MySpace, FriendFeed, Google Buzz has bit the dust. So, having your own list that isn’t reliant on a third party is imperative.

Also, remember that there are also still a lot of people that haven’t bought into the whole social media landscape and aren’t even on Facebook, Twitter, and the rest. So, you aren’t reaching them at all.

The Direct Marketing Association has said that on average email marketing sees a 4300 percent return on investment for businesses. This may be because email is more personal and one-on-one with people. It also tends to be more purposeful and targeted as well.

Keep in mind, a lot of larger companies learned this early on and use social media as a way to get people to sign up for their email lists, not the other way around. They understand that email lists, and the emails they send, are a more reliable and direct way of getting in touch with current and future customers.

Getting started with email lists.

If you are considering building a mailing list (and you should be) look to services such as MailChimp, which is my preferred provider, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, or AWeber to start the process.

Services such as these allow you to build a list the right way with tried and true opt-in methods, create engaging emails, manage your contacts, segment your lists for more precise targeting and track your performance. They also help to keep you in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 to be sure you are following all laws regarding email
marketing.

If you haven’t already begun creating your own mailing list, there is no better time than right now to get started! If you need help getting an opt-in form for your email service integrated into your website, be sure to contact us for more information.

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Nora Kramer
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Nora Kramer

Lead Web Designer & Developer at Nora Kramer Designs
Nora Kramer is a website professional and online marketing consultant with over two decades of experience in graphic design, website development and company branding. She also has a passion for photography and writing. Nora received the Charlie Award (1st Place) in 2002 for "Best Magazine Feature Article of the Year" from the Florida Magazine Association.
Nora Kramer
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