Email marketing is still one of the most cost-effective and profitable marketing efforts available for online businesses.
How do you create email lists when you are first starting out?
For one, you should not send sales emails or act like a spammer. In fact, this will be very counter-productive. The biggest mistake is to go the easy route by buying a list from someone who claims that it is perfect for you. The majority of these are scammers themselves who collected the list without user permission. What could happen if you use them? You could be blacklisted by reputable email services. After this, they will no longer allow you to use their services. If this setback isn’t big enough, be aware that your ROI will be pretty bad along with your response rate. This contradicts all the initial reasons you purchase the list in the first place!
Many of the scripts found at iScripts.com come equipped with a basic email marketer already built within the software. This is sufficient for sending newsletters, but if you are looking to set up autoresponders, you may want to consider an ESP provider.
You can use any ESP providers like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, Send Grid and more. At iScripts, we are fans of MailChimp and Send Grid.
To get people to subscribe to your mailing list, consider giving away something free that is very valuable to your target. These can take a variety of forms such as:
- Small Discounts – If you offer a small discount for users to subscribe, many probably will – At iScripts we are known to give exclusive discounts and sales through our monthly newsletter.
- Free eBook or White Paper – Provide something valuable for users to download. Ideally, this would be a type of electronic copy downloaded in return for email addresses.
- Free Courses – At iScripts,we created a “How to Start an Online Business” course. We created it as an autoresponder to be sent weekly. Initially it was slow to grow, but over time we received hundreds of customers through this channel.
- Consider Sponsoring or Co-Opting with Others – Existing email marketing list owners may allow you to run campaigns or sponsored campaigns if you have unique content or if you return the favor.
So how do you use MailChimp or other email clients? When is it okay to send email and when is it not? For a general rule of thumb: If your users do not know they are signing up for your offers, it is not okay. Examples: No 3rd party lists, don’t use lists created 3+ years ago, and do not spam those that use Facebook to login to your site.
By responsibly developing and utilizing email marketing, you can continue to benefit from this cost-efficient medium that is perfect for your startup.