Every marketer relies on a list.  Email marketing is still an effective tool and, if you don’t have a list already, there are courses that show you how to build a list.

A couple of years ago GDPR hit many marketers hard, reducing lists as the contacts failed to respond to the request to give permission to remain on the list. 

If you’re holding an event or launching a product you need a list to market to – and any old list won’t do, you need a list of people who have already demonstrated they’re interested in what you do.

You have two options – build your own or buy one in.

Paid for lists

You can still buy lists of people who match your chosen demographics.  However, they’re only people who have said ‘we don’t mind getting email marketing messages’, not people who have said’ we’re interested in YOUR email marketing’.

If you do buy a list check if it’s a single use or multiple use list.  If you purchase a single use list and then try to use it again, you’ll end up paying for it.  Most professional list vendors seed their list with contacts details that come back to them so they can tell if someone emails or direct mails more than once.

Build your own

The most effective way to develop a list of interested contacts is to create your own list of people who have raised their head above the parapet and shown an interest.

The way to do this is to create a lead magnet, sometimes known as an ‘ethical bribe’.  This is a document with actual value.  Usually shared knowledge that others want and are prepared to give their email address to get.

The system works like this:

  • Create your report as a pdf
  • Create a hidden page on your website where people can go to download this
  • Sign up to one of the many online data management sites – MailChimp, AWeber, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact, etc. Most of these will cost you a few US$ a month for your subscription, but are worth it.  Some are more expensive – usually because they have a massive range of functions that others don’t offer.
  • Create a form to collect first name, last name and email address (the data management site should enable you to do this).
  • Add the form, an image representing your report and a strong call to action to the home page of your website. The right hand side near the top is an ideal position.
  • Set up a thank you for signing up email with the link to the hidden webpage for them to download their report. Again your data management subscription should allow you to set this up and automate it.
  • Promote your report on Facebook and other social channels.

This means that your list are showing they’re already interested in your specialist area of knowledge – which makes them more likely to be interested in more of what you offer.