Have you ever gone to a business event to meet new people in your industry? You bring a few business cards, and you are excited to make new connections and friends. The day after the event you hit your inbox to discover you’ve been added to somoene’s email list. It is annoying because it breaks a social contract we have with electronic communication. We want to be in control and when someone adds you without your permission – we don’t feel in control. STOP DOING THAT PLEASE.
Everyone knows the importance of an email list and spending time and effort to develop and grow that list. It’s your job to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns so you can keep your lists growing.
But it’s poor practice to purchase email lists or worse to add someone onto your email list without explicit permission. How do you feel when you receive an email from a company you’ve never heard of before? I can guarantee that it will never build trust or a relationship.
Grow an opt-in email list: inbound marketing methodology
So what is the best way to grow your email list? Customer empowerment is at the core of inbound methodology, and the best way to grow your email list is to create good, quality content that people choose to access for themselves. Yes it takes more energy and time, but it will bear fruit. I would rather have a list of people that engage with
The beauty of inbound marketing is that the content you create and publish will attract the correct leads, so that when they provide their email and contact you, they are already a valuable prospect and not just a name.
Here are two ideas to get started building trust with your leads and gaining their email and permission:
- Create free resources such as ebooks or white pages that they can access in exchange for their email. Take existing content and create free tools for people to use such. Check out this blog topic generator.
- Stop asking people to sign up for your free newsletter… Position it as something of value. We created a monthly email marketing program for a downtown association, but we called it a club. It was just a newsletter promoting businesses in downtown, but open rates remained consistently higher than average.
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