How to Build Your Email Contact List

Spam. We all get it and we all hate it. But did you know there are laws about spam? There are also best practices to ensure that your email has the best chance of arriving in its destination.

Well-managed email campaigns are permission-based. Rented or purchased lists are not a good thing! So, how do you build your list? Start with your customers, members, and constituents. Next, put a sign-up button on your website. Now, you’re on your way to building a healthy, permission-based list.

A permission-based list means that you have a relationship with the person you’re sending to, and that they know who you are.
Ideally, they should also be expecting to receive email from you.

However, it’s considered permissible to email a customer who has purchased something from you within a year even if they haven’t specifically stated that you could email them. That’s because if someone buys something from you, it’s considered a relationship. The same can be said for paid membership organizations. But it’s best to give these members of your list the option to confirm their subscriptions when they receive your email communications.

Do you collect business cards at networking events? Ask your contacts if it’s alright to add them to your newsletter list. If you’re hosting an event, put out a sign-up list.

Like all new media, email is a viral form of communication that is only as good as its content. Provide useful, relevant, timely, and engaging content to your list members, and they’ll share your email with their friends and colleagues. Those people will also subscribe…and your list will grow.


About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.

Posted on May 29, 2009, in Email Marketing Tips. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. For conventional brick and mortar businesses, building email lists is a hassle, as they almost always end up using paper signup sheets, which in turn they have to enter manually into computer system.

    Sterizon offers a wireless, handheld Sterizon wiZit device which can be used for collecting customer information instead of using paper signup sheets.


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