Found this pertinent Internet Marketing post over at Search Engine Watch regarding the most effective and least effective digital, Internet marketing tools and techniques. Topping the list, paid search listings, but in-house E-Newsletters (targeted to a home grown list of emails) came in a very close second.
Find out why E-Newsletters are both the best, and the worst internet marketing tools. And, learn how to setup and get the most out of your own Enewsletter.
The top “worst performing” tactics named were rented e-mail lists, at 56 percent, followed by pop-ups at 45 percent and e-mail newsletter ads at 42 percent.
As many of you probably already know we love e-newsletters. Referral marketing and branding is one of the most important and successful ways of bringing in new business. As opposed to a lead from the Internet or a response from a radio ad, referrals are more likely to convert because they already know you, they already trust you because their friend or colleague has already vouched for your company or services. Referrals come pre-sold. Enewsletters are a perfect internal (client) marketing vehicle, allowing you to stay in front of your clients cost-effectively, as well as an easily forward-able tool for referral marketing.
One thing we are adamant about though, in regards to enewsletters, is creating your own list.
Purchased lists are bad.
I have never actively searched for a list to market to so I can not comment on the price of these lists, but one thing is for sure even a free list, costs too much.
even a free [purchased] list, costs too much
In addition to costing you money, lists are untargeted and likely to flag your email as spam. Enough spam reports and you and your hosting company or email provider can get in trouble, ending up on a blacklist unable to send email. As spam becomes more of a problem, and inboxes continue to fill up, people are becoming less and less tolerant of what they will flag as spam.
Additionally, even if your list is targeted (with addresses of businesses and individuals interested in what you have to offer) they SHOULD NOT be contacted if your audience has never heard of you, never dealt with you or never actively, knowingly signed up. Only contact individuals and businesses you have met, talked to, or are affiliated with and have an active relationship with.
So how do you grow your lists?
Another question Unique ID is often asked: How do I grow my list? There are a number of ways in which you can grow your list; the speed at which it grows is proportional to the role you allow email to play in your own marketing efforts and the amount of time and effort you put into it.
But, before you ask this question (how do I grow my list), and before I answer it, I urge you and your company to get started!
Go to Constant Contact, or a similar email platform and create an account. Add a small list of emails, and begin creating content for your audience. The truth is, even a large list of targeted acquaintances will lead to nothing if you or your company is incapable of creating an email with relevant useful content and consistently sending it to your audience. Go ahead, click on the link, create an account, create an email, import some addresses… I’ll give you a few minutes.
Now that you’ve created your account and know you can stick to a schedule of generating quality enewsletters, where can you get some email addresses?
Here are our typical suggestions on how to immediately create and grow your email list:
- Perform an export from your email client (Outlook) and all of your employees’ computers
- Perform an export from your CRM, particularly helpful for sorting out lists
- Go to networking events and ask everyone you meet, if they would like to be added to your mailing list, a surprising number (almost always 100% will say yes), and then immediately when you get home add them to your list
- Create some kind of special free prize drawing at a networking event or seminar event. Business people who provide you with your business card, and agree to receive enewsletters can enter to win a free sample, prize, or service of yours
Things to keep in mind:
Figure out what your priorities are and organize your list from the beginning. It is a pain in the ass, and will take some time depending on how many lists are appropriate for your business or marketing efforts and your list site, but organize your list from the beginning.
Is there a possibility you may want to market only to clients with brown hair who are missing their big left toe?
You know you have a solution for these targeted individuals!
Then create a list for it, and make sure to stick with it. Often client accounts either have all emails in one account, or have jumbled dozens of half-targeted lists together, but have forgotten what list is for what purpose. Organize your self and your list from the beginning for a more successful, effective enewsletter solution.