Creating a list of people’s email addresses for marketing is as simple as visiting a few websites and typing in some keywords. But not all email lists are created equal. With so many free resources available, knowing which ones are the best for your needs is essential.
In this post, we’ll go over acquiring a high-quality mailing list using online marketing tools and services, emphasizing those that won’t break the bank. To start, you need to estimate the number of email addresses you’ll need and then research and evaluate various services to see which ones are the most cost-effective.
1. Start With a List of People You Know With Email Addresses
If you already have a database of direct mail addresses, then start there. If not, go through your customer list, email newsletter list, friends and family list, or even create a survey or giveaway where users must provide their email addresses to enter.
A word of advice: don’t concentrate on just one source when building your database. The more places you look for email addresses on the web, the higher quality your results will be. Some places to start include:
2. Research Directories
Look for online resources that make it easy to find email addresses. Some places to start include industry-specific directories tailored to specific target audiences.
3. Research Forums, Groups, and Social Networks
Forums are a great place to find potential customers and leads, but quality is the key here. Look for active forums where most members have interests that align with your business and products. Be sure to search through various sub-sections of each forum to ensure you’re getting every possible contact possibility out of the resource.
Many online communities, like Facebook and LinkedIn, have their forums. A common place to look for new leads is in these official groups. If you run a blog or an online forum, posting in both your blog and the forum can increase your exposure.
4. Review Industry-Specific Directories …
For many industries, there are industry-specific lists that you can use as an excellent starting point for finding email addresses. For example, if you’re targeting users of a business accounting website, you can use an online directory like B2B Resource.
Once you know what online resources are available for your target audience, take the time to set up an account and evaluate which ones are best suited for your needs. If your prospects are only registered users of a website, make sure that a subscription is required to join. Otherwise, you won’t have access to their email addresses.
5. … and Online Marketplaces
Online marketplaces are also an excellent place to find where many people are getting together to discuss specific interests, hobbies, or businesses. There will often be forums or sections where visitors can post their email addresses for others to contact. For example, if you sell t-shirts related to the rock band AC/DC, look at the ACDC Town forum, where visitors can get in touch with other fans worldwide.
6. Track Down Any Other Leads
When you have a list of email addresses, it’s time to look for more contacts. Include all your other marketing channels, like your website, social media profiles, and blog posts. Also, consider approaching your customers directly via phone calls and emails with an invitation to join your mailing list. If you find one person who will be interested in receiving your email messages, the more contact information that person provides, the better.
7. Find a Mailing Service
You can also use a mailing service to send out email messages. You must research before choosing a company and ensure that your account exceeds the number of recipients you have included in your database.
8. Test Your List
If you use a mailing service to send out your email messages, start testing the list by sending an email message to only a handful of people on the list. Ask them about their experience with the product or service you’re offering, and then track down how many replies you get back. If this is more than 1%, consider paying for a package that allows more people on your list because it’s a better fit for reaching most prospects.