Email marketing is a highly effective form of digital marketing. The days of businesses posting flyers to their prospective customers haven’t disappeared entirely, but email marketing is cheap and yields excellent results. However, it is pointless crafting a great marketing email if you have no email addresses to send it to.
For email marketing to work, you need an email database. Whether you target new prospects or existing customers, you need their email addresses. The question we are going to answer in this article is how you go about finding email addresses to add to your marketing database. The good news is that you have several options – and many of them are free!
The most obvious way to harvest email addresses is to ask for them. When customers place an order, have an option for them to sign up for marketing emails. Make sure you ask for their permission, as using email addresses without permission can lead to heavy fines in some jurisdictions.
Add a sign-up form to your website. Make it worth it to the customer by offering them a discount on their next order. This should sweeten the deal. If you own a brick and mortar store, ask customers for an email address when they pay for their goods. Again, if you offer them something in return, and make it clear signing up for marketing is a good thing for them, they will be more receptive to the idea.
Some brands use pop-ups to encourage readers to sign up for marketing emails. These do work but don’t overdo it. Nothing is more irritating than a huge pop-up obscuring your view and refusing to disappear until you enter an email address.
Use Social Media
Social media is a useful tool for brands. Since most people use at least one social media platform in their personal and professional lives, it makes sense to target the social platform where your target customer hangs out.
Attract traffic by posting useful articles and great content. If customers like your content, they will want to sign up for more of the same.
Target Specific People
There are plenty of instances where it makes sense to target specific people. This is the case if you run a niche business, but it’s also applicable if you are a B2B company and you want to make sure your marketing emails reach the right recipients.
Plenty of people list their email addresses online. Check out the About Us section of a website to see if there are email addresses included with profiles.
Services like Nuwber let individuals and businesses find contact information for people, including email addresses. You can search by name and city/state and then add any useful information you find to your email marketing database.
Buy Email Lists
Another option at your disposal is to buy email lists for your specific niche. There are companies out there that sell email lists to anyone willing to pay. Not all the email addresses included will be useful or indeed current, but it’s a good starting point if you are building a database from scratch.
Verify Email Addresses
It’s a good idea to cross-reference email addresses with email verification services, so you don’t waste too much time sending out emails to dud mailboxes. Check your database regularly and clean up any old or invalid email addresses. People change their email addresses when they leave jobs or decide they have had enough of being spammed.
Don’t ever be tempted to spam your email marketing recipients. Only send useful marketing emails at reasonable intervals. Otherwise, you risk being blacklisted, which is not a good outcome.