A mailing list may be one of the most overlooked marketing tools in the business toolkit.
Feared by many, and misunderstood by some, we’ll look at whether or not you could use a mailing list for your business.
Let's talk marketing for a sec ...
Let’s be honest, some people’s hair just stands on end when they hear the word marketing.
We are bombarded on a daily basis with false claims and promises, which are both annoying and dishonest. Why would we want to associate ourselves with the very same people who are behind these campaigns?
Simple answer: we don’t.
When we promote legitimate products and services that help people overcome a real problem or fill a real need or desire, we don’t need to make exorbitant and unrealistic claims.
Here’s a marketing secret … not every communication you send to your list has to sell something.
About that mailing list
I’m not here to tell you that you have to have a mailing list, but if you have a message to get out to people who visit your website or use your product or service, a mailing list is a convenient way to do that.
You could rely on your site visitors to bookmark your site and remember to visit regularly to check for updates. But unless your content is super-compelling that’s not going to happen.
Your social media game may be strong enough to drive your audience to your site each time you update, but that’s not reliable either. Do you see every social media post in every social media channel you follow?
You own your mailing list
Much has been written about owning your data.
When you build your site on your own domain, you own everything, and nobody tells you how you can build it – there are no parameters except the limits of your imagination and your coding ability (or that of your developer) and nobody will take it away from you until you forget to pay your domain registration fees.
The same applies to your mailing list. You own your mailing list.
If you rely on a Facebook group or some similar method of collecting your followers together, of course you can use that medium to get messages and notifications to them, but you don’t own that list. And, as such, you can’t rely on that list being there when you need it,
Build your own list.
Mailing list tools
The simplest mailing list can be a distribution list in your email program, populated with the email addresses of people who have asked to be on that list. But be aware of the CAN-SPAM Act requirements, incuding:
- You must provide an opt-out
- Your “From”, “To”, and “Reply To” must be accurate
- Your subject line must not be misleading
- You must include a valid mailing address
The best way to make sure all the requirements are covered is to use a 3rd party tool, such as Mailchimp, ConvertKit, AWeber, or ConstantContact. There are many on the market to choose from, all with varying price points and capabilities. I use ConvertKit*, and I have clients who use Mailchimp, and I like both.
Is a mailing list for you?
Of course, the choice is yours. Email is still the #1 method of engaging with your audience on a personal level, it’s the closest thing you have to a one-on-one conversation.
Your email is your best relationship-builder. Use your mailing list to keep your site visitors interested in what’s going on in your world, updated on your products and services, and to keep them coming back to your website.