On this page you’ll be able to find out about all things to do with building a mailing list. There are many different types of mailing list, and lots of different uses for them. So if you have any mailing list related questions, check the relevant page below to see if your answer is there. We regularly update this page, so keep checking back for more information.
What Is A Mailing List
A mailing list is a list of people’s contact details which is used by others to market to. People usually sign up to mailing lists to be kept updated about things relevant to their interests, so any type of business can have a successful mailing list.
There are two main types of mailing list available to use, but what are they? Well first of all there’s the electronic type of mailing list. People give their email addresses and a company or individual email them relevant information. The other type of mailing list is the more traditional postal mailing list. This is where people who sign up to a mailing list are sent the information to their home address via postal service.
These days email mailing lists are more popular then the postal mailing list for many reasons. For one, they’re a lot cheap to set up and run. With postal mailing lists you have to print up the material you’re sending, pay for postage, and pay for packaging. With electronic mailing lists you only have to pay one initial set up cost or small monthly fees (Depending on which type of mailing list software you’re using). Electronic email marketing is also a lot quicker and more reliable, as the people on your mailing list will receive it almost instantly after you send it (Instead of waiting a few days to come through the post). This means you can get vital and time sensitive information to customers as soon as possible and building up a stronger relationship with your customers for it.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Mailing List
Having a mailing list has many benefits. First of all it allows you to keep directly in contact with your customers. People’s email addresses are central part of their lives, so when it comes to them giving you their email address it’s almost as personal as them giving you their phone number (When it comes to marketing however it can be more effective as no one likes being promoted to via their phone). Think about it, if you want to sign up to nearly any site on the internet you need a email address to do so. Hence why more people will always have email and less will have memberships to big websites such as Facebook.
Another benefit of mailing lists is that your list will always be there. While you can market to people on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, there’s no guarantee that these sites will always be there. If they were to suddenly to stop being popular like MySpace, you’ll lose a lot of contacts and people to market to.
As mentioned before, doing mailing list campaigns are very cheap to get up and running and maintain. Even if you chose a email marketing service that charge monthly, they usually aren’t that much compared to the amount of money you could be making with your mailing list. In fact, they’re probably one of the most cost efficient type of marketing method available bar word of mouth (And that can’t always be controlled).
What Information Should You Collect For Your Mailing List?
We’ve listed a few of the main types of information you may want to collect about your customer as they’re signing up to your mailing list:
- Name (Essential).
Names are asked for in most mailing lists. If you have someone’s name, you can personalise your communication with this person. If you use their name when you mail them you’ll have a much better chance of a response. As any marketer will be able to tell you, to have a responsive mailing list is an ideal situation, so any little thing that can help achieve that (Such as personalising your messages) is worth doing. Some people choose to get only a person’s first name, some their first and last name. But you need to ask yourself, is getting someone’s surname really essential? If not it’s best to not ask for it as the more fields you have (And the more personal information you ask for) the less likely you’ll get the person to sign up.
- Email Address (Essential).
If you’ll be doing email marketing, asking for an email address is essential. You will of course be using this email address to communicate with your subscribers.
If you’re going to be sending people information via post you’re going to need their address. So getting this will be vital in that case.
While this wouldn’t be suitable for everyone, some people like to get their subscribers birthdays. This could be because they offer something that’s birthday specific, or it could simply be to wish your customers happy birthday on their big day and further build up your customer relations.
- Company Specific Information.
Depending of what your business or mailing list entails, you may have to ask things that’d help better match your service to them. For example, if your mailing list was for a shoe shop, you may as people their shoe size on their opt in form. Or if it was for an ice cream shop you may as what their favourite flavour of ice cream is.
There are lots of things you can ask on your mailing list form, just make sure you don’t ask any irrelevant things. The longer a form is, the less likely people are going to fill it out. So if you want more people to sign up to your mailing list, you should minimise the amount of information you ask from people.
When Is The Best Time To Create A Mailing List
The best time to create a mailing list is right at the beginning! Even if you’ve yet to gain your first customer setting up you mailing list is very important. This’ll mean no one will slip through the cracks. You may do a big promotion for the launch of your product or service. If you don’t have a mailing list in place, you’ll potentially lose out on life long customers keeping in contact with you. Getting these early customers on board could mean that they’d help promote your product or service by forwarding on your email newsletters or just become a repeat customer as they’re reminded of you via your list. So having your mailing list up from the very beginning is very important.
How Big Do You Need To Build Your Mailing List?
When building a mailing list, you shouldn’t set a limit to the amount of subscribers you want to gain. After all, why would you want to limit the amount of potential customers you have? Building a mailing list should be a on going process from the beginning of your business. You can never have enough subscribers, as the more people you have on your list the money money you can potentially make. In other words, build your list till you can’t build any more!
Why Should You Segment Or Categorise Your Mailing List
Putting segments in to your mailing list can be a great strategy for better controlling who’s on your list. Not all your subscribers will be equal, some will open all your emails and interact with them fully, others won’t open them at all or read the odd one or two. Because of this, it’s important to know who your stronger and more responsive customers are. Most mailing list services include tracking as standard, so this allows you to see how people interact with your messages. It’s often a good idea to put all your most responsive customers in their own section, a part of your list you can send extra special offers and rewards to. As they will be your top earners (The 20% of your list who will make you 80% of the money) you want to treat them good and make sure they’re happy. If they’re happy they’ll more likely carry on doing business with you in the future. As they say, it’s much easier to keep an existing customer then gain a new one. Good luck with building your mailing list.