The Value of Your List in Small Business Marketing

by Dave Wirsching on May 16, 2012

Email Marketing List BuildingDon’t underestimate the value of your “list.” Your list is simply information about your customers or other key individuals (your audience) that you control. It allows you to reach out to them when you want to. In its simplest form, it could be a rolodex or the names in your contacts folder. As your audience grows, those systems become unworkable. While some people believe that followers or friends on a social network can act as a viable list, you should beware – you don’t control the information, and in most cases you can’t even back it up. All your hard work in building connections could disappear overnight.

One of the best ways for building and maintaining a list is to have an email newsletter. Not only do you have the opportunity to connect with your audience when you wish, you have a chance to collect one of the most important pieces of data about you audience – their email address.

What you can do

If you aren’t email marketing, here’s what you can do. Make sure to follow good email practices (see this article for good and bad email practices)

  • Sign up for an Email Service Provider (we like MailChimp)
  • Start offering a regularly scheduled newsletter – once a month is best, but every other month will work to start
  • Add your current customers to your list (make sure you let them know you’re doing it – here’s an example)
  • Add other connections to your list, but (again) make sure to ask for permission. Here’s another example.
  • Keep your list active – send to it regularly so you’re not forgotten
  • Back up your list to a safe place!

You can also use events to collect more email subscribers (here’s how to make an event work).

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