Are you one of those companies which just collects every email address it can get hold of, never checks their validity, never asks their permission to send something, and just fires indiscriminate messages to them at irregular intervals, perhaps whenever the MD says “We should do an email blast on this”? Oh dear. If so, I’m not talking to you; today I’m talking to the people who are trying to do email marketing properly.
Proper email marketing has nothing but benefits. Everyone on your list has asked to receive emails from you. They may even look forward to them, especially if they come out at regular or frequent intervals. Nobody gets annoyed (if you fire out emails indiscriminately, for every “please take me off your list” which you receive, a hundred others wish you would but can’t be bothered to say so). The problem is, a steadily-built, all-requested email list probably consists of dozens of subscribers, not thousands. And that doesn’t seem so impressive. But guess what? An email to a steadily-built, all-requested email list of, say, 50 prospects, will probably get 20 or 30 serious readers, all of them feeling positive towards you. An unwanted email to 5000 people, half of them probably not even prospects, will probably get, well, 20 or 30 serious readers, all of them feeling somewhat more ambivalent.
When you’re building your list, however, it can be frustrating to have only a few dozen readers. The incentive to write to them can seem small. In that case, I urge you to imagine them sitting in a room in front of you. A few dozen genuine sales prospects, all waiting to hear what you’ve got to say? I’d hope that would be an incentive to prepare your speech and check your appearance in the mirror.