How Email Lists Work

What is an Email List?

According to Wikipedia, it’s a special usage of email allowing distribution of information to many people. It’s a list of email addresses that your business might use to notify people of your sales and events. Many people use them to sell their products and services. sbcglobal net

An email list can be a simple computer file that contains a list of email addresses. This list can be copied into the “To:” box of an outgoing email. This enables you to send a single email to many people at one time. This method is only recommended if you have a small number of addresses in your list. If you have less than 100 addresses this method can work. A better method is to use an email marketing service. Some of the common ones include Aweber, Constant Contact, and Mail Chimp. There are many others. See below for a list of some popular ones.

Email marketing is a marketing method using an email system to market products and services to an email list.

Building Your Email List

The first challenge with email marketing is building the list. You need email addresses in your list. The more the better.

The most common way to get email addresses added to an email list is to include an email signup form on a website. All of the email services provide the capability to create your own forms with instructions for putting them on a website. The forms can also be hosted at the email service company. In that case you would simply need a clickable link on your website that brings a visitor to the form.

You can also ask your customers for their email addresses and enter them into your email system yourself. Include a spot for customers to enter their email addresses on various forms that you have in your place of business.

When a person signs up to be on your list they will normally get an email in response. That email welcomes them to the list and often asks them to click a link to confirm that they requested to be on the list. This process is called double opt in. Many people highly recommend using double opt in but there are some very successful email marketers who disagree saying that you should only require the signup and not the secondary opt in.

Your Email Messages

Usually there will be several follow up email messages, previously set up, to be sent out over a period of weeks to months after a person signs up.

Email marketing services also provide the ability to send what they call broadcast messages. These are emails that can be created and sent to the email list just as follow up messages are. the difference is that follow up messages are set up ahead of time. Broadcast messages are set up shortly before they are sent. Broadcast messages are sent to everyone on the list. Follow up messages are sent individually to a single email address at specified times after sign up.

Advantages of Email Marketing Services

1. Sent emails are more likely to get through to intended recipients. It can be difficult to get emails through spam filters these days. Spam filters exist at the PC level as well as at the Internet Service Provider level. Email marketing services solve a lot of these problems thus helping your emails get through to your list.

2. Your list is much better managed making it easier to add, edit, and search for items in your list.

3. Email services offer autoresponders. An autoresponder is a process that automatically sends out an email in response to someone signing up on your email list. It also can automatically send follow up messages. This makes an email marketing system extremely automatic and scalable thus allowing your email list to get very large and still be very manageable.

4. An email list within an email service is easier to manage and keep up to date. Email lists can be huge assets to a business. The better and more accurate the list the more valuable it is.

5. An email can be written and set up to be sent at a later date. In fact, it is common to set up many different emails to be sent out on various future dates. This creates an automated marketing system.

Why Use Email Marketing?

Email marketing may be the most powerful, under used method of online marketing available. It has the advantage of being more personal because it consists of messages sent to individuals. Those messages can also be personalized with the recipient’s name. These emails can be a personal one to one conversation. This is much more effective that a “shout out to all” as a sales tool.

Email allows you to be proactive. Rather than waiting for someone to find your website you can get right in front of them with an email.

Your email list can, and should consist of people who are interested in what you offer. This provides a much more valuable advertising audience than a mass media advertising message.