Managing email addresses is a critical element to your success. Most people keep randomly collected emails in their free email account or inbox without any thought to organizing how each name came to be on the list.
Think of your email list (or house list) as a valuable asset to protect at all costs!
If you’re serious about making money using your website, then get serious about email management. There’s no question list segmentation adds value to your business.
Here are some of the advantages to knowing how each name became part of your list:
- Your emails and e-newsletters can be personalized with the person’s first name.
- You’ll know who should receive e-newsletters.
- You can target promotional emails based on the person’s interests or past purchases.
- You’ll know the best prospects for cross-selling or upselling.
- You’ll develop a list of loyal buyers and get to know them based on their purchasing patterns and information collected over time.
- You can create products or services based on the needs of your loyal buyer base.
- You can geographically target messages if it fits your business model.
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I recommend having a database such as ACT! that can be customized and sorted by different variables. And, you should have an email service such as Constant Contact that allows easy email and e-newsletter design, distribution and recording of stats like how many recipients opened the email, what links they clicked on, how many were bad addresses and more.
What type of information should you collect? At a minimum you can ask for a first name and email address on newsletter subscription or free report forms on your website. If you use an email service, subscribers have access to change their profile online and, hopefully, provide additional information. When people make purchases you’ll get their addresses, too. At least record city and state in your database for possible geographical marketing.
Keep track of their purchases. Keep as much information as someone will give you. It might not be an asset to you today, but you may figure out a way to use the information in the future.
As you construct your segmented database, include how the email got to your list. Possible sources are:
- Newsletter subscription
- Names acquired in promotional mailings sent out for you by someone else
- Seminar, webinar or teleseminar participants
- Responded to an article, blog entry or social networking
- Signed up to get a free report from your website
- Vendors you use
- Sought you out through word of mouth
Once you start segmenting your list, you’ll think of many categories that make sense for your business. For instance, for a law firm I kept track of lawyers and areas of law each client used. When something pertaining to the practice area came up, I sent targeted emails just to those interested in that information—not to everyone on the list. Imagine the relationship building that occurs when people only receive information of interest. They’ll love you for it.
Think granular. You can always combine lists or send the same emails to multiple lists. Having it segmented, though, means you can very specifically track results on your electronic marketing campaigns. Without tracking this information, it’s nearly impossible to understand what works or doesn’t work and how to improve.
Anyone can be included on your email list, but make sure your marketing programs are permission-based. In other words, the recipients agreed to receive future emails from you. Otherwise, you’ll be violating spam laws. One way to avoid violating spam laws is to make sure unsubscribing from your list is easy. This is why I like services such as Aweber, they take care of the unsubscribers for you by taking them off your list and putting them on a separate list.
Visit my email service and take the $1 trial. I have joint ventured with Aweber (you'll see my logo next to theirs) and the $1 trial comes with my free training on how to use the email service, followup, and get the most out of it!)