Generating your own list of email contacts who have opted in to receive content from you doesn't just comply with legal regulation and protect your brand reputation. It also presents you with opportunities to grow this list through genuine relationships with new customers. We've already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
Much of this increase can be attributed to the ability to couple physical mail pieces with mobile and online marketing efforts, resulting in a sound multichannel marketing program. Think of how many pieces of mail you've seen recently sporting QR codes, URLs to social media sites, and SMS short codes. Mail affords marketers greater reach, allows more information to be communicated than most online advertising efforts, and gives buyers the opportunity to respond to a call to action in the way that they want, on their own time.
We also love how consistent the design of Uber's emails is with its brand. Like its app, website, social media photos, and other parts of the visual branding, the emails are represented by bright colors and geometric patterns. All of its communications and marketing assets tell the brand's story -- and brand consistency is one tactic Uber's nailed in order to gain brand loyalty.
Choose analytics software that works for your organization. While many email marketing applications have built-in analytics, you may consider getting a third party system to help you process the data or statistics on your campaigns. Some software can give you a more comprehensive or visual representation of your analytics, while others may track something that your current content management system does not. The size and scope of your e-blast campaign will dictate which kind of software you require.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
Loved reading this! Which of these would you recommend so that I could set myself reminders on certain clients so that I can follow up with them in the future? I feel like I am doing a lot of extra steps that I might not have to do if I was using an actual marketing software. I am in the very beginning stages of getting my business out there and I would like to follow up with potential clients down the road with an email… is this a possibility or should I just keep using my excel spreadsheet!?
Kate – The problem many marketers will face is that most reputable ESPs will not accept purchased lists, targeted or not. That’s because they can wreak havoc on your deliverability in the long run. Purchased lists often contain “spam traps,” email addresses created specifically to catch people using these lists, and once you’re flagged with them most email clients will put your emails straight to the “Spam” folder.
When people talk about email marketing, lots of them forget to mention transactional emails. These are the automated emails you get in your inbox after taking a certain action on a website. This could be anything from filling out a form, to purchasing a product, to updating you on the progress of your order. Often, these are plain text emails that marketers set and forget.
Once your list is targeted, you need to spend an equally large portion of time coming up with a great deal – even if it means you might lose a bit of money on it. The underlying goal of any marketing campaign is to gain new customers, and it’s worth it to significantly reduce your profit margins to gain said customers. Once you have a surgically-honed list and an amazing offer, then you can spend some time on the design, copy, delivery methods, postage rates, date of delivery, size of the mailer…there are a lot of other options to consider, but following the 40/40/20 rule you can see how important audience and offer truly are.
Although there’s no panacea for direct mail’s attribution problem, Simpson says that he shores up his data by matching a list of recent buyers with consumers from the campaign’s direct mail list. This method is more inductive than deductive, in that he cannot be entirely sure the direct mail led to the purchase, but it allows him to have an idea of how effective a direct mail campaign has been. 

Expert marketer Ramit Sethi of GrowthLab agrees with Julie about saying goodbye to the email blast, going as far as to publish a blog post entitled “Stop sending email blasts! Do this instead”. The post takes the recommendation to segment even further by suggesting “hotlists” — sub-segments of your email list that subscribers can opt into based on their interest in a specific project of yours.
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