There is an interesting thing about marketing, it is always changing. We recently received an inquiry from someone who wanted me to do email marketing to a list they were going to purchase on behalf of a client they had. Our heart sank.  Let me start by saying, if you are buying lists to market to your audience, stop. Stop right now. Today, there is no faster way to get blacklisted on Google than the market to an email list you do not have permission to contact.

STOP Buying Lists for Marketing

We break down the right way to contact people and why it is so important today. Here is why you should stop buying email lists.

In today’s world, privacy is really important.  Most trusted email marketing solutions like MailChimp, Constant Contact, Hubspot and more, will make the owner of the list explicitly say that they have permission to use this list for marketing purposes. You can’t even upload a new list without clicking the box that you understand you must have permission to market to the list.

Email marketing companies must be compliant with privacy laws that have been passed on a state level.  Some of the toughest laws have gone into effect in California and Georgia.

While there is not a national slew of regulations for email marketing as of today, there are plenty that have been passed on a national level. For instance, laws to protect minors and their information and the war on internet privacy continues.

Privacy laws in Europe

Tech giants must manage the laws in every country of the world. Thus, many big tech companies have prompted strict rules and email marketing. When we think of companies that must comply with privacy laws in the US and abroad, we think of business like Google and Facebook. 

The key is consent. 

If you purchase a list, individuals on the list are probably not your previous customers, I could bet that they have not signed up for your email blasts and newsletters. Thus, most digital marketing strategists will not buy lists like these from an ethical standpoint. It only takes a few people to complain to get your URL blacklisted.

Problems With Purchased Lists

What list did I get on now

Don’t Waste Marketing Dollars to Buy Lists

There are more effective ways to find customers than to purchase lists. It is completely OK to do email marketing campaigns to people who have opted in to your lists. You are allowed to tell them about all your news, great deals, sales and more. Just make sure you send them things that matter, when they matter. If you open rates fall below your industry standards it may be time to consider changing the way you are doing your email marketing campaigns.

You Don’t Need to Buy Lists for Direct Mailers

Did you know you can do direct mailers through the United State Postal Service without ever having to purchase a list?  Just pick your zip codes and they do the work. Learn more about the program here: Every Door Direct Mail. This service is really inexpensive. You pick your target, they deliver with prices that are reasonable for most businesses. It saves your team hours of prep, and business usually get a discounted rate.

Need to find business in your area?  

One of our favorite tools for helping my clients find businesses in their area is LinkedIn. You can find different industries, companies of a specific size, type, locations and more on LinkedIn. Fill your funnel with the right contacts, not just any contact. Target them for the right reasons.

There are also tons of sites like Yelp and Google Maps that allow you to search a radius for a type of business you are looking for. Work smarter and your funnel will fill with real people that need what you do.

Bottom Line

If your marketing team is still telling you to buy lists, dump them. Spamming people is never ok. In addition, spending money doing it is asinine. Stop. Call us.  Contact Us. Contact anyone else. You deserve better from your marketing professionals. Don’t be the spammy guys. That is the worst.

Additional Reading:

Email Marketing BLOG

Vector Email Marketing ConceptSubject lines can make or break an email. They will either grab people’s attention enticing them to open the email or they can come across as spammy and make people disregard the email. I wish I could give you an exact formula for creating subject lines but unfortunately there isn’t one (unless you have it in which case please share!). But don’t despair! There are best practices you can follow that will help your open rates and optimize your emails.

First and foremost make sure you are being relevant to your audience. You want to make sure that the content you are sending and the subject line you are creating reflect the recipient and their interests. You also want to make sure your subject line reflects the content inside of the email. If your subject line alludes to something totally different from the email you sent, it can frustrate your readers and lead to unsubscribes. For example if I send out an email with the subject line referencing new dog products but my email is all about cats it can make dog lovers feeling misled and possible cause them to want to unsubscribe.

You also want to make sure your subject lines are short and to the point. Research has shown that an ideal subject line is between 0 and 50 characters. Most people are on the go and don’t want to read long subject lines so make sure to keep it short! You also want to avoid “spammy” subject lines as this can lead to people reading your subject line and automatically deleting it or marking it as spam in your box. Avoid things like: free, help, percent off and reminder to name a few as people tend to ignore them.

Finally try personalizing your subject lines to help increase opens. You can used things like location based personalization to be relevant to your recipients location or personalize the subject based off of their interests. This helps the reader feel that they aren’t receiving a generic email and since it relates to their interests or location they are more likely to open the email. Also try things like questions in the subject lines or exclusive phrasing to help entice the reader to open the email.

Subject lines can be tricky but play around with them to see what will work best for your audience. Try performing A/B testing to test out different types of subject lines to see which ones performed better with your audience. And remember to be fun and playful with your subject lines to help stand out in the sea of emails your recipient is most likely receiving.

E-mail Marketing

Email marketing is very important and key to a business’s success even though some people believe that social media is overtaking email, there are some key statistics that prove otherwise. About 73% of Americans value email and believe it is important and email marketing has a 56% retention rate the highest in all digital marketing platforms according to Gigaom Research. The key to email marketing is to always make sure that you are creating emails that your receiver wants to open and read. Below are some tips to help optimize your emails and hopefully gain some conversions!

In conclusion don’t give up on email! It can immensely benefit your business but make sure that you are utilizing email to the best of your ability! Always make sure to test, test and test again before sending to make sure everything is rendering correctly and look professional. Need help getting started with email marketing? Contact IGV today at 330-425-0922!

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