- 07/01/2013


How NOT to Build Your E-mail List

There are lots of great ways to build your e-mail list. But there are also some bad tactics that some business owners may do without even realizing they are wrong.

The following are a few strategies you should not add into your e-mail list building.

Adding Your E-mail Contacts to Your Mailing List

Chances are, you e-mail many people on a regular basis for your business. Maybe it is to answer questions posed by website visitors, or to communicate with possible job prospects. Whatever the reason is, your e-mail contacts should not be added to your mailing list.

Why? These are people who only want to e-mail you directly, not start receiving regular updates about your business. Keep this in mind before you try to export your contacts and import them to your mailing list.

Using Tools to Add People to Your Mailing List Without Permission

If you come across any tools, plugins, extensions, etc. that give you the option to add people to your mailing list without confirmation, avoid them at all costs.

If you install anything from a third party that promises to help you increase your mailing list exponentially, read the documentation and settings thoroughly to make sure you will be building your mailing list the right way.

Exporting LinkedIn Contacts to Your Mailing List

LinkedIn is one of the few (if only) social networks that allows you to export the contact information for people in your network. A lot of people take advantage of this and add those contacts to their mailing list. This is a great way to lose LinkedIn contacts (and suffer from the consequences listed in the following section).

Assuming Buyers Want E-mail Updates

While it may seem like a safe assumption that a customer will want e-mail updates about your products after making a purchase, it is not a good one. Maybe someone is buying a gift for someone else, or maybe they want to remember your business in other ways besides being bombarded by your newsletter.

Either way, let customers have a choice to check the mailing list signup option when they are checking out. You’ll gain customers who are really interested in your business vs. ones that may have little to no interest.

What Can Go Wrong

So what can go wrong if you use any of the above or other methods of adding people to your mailing list without permission?

  • You’ll lose the trust of the people whose information you misused.
  • You’ll be inflating your mailing list with people who do not necessarily want your information, leading to a lower open and click through rate.
  • You’ll likely increase the number of complaints and spam reports for your mailing list. Some mailing list services may use these to suspend your account.

All in all, if someone doesn’t give you permission to add them to your mailing list, don’t do it! Remember that a smaller, targeted mailing list is much better than a larger, non-relevant one. A smaller, targeted list will also cost less and bring more return on investment.

Measure the Results

If you use Constant Contact, MailChimp, or SendGrid, you can connect them to your SumAll account to see how your mailing list engagement affects other areas of your online marketing and business. If you haven’t already, signup for a free trial of SumAll today to see all of your online marketing campaigns – including email – in action!