Interested in doing email marketing yet not sure how to generate email lists to send your email marketing newsletters to? We're here to help!
Generating a quality list of opt-in email subscribers is essential to the success of your email marketing efforts. Luckily, there are many best practices and tips you can use to gather email addresses from customers who will actually be interested in receiving your email newsletters.
Once you have gathered your email marketing newsletter subscribers, we will show you how to create targeted email lists for optimal results.

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Why Do Email Marketing?

Email marketing has one of the highest ROIs of all marketing methods. It is an effective and inexpensive way to reach your customers and engage them with your business, products and services.
Email marketing is a great way to reach out to your customers with personalized campaigns. You can track your customers' email behaviour and gain a more in-depth knowledge of their interests and preferences. Knowing more about your customers allows you to create campaigns that will get higher open and response rates.
You can easily send images, links and other information through email. You can gain data based on which links your customers click, which customers open your emails and any responses that are gathered.
Closely analyzing your email data should be a regular process. You can learn a lot about what your customers want by seeing which subject lines interest them, which messages cause them to unsubscribe, and which send time results in the most email opens.
Email marketing should also be a part of your overall marketing strategy, to promote a consistent brand for your business across multiple channels. You can create or purchase branded email templates that you can use for your email newsletters. Having a consistent look and feel to your emails helps to create a sense of trust with your subscribers.

Gathering Email Contacts

The first and most important point when generating an email list is to obtain permission from those to whom you will send emails. If you send to any email addresses without permission, your message will be considered spam. Spam marketing is prohibited by law, and it will only hurt your online reputation and your email delivery rates.
You can gather email addresses in many ways. If you have a store, physical or online, you can ask customers to subscribe at the checkout. Be sure to mention any exclusive discounts or promotions they will receive if they sign up for your email newsletters. Some companies even often a coupon immediately when customers subscribe that they can redeem right away on their purchase.
You should also post email newsletter signup forms online. When someone visits your website, they should have the opportunity to easily sign up to receive email newsletters. Also, if someone visits any of your social media pages, they should be able to quickly view and access a signup form. There should be multiple places online where people can easily sign up.
In your email newsletters, you should include the option for subscribers to click to “send to a friend.” If people can easily share your email newsletters with their friends, you can gain more subscribers without having to do anything.

Creating Targeted Email Lists: Why and How

A targeted email list is a list of contacts that is segmented from your mass emailing list. The purpose of creating smaller email lists is to provide a more personalized feel for your email contacts. Targeted email messages are designed to appeal to a specific group of subscribers.
Targeted emails are much more effective than mass emails which are sent to everyone on your list. When compared with non-targeted emails, these type of emails consistently show higher open rates, higher response rates and more purchases resulting from them.
Targeted emails often focus on the idea of exclusivity. Not everyone will be receiving this email, so play up the fact that it is an exclusive deal, promotion or offer. Customers love to feel like they are being let in on a secret, especially if it involves them saving money. Your “exclusive” emails will pay off with higher open rates and conversion rates.
To generate a targeted email list, you can manually separate contacts or you can have your email marketing software or list management software do it for you. If you have a large list of email subscribers (lucky you!) you can input restrictions to have them automatically segmented exactly as you want, for example by region, age or email open history.
Targeting is useful for catering to subscribers' individual interests. For example, let's imagine that you are sending out email newsletters for your salon and spa. You analyze your email data (manually or automatically) and discover that there are many subscribers who respond especially well to your hair care email newsletters. You can then create a smaller targeted group who will be more engaged with hair care offers. You can send this smaller group emails specifically targeted to hair care products and services, and offer them exclusive discounts.
List targeting can also be used to time the sending of your email newsletters. If you notice that certain subscribers only open your emails on the weekend, you can create a targeted list and always send to this particular list on the weekends.

After You Generate Your Email Lists

Just as important as creating a great list of opt-in subscribers is maintaining a clean list as time goes on. It is important to include an easy opt-out method in every single email newsletter you send, and you need to honor any unsubscribe requests as soon as possible. This helps you to keep customers satisfied, maintain high delivery rates and keep your reputation spotless.
Each year (some email marketers do it more frequently) you should ask each of your email contacts to confirm that they still wish to receive email messages from you. This helps you to weed out subscribers who are no longer active and ensures that you are not sending to old or bad email addresses.

To Review

Always obtain permission before you send emails.
Gather emails at your store checkout, on your website and on your social media pages.
Include a simple “send to a friend” option in your email newsletters to allow subscribers to share your emails with others.
Create targeted email lists for improved open and response rates.
Offer your subscribers exclusive deals and promotions that are only available through your email marketing newsletters.
Keep your lists clean and honor any unsubscribe requests.

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