email marketing blogIt sounds easy enough: Buy 10,000 email addresses from an online vendor, use one of the many free email broadcasting programs, such as MailChimp and send away…

Actually, it’s not that simple. Most, if not all, reputable email marketing vendors don’t let you use lists that you have purchased. They will insist that you use opt-in email lists where the recipient has given permission to make contact with them by email or where you have been communicating with them for a long time and haven’t chosen to unsubscribe. Using a purchased list can damage your company and get you into hot water with your Email Service Provider, rather than get you the results you desire. Read Sheera Eba’s take on purchasing lists in his blog post ‘Why Purchasing Email Lists is a Bad Idea‘.

Think: What’s in it for them?

So, the secret is to find ways to persuade people to give you their email address of their own volition. Obvious ways include asking people you are in touch with to give you their email address so you can communicate effectively and quickly with them, or asking for a prospect’s email address if they are downloading something from your website. Whatever method you use, try to start with a reason “why” someone should join your email list and provide their email address.

Growing your list

hubspotThere’s a useful blog on Hubspot (here) which provides 25 ways to grow your email marketing list. Here are three of them:

  • Host an online webinar and collect email addresses at registration.
  • Collect email addresses at offline events like trade shows, and import them into your database. Be sure to send these contacts a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list.
  • When creating content for guest blogging opportunities, include a call-to-action and link for readers to subscribe to your site’s blog or email database in your author byline.

The road to success in email marketing is to offer something of value so that to get it, your prospect will readily provide their email address. The “something of value” can be a discount, exclusive deals, advance access, tips, how-to-do something, a free newsletter, a regular news communication or other download. Remember to show a picture of what it is that they’ll get (“a picture says a thousand words”).

A good tip is to make your emails or blogs easy to share in the Social Media world. You can do this by including icons for LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, YouTube, Tumblr, Flicker, Vimeo, to name but a few.

Free Resources

pure360Pure 360

Try this: and you’ll find everything you ever wanted to know about email marketing and a lot more besides. After a simple registration, you can access an Aladdin’s Cave of free whitepapers and marketing guides on the subject. They are excellent and provide a comprehensive learning platform for anyone engaged in this area of marketing.

There are, if I’ve counted accurately, a staggering 45 free publications in this series. If you want a list of them, please email me at:

constant contactConstant Contact

If that’s not enough, and you want 60 ways to grow your email list, try:

This free ebook explains:

  • How to ask people to Join your list “face-to-face”
  • How to use Social Media to grow your list
  • How to Grow your list on your website or blog
  • How to Design your emails to help reach new contacts
  • How to use Print Material to get people to sign up
  • How to use Events to help grow your list
  • How to use Incentives and Giveaways to grow your list

Vertical Responsevertical response

And if you want even more, try this.

This free publication has 50 Ways to Grow Your Email List. The publishers have sorted the ideas by content, and all the tips in this guide are helpful for any business to grow their list.

Martin Pollins
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