How to collect emails for email marketing

email marketing

Email is a part of our daily life, and it tends to follow us wherever we go on our phones, laptops, and tablets. While a good portion of those emails are related to work, plenty of them are marketing messages from companies around the world. In fact, email is still one of the primary marketing tools used by companies of all sizes, especially small and mid-sized companies. 

Why email 

The sheer volume of emails sent each day is astounding, with 293.6 billion emails sent and received every day in 2019. Given the amount of email hitting inboxes, you may wonder if it’s even a good marketing option. After all, how can you stand out among all of those messages? 

While there is plenty of noise in inboxes, email marketing is still a great marketing tool. According to the Data & Marketing Association, the average expected ROI is $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing. This means with just a little investment you can expect to see big results from a well-thought-out and executed email marketing campaign. 

Things to avoid 

The cornerstone of any email marketing campaign is an email list. If you simply do a Google search about how to get email addresses, then you’re going to find much bad advice. Most of this comes down to buying and renting email lists, and it comes from companies that sell data, including emails. While this was a common practice in the past, there are questions if it’s even legal these days given all of the privacy laws in place. 

Apart from legality, buying and renting lists is just bad practice. Email brokers buy data and sell it to companies wanting to reach new customers. These emails, however, are not necessarily your demo, they probably aren’t in the market to buy what you have to offer and they don’t know your company’s name. This makes them worse than a cold lead, and contacting them is unlikely to bring in business. It is likely, however, to get you listed as a spammer. 

Gathering email addresses the right way

You have a few good options for gathering emails for your email marketing efforts. Before you get started, make sure you understand the laws that are in place regarding gathering, storing, and using personal information, including emails. The CAN-SPAM Act is the main federal law you need to comply with, but there may be other state laws as well. If you’re using an email platform like Mailchimp or Constant Contact, then you’ll find built-in compliance tools that help make sure you’re doing things right. 

Once you’re confident about the regulations in place, you have to gather email addresses. One of the easiest ways to do this is just to ask people to sign up. If you have a physical location, then this is as simple as asking people to sign up when they check out. You can use a tablet or even a clipboard to capture the data, but make sure people know they are signing up to receive emails! 

If you don’t have a physical location, then you can still ask your current customer base for permission to email them. For instance, if you have an online store, ask people at checkout if they’d like to opt-in to your email program. If you have a website that doesn’t function as a store, then you can have a pop-up or other sign-up portal. 

You can also use a giveaway as a means of gathering viable email addresses. This can be done in person or through social media. Not only can this help you cultivate an email list, but it can also help generate a bit of buzz for your business. If you do use social media, then be aware that there are rules in place regarding what is allowed and what is forbidden. If you’re nervous about it, then you can always use an agency experienced in contesting to help you. 

Email marketing is an easy but potentially powerful tool for growing your brand and your business. It is important to know and follow the rules and regulations, but once you’re up and running your email marketing efforts may just turn into your most effective platform. When in doubt, talk with an agency that knows how to leverage email marketing. This can fast-forward your efforts and help you stay compliant and see results faster than if you go it alone.


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