So you have a list of friends or colleagues email addresses. Perhaps, they are a list of business contacts who you know would appreciate an update on your work, or notice of a relevant event or workshop, why not just email them?
In general, I caution my clients against using their “own email lists”. In the past these may have worked great, but in the online world a number of changes have occurred and it is no longer wise or efficient to use one’s own list via your own email account.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to not use your “own list” and to consider using and “email marketing tool”:
- Blacklisting– if an email address and/or the server that being used by the email, is perceived to be sending out spam (in other words, bursts of large numbers of email), the email address or server can get tagged and then “blacklisted”. This can cause real headaches as once you have been blacklisted, your emails — will in many cases not work – that is, they will be filtered at the server level and not be delivered as intended. The best way around this, is to use an email marketing server.
- New Laws– there are now laws in place that require certain conditions for “email contacts and marketing”. To ensure compliance with federal legislation and with many of the email marketing services, it is required *everyone* in your email list:
- is a customer, member or subscriber of your business or organization;
- has signed up or otherwise asked to receive your emails;
- has purchased a good or service from you in the past 18 months
Most of the email marketing programs will ask for this verification or request that you send an initial email asking permission to add the person to your marketing list..
- List Management– In addition the laws require that anyone emailed can “unsubscribe” and that request is honored. The Email Marketing list management programs take care of this automatically – making it much easier to comply with the regulations than managing your own list or an Excel spreadsheet.
- Data and Analytics: Lastly, the Email Marketing programs provide a rich set of tools for:
- list management,
- to track email responses (opens, links clicked, forwards, etc)
- creating emails that have a high likelihood of not being blocked by spam filters or being blacklisted.
- Design– creating great looking emails
- verifying links within your email
- providing templates that will look good in a variety of email programs
- or even services to create custom emails
So when it comes to sending out an email to list of colleagues or customers, consider the use of one of the many email marketing tools. For help in selecting the right tool for your business needs, just give us call: 508.709.9077.