Many decades ago, the only way companies reached out to their potential and existing customers is to send them mails, which usually take days to deliver. Although that method is still very much in use today, it’s no longer the most preferred. Companies now favor email, instead.

Email marketing has many advantages over traditional methods of marketing such as ‘snail mail’ and telephone. It allows you to send your marketing message to several thousands of prospects and customers at once, and get it in their inboxes instantly‚ÄĒwithout any need for posting via courier or spending hours on phone.

Even when compared with other online marketing methods, email marketing still wins. It trumps social media because most of the time, people log in to social media to unwind and are usually not in the mood to read anything promotional. It trumps SEO because SEO can only bring one-time visitors who may or may not convert to repeat customers. And it trumps paid advertising because trust remains a big issue as far as doing business online is concerned.

More and more businesses are becoming aware of the need to launch email marketing campaigns. But there’s usually one problem: getting the list. There are various ways you can get an email list for marketing your business. Here, we will be discussing the three commonest ones as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each.

How to Get Email List for Marketing

1. Buy a list-: You will find many individuals and agencies online offering to sell mailing lists of varying sizes and member nationalities. Apparently, this seems a smart and fast way to own a mailing list, since building one from scratch takes times, effort, money. But the truth is that buying a list will be counterproductive because you will end up sending unsolicited email marketing campaigns.

No matter how relevant your product or service is to the members on a purchased list, your messages won’t generate conversions. Why? The reason is because sending them promotional messages that they are not expecting makes you come across as a spammer. And no one does business with a spammer!

So, buying a mailing list and sending promotional messages to its business will not only get your email in the blacklist of email services, but it will also hurt the reputation of your business.

2. Leveraging someone else’s list-: Another option you have is to use someone else’s list. You will need to find an individual or business who shares the same target market with your business. Then request to market your offers to their list. Most of the time, you will be required to pay for each message you send, but the cost is usually worth it because you will wind up with some conversions.

Now, this option is a smart one because you don’t have to build a new list from scratch. Secondly, your marketing message will most likely appeal to the recipients because they are your target market. And thirdly, they will be willing to do business with you because they trust the owner of the list and are used to getting regular emails from them.

However, don’t approach someone offering the same kind or products or services as your business. They will most likely decline your request to market your business to their list because they will see you as a direct competitor.

3. Building your own email from scratch-: Though this option requires time, effort, and even money, it’s the best. You will be able to get your target customers. You will be able to build trust over time. You will be able to market your business without the fear of being labeled a spammer. And you will be able to send as much messages to your list as you want without having to pay a fee for each message sent. In short, building your own email list is like building as extra standalone asset for your business that can continue to fetch you more customers and business for as long as your business exists.

How do you build a mailing list? You start by registering with an email marketing service such as Aweber, Getresponse, Mailchimp, or Constant Contact. Then create an avenue for displaying your mailing list subscription form. This is called a landing page and it can be on your business website, blog, or Facebook page. Then add an incentive to encourage people to join you mailing list. This could be a contest entry or a free downloadable e-book or video that offers some valuable information related to your business.

With time, your mailing list will grow as more and more people subscribe to it. You can hasten its growth by channeling your online marketing campaign towards it. Note, however, that how professional and attractive your landing page looks plays a significant role in encouraging subscriptions.