How do you build the perfect mailing list?

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Content marketing has become the most profitable form of advertising, where brands use carefully crafted content (blog articles, social media content, mailers, etc.) to grow brand interest and source prospective clients. Mailers are, like social media content, useless unless there are engaged people who will actually see and read them. Since mailers are sent via email, you’ll need a database or mailing list of email addresses you can send your emailers to. This article looks at four steps you can take to build the perfect mailing list for your small business:

Know your customer

The number one thing which you need to do is look at who your ideal clients are, and build personas of the people you think might be most inclined to need your services or products. For example, if you sell adult diapers, your customer pool has been narrowed down dramatically. If we assume that your target audience will be 60+, you should understand what types of content they will appreciate, and how they might feel about you asking for their email address and other information. This will help you decide on the style, tone, frequency and ideal platform for your adverts that promote your mailers.

Craft some cool content

Now that you know who you’d ideally like to have on your mailing list, the next phase involves developing the actual content that will attract people to join your mailing list. Will you link people to a digital form from a PPC advert or social media post? Might you add a contact form to your website where browsers can sign up for your mailers? Other content you need to develop at this stage includes ‘thank you’ pages for showing appreciation should a prospective customer add themselves to your mailing list, as well as the actual mailers you’ll be sending to people in your mailing list.

Promote follow-up content

The two-step direct marketing model suggests that, once a company has obtained contact information (like an email address for a mailing list), they should notify their prospect that they intend on sending them follow-on content that they might also be interested in. You want to ensure that you come across as knowledgeable in your field and that you have pre-prepared, informative content that you can start sending out to your mailing list to keep a steady flow of communication. This should ideally be a two-way communication, so encourage your prospects to reach out.

Populate your mailing list

Once your adverts have gone live, promoting your mailer or piece of thought-leadership information that prospective customers can receive regularly or download, you will eventually start to rake in interested prospects. If they fill in a website contact form, their data will be stored where the website is hosted. You can access this at any time, and transfer email addresses from your website to a third-party mailer provider like Mailchimp. Be sure to take note of where your mailing list (and any other instances of it) is being stored, as you will need to let respondents know should they ask according to GDPR and POPI.

Crafting and sending out mailers involves knowledge from two sides of advertising: copywriting and content marketing.

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