Excuse #1 For Not Doing Email Marketing: I don’t have a list.

Many people don’t start email marketing because they don’t have a list to send to.  There’s two pieces of good news here.  The first is that you didn’t try to buy a list and blast out an email.  While that isn’t necessarily spam the productivity and conversion rate will be low.  The second piece of good news is that no company has an extensive list until they decide to do an email marketing campaign.  Lists never fall from the sky to a fortunate marketer, a plan is executed to get the message to the intended audience.

So where does the list come from?  If you’re lucky, you already have it and don’t know it.  It’s amazing what some companies have buried away in a database or spreadsheet that with a little effort can be a foundation for an email marketing list.  Once the contact information has been organized an offer can be extended to these people to subscribe to the new email campaign.  The companies that don’t already have a list are undoubtedly passing up opportunities to build one.  Do clients get a chance to sign up, could an offer be added to existing forms?  Do you do event marketing, trade shows, networking events, or direct marketing?  Do you have a website with traffic?  These are viable avenues to allow people to join an email marketing campaign.

The point is everyone can get a list.  The plan is different from person to person or company to company, but the building blocks are there.  It takes a little more diligence than buying addresses or phone numbers and a system needs to be put in place so it’s not an administrative nightmare.  However, it’s possible, organizations just needs to put a plan together to build a list.  Decide to do email marketing and as you’re first agenda item, make a plan to build your initial list.  With a good plan lists tend to grow faster than expected and also tend to have a beneficial side effect of keeping information flow and management more organized.

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