A mailing list can be incredibly valuable to any business and for some, their main source of marketing. We hear lots about email marketing being dead, but there are thousands of companies who still thrive on their mailing lists and swear by their importance. Before we explore how you create great mailing list content and work on growing your mailing list, you’ll need to set one up. Here’s how you create a mailing list.
We’re great fans of email marketing as it works in conjunction with a social media strategy and many of our clients adopt a multi-pronged attack when it comes to their digital marketing strategy. Something you should be aware of is that mailing lists work excellently as customer relationship management (CRM) tools. For this reason, you need to use specialist software to create a mailing list rather than just keeping email addresses in an Excel spreadsheet or simply in your email. We’re great advocates of Mailchimp and recommend you set yourself up an account.
Mailchimp does not seem immediately user-friendly. It is, in fact, fairly straightforward to use once you’ve overcome the clunky interface and its functionality has ceased to be a stumbling block. It’s possible to do pretty complex things with it and you can even do your wedding invitations using Mailchimp and save yourself a lot of money!
Once you’ve created an account and logged in, all you need to do is create a list. Don’t worry about sending anything out to people by mistake, there are a number of processes and checks Mailchimp will do before you send anything out!
Creating a list
The procedure for adding people to your list is pretty straightforward. You simply click the ‘list’ tab from the top bar and then the “create list” button in the top right. You’ll then have to fill in a number of details for your list. The name of your list will only be seen by you so call is something specific that accurately describes it for you.
The “default from email” and “default from name” can be changed at a later point but these should be email address and name that you would like recipients to see. This might by from a specific name or “the team” and either “[email protected]” or “info@…” or even “newsletter@…”
You’ll need to fill in why people are receiving the newsletter. This could be as simple as “…because you’re a trusted friend of the business” or “…because you signed up to the list or have agreed to be on it”. Again, this can all be changed at a later date but it’s best to get it right now. The other fields are self-explanatory.
Adding people to your new list
Once you’ve created your list, you’ll need to add subscribers simply by navigating to ‘add subscribers’. You’ll need their email address as a minimum and, ideally, a first and last name. If you have their phone number, there’s no harm in adding it. Having someone’s first name means you can send out emails starting with “Hi *FIRST NAME*” which makes an email campaign so much more personal and effective – make sure you get them!
Remember, you can’t just add random people to your mailing list so you’ll need their prior permission but use common sense if you’re starting with close family and friends. The next time you meet members of your network, just ask them! Most will be incredibly happy to help you out.
Once you’ve created your list of close friends, family and colleagues, we’d recommend sending out your first campaign to see how it all works and get some feedback. You can also use the ‘send a test email’ feature. Once you’re on your way, you’ll need to make sure you’re sending out value-adding newsletters and then start growing your mailing list.
Expert tip: If you have a database of your contacts, convert them into a CSV file and you’ll be able to upload them straight to Mailchimp.
Once you’ve created your mailing list you’ll want to know the best ways to grow it so check this out.
Email campaigns and e-newsletters are still incredibly valuable a that’s why we provide an e-newsletter service to many of our clients as it compliments social media very well. We can also cover this as part of our social media training packages.