Email Mailing Services
What are mailing lists
Email services are great tools that let you reach out to your audience, be it clients, internal, or other professionals in the field. At their core they are a list of email addresses with some amount of additional information attached to them.
Why email in an age of social media
Even in this age of social media email has some unique strengths. Maybe the biggest one is email’s reliability, if you send an email out to a properly curated list you can be fairly certain they will all be seen if not read. With social media you pretty much have to pay for advertising to reach everyone subscribed. It’s good to have the means to communicate with your audience directly without being at the mercy of another company to actually display your message. In addition people tend to get a more social media than email coming at them in a given day, there is just less competition for attention.
Why not just send lots of emails with BCC and skip the paid service
First of all most mail accounts have a daily sending limit to limit spam, if your list is pretty large you could easily hit that and get locked out of sending any email at all. Secondly these services do a lot more than just send out messages. First of all it provides automation, common examples include sending out emails when someone joins your mailing list or on their birthdays. Secondly it provides analytics. It can be incredibly useful to know how many people opened your emails or clicked through the links it contains. It’s also nice to be able to watch subscription numbers and figure out what works to get people to subscribe. And third is perhaps my favorite feature, A/B testing. It allows you to make a change to an email and send it and the unmodified message out to a sample of your group and then send the more successful email to your remaining subscribers.
What are some tips for using
Be proactive about getting people to sign up, it’s not enough to just have a signup form on your website. If you are at an event have a clipboard or mobile device and actively solicit addresses and be sure to include a link to sign up in your social media accounts. At the same time don’t sacrifice the quality of your list and pad your numbers with people that don’t care. It’s important to remember that your subscriber count doesn’t actually matter, what matters is your impact. Be sure to send things out regularly, once a month at an absolute minimum. You don’t want people to forget you exist, if nothing else a monthly newsletter is great. Set up a system that automatically sends an email to anyone that joins up that welcomes them and outlines how your mailing list works. It’s important to make sure they feel welcomed, and don’t feel spammed when they get more email than they expected.
A mailing list is a powerful tool for marketing and communication. Given that it requires minimal time and no money to set up there is no reason not to start one now. I suggest MailChimp as a a good place to get started.