Mailing List Mistakes
Marketing to a mailing list is a useful way to stay in touch with clients and generate new business. However, to use it successfully you also need to be mindful of the impression you’re creating, every time you hit the send button.
Here are some ways you may create the wrong impression and impact on your success:
Not seeking permission from everyone
There are legalities governing this area (which you should be aware of and adhere to) but here are some scenarios you may not have considered:
– you obtain a number of business cards from a networking event, which you then add to your mailing list. If you haven’t already asked, don’t naturally assume these new contacts want to be added to your mailing list (no matter how well your first meeting went). Adding new people without their permission risks losing this new contact and possibly creating a negative impression that they may share with others. Always seek permission and it will set a positive tone for the relationship (even if they don’t decide to be included on your mailing list).
– you add the emails from your Linked In contact list to your mailing list. Be careful of assuming that your Linked In contacts will also want to be on your mailing list (or that your content will be relevant to them). Linked in allows you to market to these contacts simply by posting (so you already have a way to keep them informed) however, if you do wish to add them, always seek permission or post a link to your signup page on Linked In. Adding even people that you know without their permission, risks alienating them and damaging their impression of you.
Sending everybody the same thing
Sometimes you may have information to share that is only relevant to certain people in your mailing list. In these cases target this group only (instead of emailing your whole list) otherwise it may create the impression that you don’t understand the people in your mailing list and what’s important to them.
Sending too many emails
We all have plenty of emails landing in our inboxes every day, so limiting your emails conveys to people that you respect their time. If you do have lots to share, consider grouping items into one email (like a monthly newsletter) or using social media. Social media is a great tool to keep people informed on a more regular basis and there’s also an expectation that you do post regularly on these sites.
Not being consistent
Consistent emailing (whether it’s weekly or monthly) conveys the impression that you are reliable and establishes a constant presence with your mailing list. In contrast, emailing intermittently or bombarding people at particular times with new products or services, can look erratic or appear that you only contact them when you have something to sell. Remember that how you market to your mailing list will impact on the value of the relationships you have with your contacts (and therefore your success) so always consider carefully what you’re sending before you send it.
Not addressing the email properly
This one may seem very obvious but it’s a common area for mistakes. If your database software automatically addresses by first name (and possibly also partner’s names) make sure it’s working correctly. Spelling someone’s name incorrectly or having a blank space where a name should be, doesn’t look professional. As names are very personal it can also easily offend people if you get this wrong. Mistakes of course do occur but always check if you’re unsure and if you’re ever alerted to a mistake, correct it immediately.
Not having someone edit your content
We’re all human and once you’ve looked at your writing a couple of times, it can be easy to miss simple grammar or spelling mistakes. Avoid this by having someone you trust to proof read it (or at least leave it for a day and come back to it with fresh eyes). The accuracy of your writing will reflect what type of business you are, so make sure it’s conveying a professional image.
Effectively marketing to a mailing list will help you cement important client relationships and generate new business, so be careful of risking your success rate by accidentally creating the wrong impression. Focus instead on building strong, positive relationships by being mindful of what and when you send information and your contacts will value you for it.