Whether it is spam or a legitimate marketing email asking for your repeat business, everyone has received some form of email marketing in their inbox.
However, not many people are familiar with how and why their email is placed on email lists. In fact, people often willingly surrender their email address to a business, but are then confused as to why they receive regular email marketing messages.
To familiarize yourself - both as a business owner and as a consumer - with how email lists work, here is a quick primer on just how companies obtain your email address; and furthermore, how you as an entrepreneur can obtain a wide amount of email addresses for email marketing purposes.
Email Appends: Conducting Email Searches
Not many people are familiar with the concept of email appending, but it is done more frequently than you could even imagine. Email appends are email lists that are compiled from lists of names and mailing addresses through a third party service. This service takes these names and mailing addresses and performs an email search, which provides them with an email address for all of the individuals on the list.
While a handful of out-of-date or incorrect email addresses may be included, this email search is surprisingly effective at compiling large email lists from other personal data.
Virtual Forms: Voluntary Email Lists
Another popular method of compiling email lists is through virtual forms on a company's website. For example, if a customer makes a purchase or requests more information, they willingly enter in their email address. This allows for 100% legal "opt-in" email marketing, where the customer willingly sacrificed their information.
Many times, customers are immediately contacted with an email autoresponder after entering in their information. An email autoresponder is an automatic tool that sends out a pre-written letter as soon as a new email address is obtained. An email autoresponder is incredibly useful to business owners and companies, as it minimizes the amount of time spent responding to emails. And when it comes to email marketing, time is definitely money.
Spam and Sold Lists: The Dark Side of Email Marketing
The other way that email addresses end up on email lists is through sold lists, which are usually the email marketing tool of choice for spammers and scammers. Unethical companies will oftentimes sell their email lists to make a side profit, which is why customers frequently receive emails from unfamiliar companies or "princes" from faraway countries.
Having your name on bought email lists can be a huge hassle; thus, as a business owner, ensure that you never partake in the selling of email lists. Remember, your customers requested more information from you and you only.
Email lists are an incredibly useful tool for email marketing. However, unwanted email is a definite way to make enemies with your customers. Always practice email etiquette, and only send information when it is warranted and wanted.