When you start email marketing, one of the first tasks you will have is to setup your email list. Ensuring that you have a good quality email list is one of the most important factors when it comes down to monitoring the success of your email campaign, where should you get your email list from?

Compiling your own email database

This is by far the best option. If you run a online store you most likely already have a database of your clients – this will make the perfect marketing list. By using an existing database of your clients you are guaranteeing that everyone in your email list is interested in your product and service. By emailing to your client database, because they have used you before the client is less likely to mark your emails as spam and more likely to click on links inside your campaign   – this is perfect, to improve your reputation as a email marketeer it is crucial that you minimise the amount of spam reports.

Not everyone will have a pre-made client list. If you are a new-start business email marketing is a great way to get your name out there but you wont have a large client list. A great way for new-start businesses to build a email database is ask visitors to your website to sign upto a email newsletter. Your website can be a great tool to harvest email addresses. When using your website to harvest addresses, the quality of emails generated will be high as the visitors are actually volunteering  their email addresses.

Buying a email database

If you dont have access to an existing email database and dont want to wait for your website to slowly harvest email addresses, buying an email database is another option. However, be careful.

Stay away from cheap email databases and free sample lists, you will not generate any business though this method and it will simply result in you getting blacklisted when attempting to send email campaigns. When you purchase a budget list, you dont always know how the list was generated – did the client opt-in? were these email addresses collected legally? is the list targeted towards your product or service? If not, your email campaigns will most likely get marked as spam, this will have a negative impact on your reputation as a email mass mailer. Therefore if you do collect a great quality list, you will always have the negative reputation of your previous actions

Should i avoid buying a list? – Building a list yourself is the best option. However if you need a quick  fix buying a list from a reputable company can be a option. But these are generally quite expensive, you can easily spend several thousand pounds. Even with an high quality purchased list we find that open rates are never as high.

In summary, where possible generate your own email list. If you need a quick fix, buy a list – but be careful, only use a reputable high quality list.