Email Red with Arrow GraphicJust a few days ago I was listening in on a Q&A call for a program that I had purchased some time ago, and since I hadn’t visited the live Q&A for awhile I thought I’d sit in and see what kind of questions were being answered and what kind of advice was being doled out.

And I heard some of the worst advice that can be given to anyone trying to build an effective and responsive email list. (And I was horrified.)

And that advice was: Go buy a list and start emailing them.

No. No. No.

DO NOT, for any reason, go out and buy an email marketing list from anyone! Period.

Even if they tell you that it is a fully-opted-in list.

The main problem here is that those people did not opt-in to YOUR list, but to someone else’s list. And may not have any idea that their email is being sold to someone else.

And if you email that list you bought they will likely report you as a spammer — which is exactly what you’ll be — or they’ll just ignore you because they have no idea who you are and why you would be emailing them.

(Remember, the definition for spam is unwanted email. ANY unwanted email. Not just email that you or someone else didn’t opt-in for. And an opt-in to one list does not mean an opt-in to another list.)

Here’s what you should do instead…

If you want to reach a new market that does not know about you yet, you can go a couple of ways.

One is to buy ad space in a relevant publication.

So, for example, if you make and sell cute little doggie outfits, then you might place an ad in a publication that is all about dogs; a pet store, say, or a publication that focuses on dog training or nutrition.

In that same vein, you might pay that publication to email on your behalf. Whoever owns the list would email on your behalf introducing you to their list.

Just remember that, as in ALL marketing, mailing to a list just once is not going to cut it. Using someone else’s list can be a costly proposition, especially since you need to mail to that list again and again.

And rather than try to make direct sales from these ads or special mailings on your behalf you’d be better off by offering an irresistible free gift and getting people on to your own list so you can continue the relationship.

It’s always best to create your own list so that you have people who have opted-in and expressed interest in hearing from you — and so that you can email them as often as you like.

If you want to set up an effective and profitable email marketing program for your unique business, then let’s have a CoffeeTalk chat in my no-selling zone to find out what you need and if I can help.