Building a database by ripping or paying for lists should be against the law. Too many people are doing this and it is making everyone upset. There is a part of me that wants to reply back with this message:
I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you send me
until I return from vacation on 4/18. Please be patient and your mail
will be deleted in the order it was received. Got this from http://groups.google.ca/group/BWebCentral/browse_thread/thread/e75703e5fbd08201
Here is what I recommend to make sure that you build your database and not be labeled a spammer:
- Ask for email addresses. People will give you their email address if you just ask. This is not as sacred as a cell phone number but has tremendous value to send non-threatening messages.
- Ask for permission to email. An important step in the process that is often overlooked. Say something like this, “thank you for giving me your email address, is it okay to keep in touch with you by email?” Nine times out of ten they will say yes. Then add them to a drip email campaign to keep in touch.
- Put a sign up form on your blog or website. Email marketing software like www.iContact.com will allow you to create a sign up form on your website. Once people fill out their name and email address then you have their address and have permission to keep in touch by email.
- Hold a drawing. If you are ever acting as an exhibitor, speaking to a large group, or hosting an event, hold a drawing to give out a prize. On the slip of paper they fill out be sure to include a spot for their email address or ask for their business card. State in the drawing rules that you do have permission to keep in touch by email.
- Give an opt out. People that send unsolicited emails become a nuissance over time. At the end of each email please include an opt-out link for people to unsubscribed from your emails. Do not take it personally, it is just not their preferred method of communication.