I can not stress enough how important it is to have a contact list that is refined and specific to the demographic that you are trying to market to. Usually marketeers will hold to the saying “bigger is better” but this is not always the case. If you have a contact list that has 10,000 contacts acquired over years and years then you are ripe for your reputation to go down. If you have acquired a list from multiple sources and merged them all together, how can you know specifically whom you are reaching?


This should not need elaboration: don’t do it. If you do buy lists, understand you are not a marketeer, you are a spammer. The chances of you getting a list of contacts that are anywhere close to being interested in your message will be next to nil. You will see your amount of hard/soft bounces and complaints – that all ISPs track – shoot through the roof. And the reputation of your business and the ESP that you use will plummet.

Date Your Contact List

Once you have permission to market to a list, mark the day you acquire the contact. Once you and the client have not had any contact for a time (six months is usually a conservative length) send them a proactive re-opt-in message. If the client does not click on your links or even open the email, let them go. You need to avoid email overload and sending to a ‘stale’ contact will not yield any.

Tailor Different Campaigns to Different Lists

With advanced techniques in demographics you can hone in on your target markets to best reach the market that wants your product. If you are just selling one product or marketing to a single local area then you should already have a basic idea of your customer; if you are trying to reach recipients from sea to shinning sea then you need to use demographics as a baseline leading up to best practices in email marketing.

Email marketing can be easy and rewarding. Good lists, built organically over time and kept clean, are extremely effective, low cost, and deliver an incredibly high ROI.