How To Approach A Brand-New List

November 08, 2016

If you have the luxury of staring at a brand-new email list (one you did not buy or rent, of course) and you’re not sure how to get started reaching out to the people on it, consider yourself lucky anyway! This seldom happens, but when it does, you have a trove of opportunity at your fingertips.

The most important thing to keep in mind with a new list — as with any new interaction — is your first impression. Always opt for being polite and assuming someone does not know who you are, regardless of how well known you are or think you are. Your first email to a new list represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you cannot get back. As a guide and starting place, here are a few key things to consider for your initial email:

1. Design

Is your email design clean and minimal while adhering to your brand standards? If an email is coming from your brand, it must represent your brand on all levels — be it through design and visual appearance, or tone and messaging.

2. How Did You Meet?

If people signed up to be on your list at a tradeshow, to win something, or for other reasons, chances are their recollection of having signed up vanished three seconds after they did so. This email should be used as a friendly reminder that they willingly signed up to be on your list. This reminder protects you from being marked as spam because they simply didn’t remember signing up, and should prevent them from getting angry because they think you’re spamming them.

3. Who Are You?

Give an overview of your brand, what you offer, and how you make their lives better. If there’s nothing in it for them, they’re not going to care.

4. Why Should They Care About You?

A) This takes No. 3 one step further. Emphasize what value you bring to their lives, and they’re naturally going to tune in. Even if they’re not ready to buy now, most people have a sixth sense about whether they’re going to need a product or service in the future.

B) Additionally, it’s important to convey how your emails specifically will help them. The strategy of your email campaign will clearly point out the benefits of your campaign. If it doesn’t, you need to formulate a solid strategy before you start emailing to your list.

5. When Will They Hear From You?

Provide the frequency that you’ll send your helpful emails, and be 100 percent honest about it. If you’re going to email them quarterly, tell them that. If it’s one time per month, make that known. (Remember that what you tell them is exactly what you need to deliver on.) This too should be dictated directly by the strategy you’ve developed and now are putting in motion. Being transparent about this assures them you will not be invading their inbox more than they’d like.

6. When to Disengage

There’s a chance that after you’ve relayed all of this, they just may not be interested. Give them the opportunity to opt out of your emails. You don’t need to feature the opt-out, but it should be in there. A simple plain-text link will do the trick. Although it’s natural to not like this idea, it’s far better to let them politely bow out now than to have people mark you as spam in masses. When this happens, your sender reputation will be blacklisted, and then you won’t be able to email your other leads at all. That’s a big risk to take just to get greedy by keeping a few extra leads who aren’t interested.

Keep these tips in mind to help you develop the framework of your first successful email to your brand-new list. Remember, when it comes to generating leads with email marketing, there’s not a rush when you do it right. It’s far better to execute a plan that is well thought out than to shoot in the dark.

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