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Distribution Lists Need Love, Too

Posted on October 29, 2004 by Sarah Eaton.

Everybody knows that if your design sucks, if your copy sucks, if your headlines suck, if your subject line sucks, nobody's going to read your e-newsletter.  But it's not even going to get that far if your distribution list sucks. 

We all talk a lot about how to start a list: you gather your business contacts, you gather everybody's business contacts, you dump out that trade show fishbowl that's filled with business cards, and voila! List!  And probably a pretty decent-sized one at that.  Then you put a sign-up on your website and wait for the new subscriptions to start rolling in. You are set.  Set for life.  Never again will you have to consider your distribution list because it already exists in perfect form.  Right?  Right?

Mmm...maybe not.  Even if your e-newsletter totally kicks ass, there are going to be some people who just don't have the time to open it up and check it out.  Not to mention those people who just don't appreciate what you're doing for them and want to opt out.  If you don't think of your list as a dynamic creature that you are responsible for keeping alive (kind of like a houseplant), you're going to be stuck with a dwindling distribution and diminishing results. 

What do you do?  How do you keep that list of yours healthy and green and reaching for the sun? 

You add the link for newsletter sign-up to your email signature.  You talk about it with every single person you get on the phone.  You tell everybody at your company to do this.  You say to your clients and prospects and employees and vendors, "Guess what?  We have this newsletter, and if you read it, your life will be enriched with all kinds of useful information.  Plus you can unsubscribe any old time you want.  Want in?"   

The e-newsletter builds relationships for you, but it can't do that if it's not reaching all of the people you want to build relationships with.


October 29, 2004 | Permalink


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