What Is an Email Distribution List?

An email distribution list, or mailing list, is a collection of email addresses that you have permission to send marketing emails to. They allow you to distribute mass messages to everyone in the list without having to add each email address individually. For example, if you’re an equipment dealer, you may have an email distribution list for clients who handle material handling projects. You can send out messages to all of them at once, showcasing your material handling related products and services.

Let’s take a look at what is an email distribution list and how to build one effectively.

What is an email distribution list used for?

Your list is the cornerstone of your email marketing strategy. You can spend all the money and time in the world crafting the “perfect” email design and messaging, but if you’re not sending it to the right people, then all that work was for nothing. An email distribution list is used for regularly communicating with both your customers and your prospects, showing what you offer and encouraging them to purchase or to purchase again. Your list is a sales tool.

The right list combined with professional, high quality emails becomes a powerhouse for your marketing and sales operations. For example, the clients that Winsby sends emails for see an average return on investment of about 4,300%, and customers on their email distribution list purchase two to three times more often than customers who aren’t on it.

How to create a list

Just adding individual email addresses in your email’s “To” section doesn’t constitute an email distribution list. Neither does having a list of addresses in a Word document and copy and pasting them into the “To” section.

A true email distribution list is created and housed in an email marketing platform like Constant Contact or Mailchimp. The way you add contacts to it is by having them opt in and agree to receive marketing emails from you. After you get started creating an account in a platform and adding contacts to it, here are several methods you can use:

  • Call through your customer list, find out who the decision maker is at their company, and ask for their email address.
  • If you sell products online, ask for customer emails and provide in an opt in check box for receiving marketing materials as part of the checkout process.
  • Add a popup to your website that asks people to provide their information to be added to a marketing email distribution list.
Make your email distribution list more effective

There are several ways to improve your list as a sales and marketing tool. First, take advantage of segmenting to tailor your emails to specific groups and make your messaging more effective. For example, if you have different subsets of customers that do different types of work, then separate or segment those groups within your larger list to send messaging relevant to those subsets.

The other primary method for strengthening your email distribution list is to continually add new contacts to it. With our clients, we find that as much as 30% of their email lists need to be updated every year. To replace those contacts, regularly call through your customer list to verify you have the right email address, and add new contacts by calling similar companies to ones you already work with. The more often you freshen your list, the more effective it will be!

If you have any questions about building and maintaining an email distribution list for your business, contact Winsby today!

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