There has been a lot of blogging lately about email marketing and our new partnership with Amazon; however, the process of how you can obtain email lists to use has not been discussed thoroughly. Maintaining direct marketing contact with consumers is important and as our society is continuing to be technologically savvy, the Internet is the medium of choice. Emails can now be read and sent via smart phones and this makes it even easier for marketers to contact potential and current customers.

The majority of companies maintain a database of prospective and current customers, these databases are referred to as Consumer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Some popular CRM databases include, Capsule, Zoho, and more. These applications provide great assets to companies such as name, address, email address, phone number, and more. The information provided in these databases provide companies with information about their client base and potential client base. CRM databases make it easy to send targeted email campaigns to different groups within the CRM list. If you segment to certain groups, you can provide more relevant content than when you send general newsletters to everyone. Here are some different ways you can segment your list with: interest groups, date added, location, birthday, purchase activity, social statistics, profession, and more. Being able to obtain customers for an email list is also a task for a company.

In order to receive information for your CRM database, posting free articles, guides, or whitepapers entices consumers to dig further into your company’s information. Providing a “contact us” section with an area to opt-in to receive a newsletter allows the consumer to allow contact between the company and the consumer--this is the first point of contact with a potential customer. An opt-in email list is great, because you know that the consumer is interested in either your company, industry, products, or services. Along with the opt-in option for newsletters, offering coupons, discounts, or a special offer can persuade a consumer to opt-in to newsletter emails. Of course, the option to opt-out once they receive the email is ideal and will not cause annoyance to the consumer with further emails if they are not wanted.

Below are the top 5 areas to avoid when creating your email list:

1. Don’t send to a really old list It will make you look like a spammer

2. Never purchase an email list Let me repeat myself; NEVER purchase an email list.

3. Use the confirmed opt-in method on your sign-up forms This method sends a confirmation email that the subscriber has to click in order to complete the subscriber process. You may receive spam email opt-ins if you do not send a confirmation email.

4. Don’t take lists from other Web sites Complaints can happen instantly

5. Don’t email everyone in your address book It probably contains addresses that you don’t even know are in there. You do not want to send tech support information about your company...

Overall, creating email lists is important and when done correctly and efficiently a company can receive a great poll of potential customers. Remember, email marketing is 40% list.