Don’t be fooled by social media. You need your own electronic subscriber contact list. With tools like Excel, Word and Outlook, it’s free to create a subscriber contact list. But, it’s time consuming. You have to add and remove contacts manually.
Going electronic gives you time to focus on other growth initiatives
Sure. It only takes minutes to keep a small subscriber list updated. When I started The Book Lover’s Haven (http://www.chistell.com) newsletter subscriber contact list, I used Word. Then, I moved to Excel to save time.
My subscriber list grew to the point where it was taking me more than an hour to update the list. At first, I pushed updates out from weekly to monthly. The list kept growing and became more work to maintain. Today, I use Constant Contact and let subscribers sign up to receive The Book Lover’s Haven themselves. It only takes a few seconds.
If you do use a third party subscriber contact list tool (i.e. Constant Contact, Mail Chimp), consider downloading the list once a month or once a quarter, depending on how fast your list changes. Also, make sure that you only add people to your subscriber contact list who requested to be added to the list.
Little is more aggravating than feeling as if someone forced you to do something. Adding someone to your subscriber contact list without getting the person’s approval is forceful. It’s not cool.
Benefits of owning an electronic subscriber contact list
Besides giving you control of your contacts, having your own subscriber list puts you in the driver seat. You don’t have to follow rules set by social media platform owners. You don’t have to compete with other social media platform users. You can determine the best days and times to send direct electronic mail to contacts. Other benefits of creating your own subscriber contact list include:
- Opportunities to request contacts’ home addresses, so that you can send them printed brochures, catalogs and longer forms of direct mail
- Send contacts custom designed greeting cards
- Mail contacts seasonal or birthday gifts
- Allow contacts to only view certain information (instead of giving them access to everything in your social media timeline)
- Ship coupon books to members of your subscriber contact list
- Add telephone numbers to contact lists, so that you can telephone contacts and sing “Happy Birthday” to them or let them know about a great sale that you’re running, etc.
- Maintain one or more ways to communicate with supporters even if social media platforms close
- Present marketing or advertising specials to contacts without having to pay social media platforms to get this information in front of contacts
- Eliminate the guesswork out of whether or not you actually reached a real person. Place security measures on your subscriber list and you can keep bots from adding to your list, lending the false impression that more people are interested in your newsletter, brand or company
Who knows when or if a social media platform will shut down. If it does, you can wave good-bye to those contacts (unless you encouraged them to subscribe to your personal contact list). Relationships that you have built are too valuable to leave to chance. Create your own electronic subscriber contact list and allow supporters to grow and evolve with you, regardless of what’s going on in the social media world.