Just wondering if any of you have developed a mailing list and if so, here are a few questions I have:
1. How did you build the list? Did you add only people who specifically opted in (ie - didn't add friends at random)? Past clients?
2. What program to you use to manage your mailing list (MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.)?
3. What has been most/least effective for you?
4. Do you have a link from FaceBook that allows your "fans" to join your mailing list?
I'd love to be able to send a once-a-month email update to past clients and people interested in my business but don't know where to start. Just emailing a bulk message caused a lot of problems that took forever to sort out. I want to be sure I am complying with the CAN SPAM Act.
Fb is probably the easiest way to do this. And you dont' have to worry about opt-ins and can-spam laws. If you are going to use a customer contact program, then MailChimp is def the way to go.
We use twitter to send updates to customers (and anyone else who wants to subscribe). If you already have an existing web site I find twitter easier to integrate into the site as opposed to FaceBook.
I used Constant contact and found it great to send out "special" notices, holiday menus, class announcements, etc. We had a sign up list at the counter and asked each customer if they'd like to sign up for notices ~ most did. Constant Contact also allows you to include a coupon - which is incentive for people to sign up.
I use Constant Contact as well. It is pretty effective and my clients love it, but I do find the upload time for photos pretty cumbersome. I may look into mailchimp soon, we'll see.
Email is an absolute must. You can't depend on FB or Twitter or any other social media because you don't own that content. Don't get me wrong, social media is a front runner in getting my business out there, but FB could change their terms of service tomorrow, or you could be in violation of their terms and get your accounts shut down and lose everything. If you have an email list, that customer list is YOURS. You will have contacts to continue your business. If you offer great info and content in every email people will WANT to be on your list, and it shouldn't ever feel spammy. Everyone should be collecting emails. (Don't ever add someone to your list without their permission.) I have a sign up at all times on my website, and in the shop... especially at events. ALWAYS GROW YOUR LIST.