Distribution Lists: The Key to Online Marketing Campaigns

From businesses to non-profits, our clients rely on online marketing, and we do our best to help them maximize results. We’re always exploring ways to make our online marketing more effective. Yet for any marketing campaign to deliver top quality results, a distribution list is an absolute must-have.

A distribution list in Mailchimp

What is a Distribution List?

A distribution list is a list of contact details for a target audience that we can use to send out emails, newsletters and other forms of communication. This list might include clients, prospects, leads, vendors, colleagues, partners, friends and more. Once we have our distribution list compiled, there are several ways that we can use it as part of our online marketing strategy.

Why are Distribution Lists Valuable?

These distribution lists are valuable because they can help us make and maintain connections, and create opportunities for more engagement and business. Distribution lists are statistically proven sales tools that let us have a ready audience for sharing key messages, like announcing new services, offering sales on new products, COVID-19 updates, and more. With a distribution list, we can maintain regular communication with clients and our target audiences – which will also help keep our brand at the front of their minds.

Building a Distribution List

Although a big distribution list takes time to build (think months and years), a starter list can be assembled in a few hours. Here are some ways to get started:

  • Pull from existing contacts and email inbox.
  • Grab email addresses from LinkedIn contacts.
  • Add existing clients.
  • Implement popups on the company website to encourage visitors to share their email addresses.

Once we have a basic distribution list, we want to make the most out of it. These are a few of the ways we can begin to garner a commercial return on our list:

  • Use an email marketing service like Mailchimp or ConvertKit.
  • Use a customer relationship management system (CRM) like Hubspot or CiviCRM. These can track communications and event attendance, and help maintain relationships.

On a related note, check out the conversation on the Start Local podcast, between Joe Casabona and Liam Dempsey for more tips on using a distribution list.

Also, we point out that distribution lists need to be assembled, grown, and maintained in keeping with privacy laws like GDPR and California Consumer Privacy Act.

Think about Segmenting the List

It’s a good idea to segment our distribution list by creating, in effect, sub-lists in categories that work for our business or organization. For example, we may want to segment our list into the following groups: clients, current clients, past clients, vendors, and partners. This segmentation helps us identify particular groups and tailor our messages to those groups.

For example, if a section of our list includes past clients that we haven’t worked with recently, we might send out communications to check in and share updates about new products or services. As the segment of lists, for example, “Inactive clients” already exists in our distribution list, sending out an email to that group as a whole is a simple task.

Use Distribution Lists for Regular, On-Going Communication

We can utilize our distribution lists in several ways:

  • Send out sales launching new products or services
  • Non-profits can send a fundraising campaign asking for donations to address a specific need.
  • Share a monthly or quarterly newsletter. (Make sure to be consistent in timing with newsletters. Sending out a newsletter too infrequently or randomly is not likely to create much value.)
  • Use a CRM to send out emails to periodically reconnect with clients.
  • Send out sales drip emails via CRM.

Tracking Value from Distribution Lists

With today’s internet, it is very possible (and not too cumbersome) to track the success rates of our online marketing efforts. Tracking how people interact with our communications can help us use the distribution list even more effectively. We can track interactions with emails, newsletters, social media posts and more. There are effective ways to add some level of meaningful data-tracking to practically every budget.

We can use CRMs, email tracking, Google Tag Manager, and other tools, to get more out of our distribution list.

Good Marketing Always Begins with a Plan

Like anything, planning early leads to greater value and effectiveness in the long run. A simple marketing strategy can help set out how we build a distribution list and implement a digital marketing campaign.

Let’s Build Your List

Want to make the most out of your distribution list? Want to figure out how to start your own list? Let us help! We can work with you to build your own list and discuss ways to effectively market your business or organization.

Let’s Build That List
Posted in Online Marketing

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