Oh if this doesn’t happen every time. I write something for Classical Singer, send it off, and think of a half dozen things I should have said. Here’s what I might have added to my latest entrepreneurial column on how to build your mailing list.
If you are starting from zero, don’t just dump in every address from everyone you’ve ever met. It’s a sure way to fill your list with people who won’t buy tickets. What you can do is send a short, tasteful email to groups of people you have met in your different circles, asking them if they would like to be added. Something like this would work:
“I’m launching Opera Eggstravaganza, a new company that brings opera into the kitchen. Could I add your name to my mailing list? I promise never to share your name, and I expect to send about 12 emails per year. Please reply to confirm that you would like to have your email added to the list. If I don’t hear back, I’ll assume that you don’t want to receive emails and I won’t add your name. Thanks, and I look forward to seeing you at _____. (bowling practice, Junior League, spin class, etc.)”
Just be clear, only add people’s names if they actively say they want that, and don’t make them send a testy email if they don’t. Obviously, tailor this to your own project’s needs. And please don’t do opera in the kitchen, it couldn’t be safe.
This step serves a few functions: it filters out people who are definitely not interested, identifies people who are, and, most importantly, offers a personal point of contact before you switch to primarily communicating through mass emails. Personal contact counts for a lot, even at the beginning. After all, these people will be your ticket buyers, donors, community ambassadors and more. It helps to start out on the right foot.
Similarly, when people join your mailing list online, send them some sort of confirmation. An automated email, a confirmation page when they sign up, or a regular-enough newsletter that they will receive some sign of life soon after signing up. Just another touch that lets people know you are glad they are interested in what you do. After all, it’s called ConstantContact, not SporadicContact.
Now, does my site have this? No, but change is a-comin’! Feel free to sign up though. I promise to make you feel acknowledged.