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What about mailing lists?

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thenaturalway

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I'm just starting out my business but am not sure how to go about obtaining mailing lists. I've looked into purchasing mailing lists online, but can be VERY costly! How does everyone find their potential customers? I know about sending out business cards and emails. But wanted to reach alot more people then those I know.

I thought about going through my local phone book and pulling out names from each alphabet to send a postcard to. Any ideas?
 

Tabitha

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I only add names to my mailing list if I have made some sort of personal contact w/ the person. At craft shows or when I make a sale I offer to add their name to my mailing list, often you have to bribe them w/ a special discount code to use with their next purchase, etc.

MOST people are going to get real pissed off if they know their name & address was purchased. I certainly would. Numbers & addresses from your phone book would just be too random & I don't *think* effectively reach your market.

Drawings are a good way to get names. You can set up gift baskets at different events & when they enter their name & address into the prize drawing they assume they are getting on your list & only people who like what they see & are potential customers will enter.

I highly recommend getting emails. I did a snail mail list for a while & it got to where the stamps really broke my bank! You are looking at 40 for 100 stamps & then papaer, envelopes, ink, etc. You can't get enough info on a post card & even them it's WAY too high to buy stamps, etc. You can subscribe to real nice email newsletter programs online for about 15 bucks a month. I use constant contact & It is GREAT!
 

Tabitha

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BTW: newsletters are WAY underused. They can be a great tool. I only put a letter out every few months but should each month!
 
G

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as what Tab said.

But you can contact magazines (i.e. parenthood, O, essence, etc) to purchase their mailing list. Yes, it can be costly, but I know someone who did this, and it paid off..

good luck
 

WilsonFamilyPicnic

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i do a monthly email for my massage business. i include special discounts, interesting articles, product reviews, testimonials, and tips. i've had people tell me that getting the newsletter each month reminds them to make an appoinment! (or, 'hey i am almost out of my favorite scrubby soap!') so it is well worth the work.

One tip that i have been trying to make myself do is to sit down and layout a couple of newsletters or (very lofty goal) start a layout for each month of the year and then when i run across something interesting put it in that month's newsletter and just write up some articles as i think of them and stash them in a file for future use.

i do solely email and collect addresses from clients, drawings at shows, and i have a little blurb on the website that says "email to sign up for my free monthly newsletter!". aaah, yes, that is another marketing tip i learned. people may be interested in your product, but not ready to buy right now. if you entice them to sign up for your free newsletter you can remind them that you are there periodically with mailings.
 
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