The end of the year is near and many practices are looking to send one last special offer or reminder for leads to book their procedure for 2017. This means there is the hunt for an email list to send to, which is when that conveniently timed email falls into your lap offering to sell you a list of viable leads. For the low price of $ (insert a great deal here), you can obtain a list that may very well harm your online reputation and send your future emails right to the spam bin.
Below I will break down why, in 2018, your goal should be to grow a true leads list to contact and not buy or rent a leads list...ever.
To begin, we should talk about how easy it is to grow a list of leads you can email.
- Do you have a newsletter sign up on your website?
- Do you have a button on your Facebook to join your mailing list?
- Do you have an easy way for people that are in your practice to sign up for your mailing list, like a tablet or even a signup form?
- Do you have incentives for signing up for your newsletters, like a campaign about access to special offers, downloaded information, or educational information?
- Are you giving people a reason to want to be on your list with creative marketing and engaging content?
These are just some suggestions to grow your list for email blasts. You also want to be sure you are sending engaging content. If you send the same request to people every month, they are very likely to opt out of the email. If you send emails that have useful information, they are more likely not to opt out. This will allow you to have a list to send special offers to, with an increased chance of acting on your offer.
This brings us back to why you should not use a bought or rented list.
MDprospects, Campaign Monitor, Emma, Constant Contact, MailChimp, and many other trusted email senders, will not email to rented or bought lists on your behalf. Why? Because the reason many of them can send out mass emails at once versus small batches is that they have all agreed to certain sending standards and rules in order to increase deliverability. They also follow the CAN-SPAM Act. Not following this Act can result in fines for them and for you.
That means when Gmail, Comcast, Yahoo, and other email providers see a large number of emails arriving at once, they will not make them bounce automatically if they are from a trusted sender. If you send to a bought list from a company that promises they can send to the list, chances are the open rate on their email sends will always be much lower, which means fewer people will see your email from that list.
Now, of course, people find ways around an opt-in list and try to send from a place that has rules against bought lists. But you must remember this: Your reputation will be harmed. That matters!
There are endless methods out there to determine if someone is a spammer. If you end up emailing to a bought/rented list, there is a risk you will be flagged as a spammer too. If you are flagged as a spammer, there is a chance your regular emails to patients will start dumping into people’s spam bin instead of their inbox. This could impact reminders and recall emails, which would impact your existing patient base. Here are a few ways you could be hurting your online reputation.
The list you are sending to has inactive emails or has already been emailed to exhaustion by others.
- This could result in a high bounce rate, which will set off red flags with email providers and can have your domain flagged as a spammer
People flag you as a spam.
- If you are sending to a list of people who did not ask to be emailed, someone will flag you as a spammer. It does not take many people to do that to have email providers like Gmail start sending all your emails to the spam bin.
Lists can end up with Honeypots or planted emails that are out there, designed to capture spammers.
- Accounts that would not have ever opted in anywhere that are used to track emails that are received and flag them as spam or report you to various Spam blacklists.
Your email provider may drop you.
- If you get too many spam complaints, the company providing your email may drop you as a client, as it impacts their reputation as well.
You will have a low open rate.
- The average open rate is much lower on rented or bought lists. This will reduce your ROI on the list you bought.
All of this means you will spend money on a list that will not give you the results you may be hoping for and harm your online reputation. Your goals for 2018 should include growing a true opt-in list and making your marketing work better for you.