Growing and marketing your business is no simple task. There are many branches that make up the marketing tree. Branding, content creation, networking, referrals, and email all stem from the same marketing trunk. Just like branches on a tree, each brings in much-needed life to keep your business alive. One branch, in particular, Email marketing lists, can be twisted and misconstrued as ineffective and costly. But if an email list is cared for and maintained, it can be a branch that bears a lot of fruit. Voice actors often overlook this resource due to misinformation. Lets discuss.
Let go of the slog.
Ideally, you would be able to generate your own exclusive email list from visits to your website where interested visitors would “opt-in” to receiving your newsletters and marketing information. I have these on all of my brand websites, including anneganguzza.com, vopeeps.com, and voboss.com. Collecting emails this way can be a long and arduous process. I have now spent over 12 years collecting contacts on my brand web pages! You can also collect those emails from people at the checkout of your website if you sell a product, or even by adding a subscribe form to your blog! Although these contacts may take time to acquire, these are my best lists, and all have subscribers that can easily opt-out if they so desire which makes them SPAM compliant. However, it really is a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. You need to have visitors to your website to get leads, but you also need leads in order to get visitors to your website. It’s hard to promote yourself and your services if no one knows about you.
Additionally, there is the “hunt and peck” method of generating leads. This typically means spending hours on Google and/or Linked In, looking up production companies, creative VP’s, learning development leaders, or whatever genre you’re pursuing, and sending them direct emails in hopes of a response. Not only is that method time-consuming, but it’s also very difficult to get leads without your emails sounding "spammy". It is a fine line between a cold email that converts and an email that turns off that protective client and guarantees no response - EVER. There aren’t many voice actors that I’ve met that enjoy the process of cold emailing. There also isn’t really any way of knowing if you’re reaching the right person - especially if you don't receive a response. The most important thing to remember is that these cold email recipients haven’t given permission to receive your marketing emails, and getting solicited by you may leave a sour taste in their mouths.
Another branch of the tree consists of targeted email lists. There are several advantages to utilizing a targeted and vetted email list, such as ones used for the VO BOSS Blasts. The main benefit is that recipient emails are verified and recipients have given their permission to be marketed to. With a targeted list, your emails will be received by the right person in the organization that can take action. A great list will routinely be pruned and updated to make sure your email is not getting bounced or sent to the wrong person. Secondly, email blasts to your targeted list can cover more ground quickly. If you are hunting and pecking, you may be spending hours and hours trying to send emails one, or a few, at a time. As one person, you can only cover so much ground. A third advantage is scalability. Targeted email lists allow you to scale your marketing to a much broader audience than you might have originally thought of. It's possible to find clients in areas that slipped your radar. Also, sending emails to targeted lists from a respected and valued source will more than likely never be flagged as "spam", (Yay!) however, you must be consistently careful about your marketing verbiage and allowing recipients to opt-out at any time. Remember that every recipient on a quality email list has chosen to receive information that they will find useful. If your emails are no longer useful to them, they should have the ability to opt-out easily.
Businesses are always looking for the right fit, for the right resource, and if you’re able to cover more B2B marketing, you have more of a chance to sell your unique set of skills and services. Targeted email lists are designed to be used business to business. However, be very careful if you buy a list. You should know exactly what kind of list you’re buying, what kind of clients are on it, and that it hasn’t been sold to thousands of other businesses. Make sure the list you use abides by all laws and regulations worldwide. The list should be current and targeted. It’s no help if you’re selling eLearning voice-over narration services to bakeries. And lastly, unless you are an experienced marketer well versed in email copywriting and SPAM compliance laws, you should probably never buy a list and do any mass emailing yourself - consider using a reputable and reliable email marketing company to create and implement the mailing for you. This is another case where a BOSS Blast can be of great help.
Don’t think “Or”, think “And”
Just like branches on a tree, every limb is needed in order for the tree to thrive. It’s the same in business. You need to diversify because marketing is most effective when applied generously. Using an email list is like having an extra pair of hands in a way. It’s doing a lot of the work of reaching out to a large group of leads that you might not have the time or ability to have otherwise connected with. If you are spending time cold emailing, you can also use an email list to augment your efforts. It’s like having an assistant working just as hard as you do.
All the right notes.
Some final notes on best practices. When you are generating your marketing to send out, make sure that you aren’t using some of the spammy words that can get your email flagged. There are lists of spam words online that you can use to make sure you avoid typical words that will send your email to the junk folder. Also, know that leads are quick to condemn and slow to forgive. If you don’t use an email service and make a mistake with a lead, they are more likely to relegate you to the trash folder any time you attempt to reach out. Start the right way to make sure you are getting the most out of your time and money. And when you do, your email lists and marketing will be fruitful!
Much love and Keep on rockin' your biz!
About the Author: Anne Ganguzza is a full-time voice talent and award-winning director and producer who works with students to develop their voice over and business skills - including VO demo training and production. She specializes in Conversational Commercial and Narration styles, including Corporate, E-Learning, Technology, Healthcare - Medical, Telephony, and On-Hold. Located in Orange County, CA, Anne offers private coaching and mentoring services to students in person and via Skype, ipDTL or Zoom.