You may not know that you have access to many “free” sources of social media contacts to help you in your marketing effort.
The first semi–secret source is your LinkedIn contact list. You probably thought it was proprietary to LinkedIn, or at worst, available only when sending messages through LinkedIn to your list. I have thousands of LinkedIn contacts and am willing to assume you have a large number as well. Go to https://www.linkedin.com/people/export–settings and select “CVS.file” or any appropriate format, and your entire email contact list with names and more will be available to you.
Here – from “Two Minute Drill” – is how to download your Twitter follower list: https://www.fullcontact.com/blog/how–to–export–twitter–followers/
[Email readers, continue here…] So you begin to get the idea. Your lists are yours to use for marketing, and depending upon your mailing list server provider, duplicates can be identified and removed immediately.
These are all verified contacts, in each case having accepted your invitation, and resolving the issue from the mass mailing companies such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp as to their opt–in status.
Next week, I’ll cover purchased lists, which are much trickier and subject to challenge by the mass mail companies, looking to eliminate the possibility of their servers being identified as spam sources. It is enough to say here that you must be very careful with purchased lists.
Many new sites with content to offer now cover over their content after a few seconds with an opt–in “Sign up or sign in” message that can be over–ridden but will come up each time you visit the site as a very effective nag to obtain your reader’s email address and opt–in. This is more than fair in exchange for the free content underneath, and a tool for you to consider if you offer any valuable content to your readers, even if specific to your industry or company.