"Sure John - I'll email everyone on my list about your up-coming classes."
My buddy Randy Erwin is a "Connector". One of those awesome people who makes the effort to plan events (like outdoor rides) and get-togethers. Randy is the team captain of our Subaru MS 150 team and his love/passion for coordinating group rides lead to him being recruited to be the area Life Time Fitness Cycle lead.
Last night I talked to Randy and he told me he was excited for the FTP assessment I had planned for this morning and that he had emailed everyone three times, so he felt that we'd have a bunch of cyclist from his list.
Except most of them didn't show this morning 🙁
A couple of them did show up for the 9:00 am class that follows mine. Confused looks at those of us there who were cooling down; "Wait, was there an earlier class... why wasn't I told?"
I hadn't received (and neither had many others) any emails from Randy this week. Neither did Amy - we're both on his list. So when I got home this morning I checked and found one of Randy's emails in my SPAM folder, which I rarely check on my laptop and never on my iPhone. Note to self to check there more frequently.
I called and asked; Randy...how many names are on your list? . About 200 was his response. Send a BCC email to a large of a list of email addresses must have triggered something in Gmail to think his email was SPAM = very few of us saw it.
So what to do?
It drives me crazy when I receive mass CC emails - typically I see them as sub requests. They are a total violation of email privacy and if one of the recipients have their email hacked, we all get the spam emails.
So if I want to email a list of athletes who take my class, I should use the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) feature... right?
For a few people, sure that's OK. But once you have a large number (20+) of recipients, then No. At least not if you want to be sure your email doesn't end up in a SPAM folder and everyone will receive your latest class/event announcement.
Use a White-Listed Email Provider.
White-Listed just means trusted source... as in we don't allow any SPAM emails sent from our accounts Ms. AOL, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. so you can confidently deliver it to your customer. The two most popular are Constant Contact and my favorite MailChimp for a bunch of reasons. The biggest reason for you is that it's completely free until you go over 2,000 subscribers or send over 12,000 individual emails a month. So if Randy used MailChimp he could send 60 emails a month to is list of 200 subscriber each month at no charge. Fabulous deal - they don't even ask for a credit card.
Click to Subscribe
At one point you subscribed to the ICI/PRO Newsletter, by clicking a link and adding your name and email address. Using MailChimp you'll have the same ability to post a Subscribe Here link on your Facebook or Instructor blog = no manual entries!
You need their permission first
I decided that I would like to have all of Randy's contacts in a MailChimp account so I could email them > and know they are getting through. Except Randy doesn't have permission to give me the list, from the people on it, so he can't just give it to me. The solution is to:
- Create a MailChimp account - here's the link.
- Create a specific list
- Have Randy send out my Subscribe Here link in an email. I'll suggest that he brake up the list into 20-30 address at a time and send the email with the link 2-3 times.
I already have a MailChimp account - so all I needed to was to create a new list. Here's the link to my list if you'd like to see it - http://eepurl.com/LQ_2P The Default in MailChimp is to collect First & Last Name + email address, which is normally plenty to start with. It's beyond the scope of this post, but the signup form can be easily modified to include pretty much anything. Please understand that you can ask for too much and they'll not subscribe.
Class sign-in list
I'm also collected emails at the start of each class using a hand written sign-in legal pad.
Instructor Tip: When adding emails to MailChimp from a sign in sheet, it's not uncommon to end up with a few you can't read. My tip is to do a quick search in Google using what you CAN read and search for the rest.
First and Last + the word "email" will many times display the correct email. You might need to add a state (MN, CA,FL, etc.) or city for common names. Google knows everything.
I will frequently check the domain alone - @XYZcompany.com or the domain + first/last name
Would you like additional info or help with this or other methods of marketing your class?
Many of us get near ZERO help from our club/studio > so it's up to all of us to grow our classes.
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