Having your own private mailing list enables you to create one-way communication to your target market. Private mailing lists are also a tremendous vehicle for building relationships and a sense of community. Generating your own private mailing list is highly recommended because a targeted opt-in list has many marketing uses.
Today all the marketing talk has gone to two-way communication and building a community through social media, but it is perhaps more important than ever from a business perspective to get your customers and potential customers into your permission-based database and provide them with valuable content on an ongoing basis. Everything on the Internet has its day, and things evolve. There will always be the next greatest thing. A few years ago people thought that email was dead and everyone would use RSS. That didn’t happen, nor was it particularly effective from a marketing perspective. Today everyone is building huge followers on Twitter, fans and friends on Facebook, etc. If you can get these followers, friends, and fans into your permission-based database, you have control, you have their email address and name, you have permission to stay in touch. When the next big thing comes along (and it will . . . ask MySpace), you still have a way to stay in touch. Permission-based marketing and social media marketing are NOT mutually exclusive. You use both.
Your permission-based list can be used to maintain communication with customers and potential customers regarding your products, your specials, and so on. It can also be used to distribute corporate newsletters, last-minute deals, new product packages, e-specials, and upcoming events.