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How to Use Email Lists and Stay Out Of Jail

Use Email Lists to Promote Your Projects?

That’s random, use email lists. Why? Kirsten Oliphant offered a free course in why and how to use them. I signed up. Here are a few facts about people who use email lists.

  • In 2014 Venture Beat predicted that seventy-five percent of enterprises will be investing in personalized messaging in 2015.
  • Campaign Monitor states that you are 6x more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet.
  • Email subscribers are 3 times more likely to share your content via social media than visitors from other sources. – QuickSprout That fact impressed me.
  • A message is 5x more likely to be seen in email than via Facebook. – Radicati WOW!

Since I have primarily used blogging as a hobby, I did not feel that I needed a list. Was my face red when I learned that people who email about hobbies have the highest open rate of any other type of email marketing at 28.85%. – Smart Insights

Since I wrote Images of America: Woodlake published by Arcadia Publishing, it created a niche for me in my community. Actually, I became the secretary for the Woodlake Chamber of Commerce when I walked into the bank one day. (Long story) So I began to think I might be able to use an email list. But my real hobby now is BLOGGING! Kirsten uses an email list for her mostly mommy, but other random thoughts blog. Maybe I could use an email list for my blog  Traveling & Blogging Near and Far. Always Write made the perfect blog for this experiment.

use email lists

Does Pay to Use Email Lists?

Kirsten’s name came up as a result of a Writer’s Digest email blast. Her hook appealed to me, but it wasn’t about Kirsten or emailing. Since I am working on Always Write as my author website, the Writer’s Digest offered a course to design a website caught my interest, so I clicked.  Before I signed up to part with $90, I checked out the author’s website.

Her website had several fantastic posts written by different authors, and one of them by Kirsten Oliphant answered some questions we had discussed at California Council for the Social Studies when I was Executive Director. I forwarded the article to my friends there, and  I signed up for Kirsten’s email list. Sorry, Jane. I still love your blog.

use email lists

In the case of Writer’s Digest, it did not pay.

Kirsten offered a free course about starting an email list, so I began with that. Right in the middle of watching her podcast, I clicked off and enrolled for a Mail Chimp account.

MailChimp and other newsletter applications make email blasts legal.

Wait, sending emails without MailChimp is illegal? Whaaaaa?

use email lists

Use Email Lists and Stay Out of Jail!

I Learned How to Stay Out of Jail – Free

Emailing can be illegal. Seriously! I like to keep things legal – and simple.

Until that second, in the course with Kirsten, I did not know that if I wanted to send an email to hundreds of people, I could not do that legally from my Gmail account. Using a service like MailChimp makes email blasts legal because the receiver can opt out of the email. And they have to go through a lengthy automated process to receive it.

I like to keep things legal – and simple. As a blogger and author, I’m going to learn more about using email as well as social media to get the word out about my blogs and possibly about my books and even the non-profit organizations which occupy a lot of my spare time.

What I learned is that using email is another platform for marketing, both now, and later when I have more books under my belt. I may never be the email queen that I was when I worked in education. But if I become that queen again, I will not be illegal!

I have not created a course about how to use email lists. I shared several articles that documented my journey into how to use email lists. I had to pause the hour-long video that comes in Free Lesson #4 to sign up for MailChimp so that I could follow along with the video. While I watched (or listened), I also started this post, so I could take notes as I went along. As it turns out, the course comes with a free download of all the notes. I hope you enjoyed learning along with me.

I’m Marsha Ingrao, a teacher first, blogging at Always Write. Where I use my skills as a researcher, educator, writer and blogger to help YOU make the right decisions about YOUR blogging, writing, and photography.

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12 replies »

  1. I too, wish I had known how important an e-mail list was from the very beginning. We live and we learn. This is VITAL information for anyone new to starting their own business no matter what type business it is! Great post!


    • Thanks Stacey. I think you should join our Networking bloggers Facebook Group. You would love it, and make even more friends. 🙂 To be honest, I need to do a better job with my mailing list. As a solo blogger, there is so much to do from the technical end of it, to the publicity. Writing is the only thing I started out wanting to do, and I’ve learned so much more. I’m writing a book, Because of Blogging. I would love to have your story to put into the book. You have an amazing story, and I want to hear more of it. 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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