Distribution Lists are a great way to let many people know what is going on with you and/or your company, and it takes very little time to get news out – if you are keeping your list up to date. First let’s touch on the what, the why, the how and the when of distribution lists:
- What is a distribution list? An organized list of contacts that makes it easy to share news with a click of a couple of buttons. It should include past, current, and future customers, centers of influence, fellow board members, people you met while networking, friends, neighbors, family, etc. Essentially, if you have someone’s email and/or business card they should be on your list.
- Why have one? Can’t we just send news and articles to those who we think would be relevant? Yes. However, there is some news that is so big you want to send to everyone. Note: You can, and should, still follow up individually with those past, current, and future partners, and centers of influence where you think it makes sense.
- How do you keep it up to date? When you meet someone new and you’re adding them to your contacts in your Address Book, putting them in your CRM or any other way you organize contacts, you should also add them to your distribution list. If you stay disciplined and always do this as part of your process, it will be very easy to use. Even better, find a way to use your CRM to create your always-updated distribution list.
- When do you send news or information to your whole distribution list? The answer is not often. Probably 1-2 times per year at the most. Recently, I sent an email to my distribution list, regarding big news at Good Karma Brands. It was the first time in potentially over a year I sent anything to that group. Here is the news for reference.
To be clear, this is not about messaging everyone you know with every single charitable request, event, or even news that may come your way. Think like a marketer and evaluate the message, frequency, and audience for the news you’re sharing. There are times when the most important messages should get in front of your entire audience. There are other times when a more targeted approach makes sense – just like in marketing. But, if you have a well-organized distribution list, you can easily pull from your contacts and decide where and when to send what news – and when to email the entire list.