Why Collect Emails?

I’ve been telling people lately that I’m on a journey to sign up to at least 500 travel and tourism related email lists – and for those who aren’t in email marketing, the question often comes back, ‘But what are you going to do with that?’ Unfortunately the question comes back from people within the industry too.

Here’s a few reasons I’m collecting emails, and what I think it can help with.

I’m easily bored.

My trip in to work each day takes anywhere up to about 45 minutes. I’ve got to do something on the bus. I couldn’t imagine sitting on the bus staring out the window not being productive for that time – because it’s prime time. 45 minutes twice a day means I have a bit of time where I can do admin, hobbies, and other things on the second laptop I carry. I want to stay occupied and keep my mind sharp, so doing something on the bus is a big reason. I previously started a micro business on the bus.

To understand what people are doing

I want to know what other people in marketing are doing because marketing is about testing, trying new ideas, and learning from those ideas. Email marketing is so easy to conduct primary research on – from the point of view of being able to just sign up and away you go.

There’s also habits and flows over time. As I can see across the industry, I’m able to see what people do over time, and really understand what the overall behaviours are of marketers.

It’s not my normal industry

I usually manage clients that are telcos, banks, and retail. Getting a different view of marketing from an industry I’m not usually working in means there’s new ideas, new perspectives, and potentially new things to take in to my existing clients. At the same time I’m an outsider, so being able to see the patterns of behaviour over time, and thinking through ways that we are doing marketing means I can generate new ideas of my own. It’s great for stimulating the brain.

I like travel and tourism. It has so much potential to be interesting, and actually when I started I thought the content would be far more interesting than it is. There are so many more opportunities to do interesting things and be interesting to customers. The travel/tourism emails are largely oriented towards discounts and events – and I get that, because travelling cheap is almost everyone’s #1 priority (okay, travelling with good value is probably).