March 8, 2020

How to instantly create a mailing list

by Robin Tindall

How to instantly create a mailing list

By Robin Tindall

March 8, 2020


It’s true what they say, the money is in the list. If you are trying to market anything, the more people you have on your list the more likely you will be to make a sale. 

Of course, it is not quite that simple. Your list should be warm and engaged and you should never spam your list, but you need to start somewhere and here is the simplest way to begin. 

The great news is you already have a list locked up in your inbox. I am willing to bet there are hundreds, if not thousands of emails addresses inside your email client.

 In this tutorial, I will show you how to extract all your email in a Gmail account and download them into an editable spreadsheet. From there you can clean up the list ready for upload to your favourite email marketing tool. 

Step 1 - open Gmail (duh!)

  1. Click the 9 dots on your upper right screen
  2. Then click "contacts"
  3. You will be directed to your contacts, on the left navigation click "Other contacts". You will be able to view all your email contacts.
  4. Select the first record in the list. This will bring up a toolbar which lets you do step 5
  5. Click "all" and then click the 3 dots on the upper part then export.
  6. Now you can edit the spreadsheet in your favourite spreadsheet prgm. I recommend google sheets. 

Bonus steps

Open the sheet. You will see multiple columns that are blank. Delete all the blank ones so you are just left with those columns that have meaningful data. 

Gmail will have done its best to place the first name in the "Given Name" column. But in many instances, it will be blank. You want the first name so that your emails can addressed to  "Dear Joe"

Here is what you do.

  1. Sort the sheet by the “Given Name” column in descending order. This will place all the blank cells, ie no 1st name at the bottom of the list. 
  2. Paste "=LEFT(E12,SEARCH("@",E12)-1)" into the 1st blank cell in the "Given Name" column.
  3. Replace “E12” with cell address of the cell that has the email address and press enter. This will populate the cell with all the text before the @ of the email address. 
  4. Drag the formula through all the bank cells and hey presto, U should have 1st names (mostly) for your email address. 

The next step is to work through your email address and remove all the generic email address like info@ or admin@. Also, delete emails you know are not valid or you do not want in your list. Correct the 1st names as well. The formula will have done the heavy lifting but you will need to polish up the results. 

Do not just upload this list and bulk send. This has been a great start but you need to spend time really working through the list. It may seem like a tedious process but you can get it done in a day, whereas collecting email address via your website opt-ins can take months even years. 

Remember, while each of these people has emailed you, they have not opted in to your email list. If you start bombarding them you will get a ton of bounces, unsubscribes and end up being blacklisted super quickly and that is a disaster. 

I suggest really painstakingly working through the list and segmenting it into friends, customers, family and so on. Then bit by bit email small sub-segments inviting them to join your list. Give them a compelling reason to do so. Keep the sub-segments small to that any bounces or spam listing is small. Don’t be in a rush, you can spread this out over several months. Again, it may seem tedious but is 10 times faster than building a brand new list from scratch via website opt-ins.

Robin Tindall

About the author

A wannabee Freedom Entrepreneur. I have spent my life avoiding the traps of the daily commute, the 9 - 5 grind, applying for leave and begging for a raise. It's not all roses when one trades job security for freedom. Share my journey with me and maybe I can inspire you to make the leap. In my spare time, I am a diagnosed ocean sports addict. My next goal is open ocean SUP Foiling.

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