If you have not already done so, start building your opted in list now. You will be amazed at how quickly it will grow.
Start by making it easy for yourself. Do not overcomplicate. As Jeff Olsen says in his book The Slight Edge – Easy To Do – and the small incremental steps will propel you to success; but also, Easy Not To Do – and there lies failure.
My suggestion would be to:
- Sign up for a free MailChimp account (up to 2000 contacts), but there are others equally as good. MailChimp is easy, flexible and has lots of short video based support.
- Put your contacts’ email addresses into your List immediately you have followed up. Ensure that they have opted in to receive emails from you. You can ask them to opt or do it yourself depending on the context of your discussions. MailChimp will enable them to update their preferences as to communications from you and to further opt-in/out of any future groups that you create (do not do this yet!). Whatever you do – DO NOT spam your contacts. Legislation mitigates against this; Contact management applications like MailChimp do not permit it, and you will loose the goodwill of your contacts’ value if you fail to communicate appropriately with them.
- MailChimp allows you to make a note in the record of where you met someone, what you discussed and what the help they needed at the time – this is important and the way you use this to keep your communications relevant is up to you. I am always impressed when someone remembers me from a meeting several months or perhaps more than a year previously.