How can I effectively use an old email list from a previous business to jump start my next business?

I had an eBay business for 3 years selling name brand footwear and clothing. Since then, I've been working on a coffee subscription business (new tricks to an old model) and received over 170 responses to a survey and 94% gave me their email address. As I explore other ways to gain more initial interest before launching, I realized Paypal collects all the emails of my past buyers and discovered I have over 5400 emails (though some are duplicates). What things should I keep in mind if I send an email to them letting them know about my new business?


Use the "audience" feature on facebook and import all of your emails. Facebook will match them so that you can ran ads to promote your new startup or service to whoever has a fb profile with that email.

Happy to help if you need more info

Answered 9 years ago

Since the products from the old versus the new business are very different, it's unlikely that this strategy will be very effective. If you do email this list, I'd consider the following:

-send a personal text based email, not a fancy HTML marketing email
-thank them for their past purchase and let them know that you are starting a new business and would love their feedback/support
-give them a very easy way to opt out of future mailings.

Safest thing is probably to give them an opportunity to sign up for your new list. Glad to chat more about this email and other growth strategies.

Answered 9 years ago

A list of buyers (from ANY source) is only as valuable as its FIT between the market and the product. This includes criteria such as:
-WHAT they bought
-WHY they bought it (what WANT it fulfilled)
-HOW LONG AGO they bought it
-HOW MUCH they spent

Regarding your past buyer list:
Start by considering how you are going to market your new business. What is your message? What is your offer? What is your USP? What WANT does it fulfill?

Then try to find a connection between your new product's market and your previous product's market.

For example - Do people who buy brand footwear and clothing ALSO drink coffee? And might that specific market be interested in a coffee subscription?

Or perhaps the previous buyers know YOU and love buying from you? In which case you might be able to leverage your relationship with them in your marketing.

If you CAN find a connection (aka a reason to market your new product to your old buyers) then build your marketing to them around that reason.

If you can NOT find a reason why - be prepared for any marketing to that list to fail.

This is not to say that marketing to them without a reason will definitely fail... that's not something we can predict.

However I would strongly suggest that you concentrate on high probability marketing efforts such as an email that communicates a message and an offer to a list of targeted buyers.

Message me if you'd like to explore this and other ideas for marketing and business growth.

In any case - I wish you massive success in your new venture!


Answered 9 years ago

First, review the contracts you had with eBay and PayPal to ensure that you are not violating any of their policies regarding contacting buyers. If doing so would violate a rule, absolutely do not contact them. It's not worth it.

However, if you can do so, here is my recommendation:

Practice "appreciation marketing." Send them a brief email to thank them for their past business (and remind them who you are and what you sold). Then ... offer them a coupon for your new business. Make it a nice offer, not just 5-10%. Be sure that they know how special they are.

I would then keep them as a separate list from your opt-in list (which has agreed to be contacted more regularly).

Use an email service that allows you to track open-rates and click-throughs. You might consider sending a follow-up to those people who open the email but do not click, and also a follow-up offer to those who actually clicked.

I am available to speak if you're interested in more. Either way, best of luck to you!

Answered 9 years ago

My advise would be that you treat the list as though you'd had no previous dealings with them. They are not past customers and they have shown no interest in buying a coffee subscription, so treat this scenario like you would any first time meeting with a total stranger; get to know them or get them to know you.
Provide some valuable content to them for free that is connected to your current product. If you're lucky, a few of them will resonate with your content and may even show interest in the product. Woo them!
If your product is a match for just 10% of your list, it's a great start. Focus on delivering superior value to them so you can get them to introduce you to their network.
It's all about relationship and delivering outstanding value from there. I wish you all the best in your new venture my friend.

Answered 9 years ago

Was the survey sent to the old email list? If so I would use that list to drive new engagement for the new business. Create a great looking bounce page or landing page driving those respondents to a call to action. Perhaps provide an incentive for signing up for the coffee subscription?
In terms of the Pay Pal list you have to be really careful not to abuse the trusted relationship you had with them regarding the footwear. I would parse that list into segments, do some psycho-demographic analysis on the list and again drive them to a bounce page via a short and sweet email thanking them for their previous business. Again, because they are a previous customer of yours offer them an incentive to try out your new venture. I would do A/B testing on the landing pages to see what works well.Good Luck. I love coffee.

Answered 9 years ago

You can, but I wouldn't expect much of a response because they are totally unrelated businesses.

Answered 7 years ago

How old is old? Have you been in communication with these people on a regular basis?

- If yes, you could send an email to introduce your new company/product. Best practice would dictate that you ask them to opt-in, but in this case you could do the reverse and ask them to opt-out of future mailings since they know you already.

- If you don't have an ongoing relationship with them, you could send a two-part email series introducing your new product and asking them to opt-in. You can also disclose that they purchased something from you in the past so they know why you have their email. As your send the email series, eliminate all non-responders from your future mailings. Allowing your old list to proactively opt-in ensures that you will have engaged prospects on your new list, and allows you to eliminate bad email addresses and avoid low engagement from people who haven't shown interest in your new product - two key reasons for ending up in the spam folder or worse undeliverable.

If you'd like to chat more about how to structure your emails, email best practices or maintaining high email deliverability, let's schedule a call.

Answered 7 years ago

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