Why you should keep personal emails (gmail, yahoo, aol)

Small Fleet and Personal Email

Often, we think personal emails are bad for B2B marketing. We set forms to force only business emails. We might suppress personal emails from opt-ins. We ask list providers to suppress hotmail, gmail, yahoo, aol from B2B lists.

But, sometimes personal emails are useful. Critical, even:

  • Small business
  • LinkedIn ad campaigns

First let’s get something out of the way:

  • Yes, personal email can be a throwaway email that people never look at. Ummmmm, I have one that I use sometimes. Do you? Why do we market to people in ways we don’t want to be marketed to? But not all personal email is a throwaway email. Keep reading to see why.
  • Whether to do mass cold outbound emails is another whole discussion. We’re in the business of B2B data, so we have easy access to any email in our audience. When we send cold emails, we do small batch, very personalized emails.

Small business and SMB fleets

Many business owners with small fleets and “company cars” use personal email. Even if they have a website. If you’ve ever set up a website with domain email, you know you need techie know-how. SMTP, IMAP, this and then that, errors, how to fix them?! It gets overwhelming fast. I can understand small businesses saying, forget that, let’s keep using the mail we’ve been using. It works. A personal email.

With small business, you’ll often see gmail and yahoo emails on their websites and Facebook pages.

Especially if the personal email is on their website, you don’t want to throw out that email. They are checking that email for customer communication.

This is common for small business fleets or “SMB” in the trades, towing & recovery, facilities services, owner-operators.

LinkedIn ads

On LinkedIn, many people use personal emails for their profile. Because people change jobs. Their personal email won’t change when jobs change, so people can get into their profiles. You can use several emails for your LinkedIn account. For most people, a personal email is among those emails.

If you want to run ad campaigns on LinkedIn, you can reach your audience in a few ways:

  • You can use pre-set choices where you target people with filters. For example, choose people in construction industry who are director level and above, at companies with 51+ employees, in California.
  • You can also upload a list of specific people to match, like your prospects and leads. This is where you can use the email addresses. Because when using these Matched Audiences, LinkedIn needs to match your list to information that LinkedIn has.

When we try to match emails to LinkedIn profiles, and we include personal emails on the list, we get much better match rates. So, if you advertise through LinkedIn, you might want to keep those personal emails.

What have you found? Have you found yahoo, hotmails and gmails to still be useful?


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