First off the key to correct and effective email marketing is to have a permission based list.
Translation: a list of people who want to get your emails.
Just because someone hands you a business card at a networking event or accepts your friendship on a social network does not mean that you can troll through their personal data and add them to your newsletter.
Huge companies like Constant Contact will shut you down if you get too many spam reports, and people who haven’t given you permission in the first place are very likely to report you as spam. Besides, uploading a ton of emails that you haven’t earned through generating interest in your product or service defeats the purpose of email marketing.
It’s not how many random people you have in your database that counts, it’s how many actively engaged people you have in your database that matters.
In fact it’s not a bad idea to take the pulse of your database every so often with surveys to see how engaged your audience is with your content. Emails letting them know, “It’s okay to unsubscribe….really.” Are a great way to see who will take you up on it. What? You are afraid of losing the sheer numbers you have in your database? Don’t be. The more targeted your database, the more targeted your message.
Email marketing is still one of the best ways to get yourself in front of your client base, people who request information are interested. Now figure out how to engage them. Use social media to engage the people in your circle who haven’t added themselves to your mailing list. If they become interested enough or have a need for your services and information….they will ask to be added.