top of page

Marketing: Email Marketing – Building Your Database

with Pamela Muldoon

Anne and Pamela continue their Content Marketing series, discussing the importance of email databases and building lists to distribute content. Find out the importance of providing valuable deliverables and content to your audience and how it can help grow your business.


Quick Concepts from Today’s Episode:

  1. Building a database is the number one most important part of marketing your business

  2. You OWN your database, it’s not a social media platform, it’s truly yours

  3. Email pop-ups from content marketing is the most compliant and successful way to build your database

  4. Have you ever provided your email address to register for a webinar or to get content? That’s how we build databases

  5. It’s important to provide valuable information to someone in order for someone to provide their email

  6. It’s not who has the longest content, but who has the most valuable

  7. If you understand what people value, they will give you your email address for that content

  8. Actionable, short-form items tend to be successful. Potential clients can opt-in with their email address, download the checklist, and take an action

  9. If your viewer doesn’t like what they get with the “lead-in”, they will unsubscribe

  10. “Join my newsletter” isn’t enough anymore, you need to give people more

  11. Building a database can reap exponential rewards for your business

  12. Make sure you have proof that a person “opted in” to your database

  13. For each of your websites, have an email sign up to help build my database

  14. Many plugins will give you a pop-up window to ask for client emails

  15. Your website is the equivalent of a “front door”. Your landing page is how you say “hello”.

  16. Use your homepage to provide content that people can download by giving their email address

  17. If you have people opting into your database, make sure they can also opt-out of it

  18. Sending an email from “gmail” is not the same as an Email Service Provider (ESP).

  19. Using these types of programs are built so emails can be compliant.

  20. When using an ESP, you pay based on the number of contacts

  21. LinkedIn can also be a tool for list building – just because you have their LinkedIn does not mean you can mass email someone

  22. Have a conversation with a LinkedIn contact and ask for permission to email them, or come to your website and opt-in

  23. Cold email without an “opt-in” can hurt your business

  24. Nurturing your database starts with being compliant

  25. Buying a list can also be done, but make sure you verify the validity of this list

Referenced in this Episode

Direct links to things we brought up +

See how Anne compiles her lists with email popups on,, and
Get a compliant list that is never resold by purchasing a VO BOSS Blast
Recorded on
Badass Editing by Carl Bahner


>> It’s time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premier business owner strategies and successes being utilized by the industry’s top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS. Now let’s welcome your host Anne Ganguzza.

Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast. I’m your host, Anne Ganguzza, and I’m here with my special guest cohost, the most amazing Pamela Muldoon. Hey Pamela. How are you?

Pamela: Hey! Hi Anne. I’m fantastic. How are you doing?

Anne: I’m doing, I’m doing great. You know, Pamela, we’ve gotten such great feedback on our content marketing series. And I want to say thank you so much, first of all, for spending so much of your time and really, really enlightening us all on content marketing. My next question to you is, we’ve got two episodes on what content marketing is. We talked about our buyer persona. We talked about the buyer journey. So now my question is, now that we’ve developed content, how can we communicate with the people who are looking at our content? Can we, how can we create a database of people that we can than market to?

Pamela: Yeah. Holding a database is A, number one, the most important part of marketing for your business. I believe that, as do many folks in marketing. Your database is what you own. It’s not a rented platform, right, like any of the social media spaces, and it’s truly yours. But it does come with some responsibilities and expectations. So yeah, let’s talk about list building today and building your database.

Anne: For sure.

Pamela: [laughs]

Anne: Well, I’ll start with saying that, you know, I’ve been hosting websites with content for years now, originally starting off with VO Peeps as well as, you know, then going into this VO BOSS podcast as well as my own Anne Ganguzza, and I’ve been developing content for each of those platforms, and my intent is to continue to increase my community. So for each of the websites that I’ve created, I’m able to have an email pop up for people, anybody that wants to opt in to find out more about my events or more about what I do.

Pamela: Yes, yes. Yeah, so you’re basically building lead, you know, it’s a lead magnet or lead nurture is some of the words that you might, if you’re Googling marketing blogs, or kind of you know reading up on this, it’s the most successful, the most compliant way to actually build your database, because it’s pull marketing. You’re not pushing out something and hoping somebody responds. You’re pulling them in with who and what and all of the great content you provide. Right? So you know coming off of our content marketing series, this is a great kind of first next step, right, is how do you use content to actually build your database. And that’s where having solid lead magnets. What I encourage folks to do is to just think about themselves. Like if you’re listening right now, think about yourself as a consumer. And this is kind of a rhetorical question, [laughs] but have you ever provided your email address to download a checklist? Have you ever provided your email address to register for a webinar, like you mentioned, Anne? Right?

Anne: Many times.

Pamela: Have you ever provided your email [laughs] Yes, many times. Usually the best teachers are the best students. I’ve opted into a lot of things, let me tell you.

Anne: I did, that’s how I learned.

Pamela: Yes.

Anne: I opted into everything.

Pamela: Yes, and I consider, and kind of to attack that into how does this work with content, here’s the thing. It’s not he or she who has the longest piece of content to opt into, it’s the most valuable. So I consider my email –

Anne: Great point.

Pamela: – like a $5 or $10 bill. That’s how I look at it, right, and I want to ask myself before I opt in, based on how this is message, based on the brand, based on the personal brand, based on all of these subconscious things floating around in our brains, is this $5, ie my email address, is the content worth the value? Right? And I want people to just kind of think about that, because a lot of times we get frustrated with this trying to build a database. But the more value you put out, and if you expect opt in, you have to provide real value to that person, which goes back to the persona, right, like if you really understand what they value, you can create something that it’s like “here, take my email address. Take it.” [laughs]

Anne: “You can have it. You can have” – well, I’m sure that people can relate to somehow getting emails in their inbox that they really did not ask for. So I think it’s super important that, you know, when you’re providing your email, that you have value and you see the value in providing that email address, and then just the same way in return that if you’re going to request an email from someone, that you must provide something of value to them, otherwise you’re not generating a good relationship. That’s for sure.

Pamela: Right, and it’s that qualified lead versus just another name in your database. Right?

Anne: Oh yeah, qualified leads I would say are super important, right?

Pamela: Yes, they are what we all hope and pray for.

Anne: They’re not just opting in for that free iPad, which really has nothing to do with, you know, what you do for voiceover.

Pamela: Yes, thank goodness some of those techniques have gone to the wayside.

Anne: Gosh, remember that? It used to be, win a free iPad, you know, and it used to just be, get on the list.

Pamela: It was great for Apple.

Anne: Really, exactly. It doesn’t do much for me, but I remember those, back in the early days of social media, it used to be all the thing, we’ll offer something of value to people. But that value point has to be something that’s related to your industry, I would hope, and your business.

Pamela: Yeah, and that’s why some of the most successful forms of lead magnet are checklists, or actionable short form items tend to actually be, as a rule of thumb – there’s always exceptions of course, tend to be very successful because I can opt in, download and I can read it quickly, and if it’s actionable, I can do something with what I just read or experienced. Right? And that tends to be most successful and how you tend to gain loyalty to your brand. We’ll continue in our decision around email some of the ways to continue the conversation using this powerful form of marketing distribution. If they’ve not liked what they got with the lead in, they may unsubscribe later, and we don’t want that.

Anne: Oh yeah. And I’m going to say, since I brought up websites, right, that’s one mechanism of getting people in databases. Just as the tech girl that I always love to be here, I’ll say that depending on the platform of your website, I happen to use both WordPress and Wix websites, there are, for example WordPress, you have a plug-in. There’s many logins that will give you a pop-up window that will ask for people’s address, and I think we’re going to get into also compliance, and disclaimers, and policies that you would put in order to receive somebody’s email address. That you promise not to sell or whatever it is, whatever your policy is for that. But technically speaking, for every website platform, there typically will be a plug-in or some sort of feature that will allow you to collect email addresses while people are browsing your website. I’m just going to say for Wix, there’s something that’s built into Wix, and for WordPress there’s multiple plug-ins that will help you to create, you know, pop-up windows that will have people opt in. Or maybe it’s even just a form that you have people fill out, and then they become part of the database, but I think the message in terms of what you say and what you’re providing as a return for that email address is very important that you have that written out.

Pamela: Yeah. And I think you might get a common question, can I just have them opt into my database? The question is yes, but you’ll have more success if they opt in to receive something to get into your database. Right? So yeah, and those receive something elements can be varied. You know, some cases register for a webinar, to you know join my newsletter is a very common one, but then again we all live in a world where join my newsletter is what everyone said from like 2000, 2000 to 2010 and 2011 I think. Now it’s, you know, up the ante a little bit.

Anne: For me, back in the day, right, when I started VO Peeps, I remember very clearly, because I was, you know, just kind of new to the industry, and I was like well, okay, what do I even say? I knew I needed to create content because I wanted to get people, you know, involved. You know, I wanted to network with other people, and this was even before the concept of VO Peeps came about, but I thought well okay, what can I do? Well, I can create a group, and then, I can, I don’t know, I can offer educational things in that group. And so that became a mechanism long ago like almost – I think VO Peeps is like 12 years old now back in the day, to hey, if you want to find out about the next upcoming events, feel free to sign up for the email list. I’ve been building that list for, you know, a good 12 years now for VO Peeps. And same with VO BOSS, if you want to know more about our episodes, feel free to opt in. For that, I’ve been generating lists for years.

Pamela: Yes, yes, and you’ve been segmenting them, which is another topic we’ll continue to discuss.

Anne: Right. Yeah. I also want to bring up the point that in terms of being frustrated in your marketing, right, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Pamela: Absolutely. Oh goodness, yes.

Anne: Building up your database of followers, or you know, people that will opt in to get your content.

Pamela: Yes, yes. I think that’s a really important piece of advice, because we live in a world of instantaneous gratification in some regards, right, and we also, for many of us, the banking account is sometimes not where we want it to be, so we have this sense of frustration or urgency. And obviously all that we’re talking about is a growth over time, but it can reap exponential rewards as you build and build and build. So It’s important to make sure that’s understood for sure.

Anne: So I think that websites are one way to, you know, have people opt in and get into a database, and maybe, you know, once they approach [laughs] when they approach your front page, when they come to your front page –

Pamela: When they walk up to your front door on the homepage –

Anne: When they walk up to your front door online, right, and you say hello with hey [laughs] feel free to opt in. Or it would be something like I think what they still call I believe lead pages.

Pamela: Yeah, yeah like the landing page company, the landing page software. Lead pages. Yeah. Yeah.

Anne: So that will help people to draw them in, download this piece of content, and in return you provide your email address. What are some other ways to get people into a database other than let’s say a website or a landing page?

Pamela: Well, as we walk through this, we have to remember too that we always want to make sure we have proof, we can prove they opted in, or that they’re part of the database because they chose to be in some way. When we get to our compliance episode, we’re gonna go a little deeper on that. I just wanted to touch on that because sometimes we get really excited about just scraping the web. [laughs] You just want to be really cautious about some of those activities. Another way is of course the concept of purchasing a list or list building. They’re kind of one and the same and yet they’re not. [laughs]

Anne: Absolutely.

Pamela: So buying a list, it’s not done as often, and it can become an expensive process, depending on where you go, and you have to really have done your research on where you’re getting your list, right, to feel confident spending the money.

Anne: Absolutely.

Pamela: And I know that, Anne, with your VO Blast process, this is a part of what you do, as we’ve discussed in the past, you vet the individuals that are coming in from that list, right?

Anne: Absolutely, absolutely. And that list is not resold in any way, shape or form. That all has to do with compliance. So our VO BOSS Blast lists are fully compliant.

Pamela: Yes.

Anne: And any given list is only the list that’s used per client. So no, there’s no multiple clients using the same list. It’s all completely custom generated. I’m glad you brought that up, all completely custom generated per client. We’ll go more into that a little bit later, but just to know that, yeah, I’m very careful to remain compliant, because I’m not in my business to lose my license, so to speak. I make sure that I’m compliant in every sense of the word.

Pamela: It’s the vetting that you put into this process is the most important part. And I think that’s what I want you as the listener to really understand. Yes, you can purchase a list, but make sure you understand how that list was generated. Right? Are there disclaimers that that list provider has provided, kind of a picture in a picture, right, provided to their in email opt ins that indicates they will share or sell or provide to partners, right? It’s all in that disclaimer. It’s all in the transparency. That’s really what these compliance laws have brought to the forefront is just taking the old gray and black hat approaches to email marketing and putting a little white hat back on them which is being transparent. You’re fine as long as you’re transparent. [laughs] For the most part. You’re fine as long as you’re transparent. The reason this could also be important if you’re buying lists is it only takes one person to just be frustrated one day. Right?

Anne: Oh yeah.

Pamela: And if they want to turn you in, or they believe they were not put on your list legally, they have that option to make your life very challenging. So always keep your documentation and just be prepared.

Anne: Absolutely.

Pamela: – to you know.

Anne: Yeah, make sure that people can unsubscribe. That I think is one of the biggest, I think one of the biggest rules, is that if you have people opting into your database, make sure that they can opt out of it as well. That’s important.

Pamela: That’s probably the key A number one right there. And I know that a lot of voiceover talent are sending emails from say a Gmail or just an Outlook, something that’s just a text email. I just want to preface that’s not a compliant push marketing way to send anything because you can’t opt out. Well, let me preface that. You can opt out, but you have to go through the process of saying “please don’t email me ever again.” [laughs]

Anne: Exactly.

Pamela: And respond back. Now that’s an opt out, folks. If you ever receive that, immediately remove that person.

Anne: As a general email, you can just –

Pamela: Yes.

Anne: Take me off of your list. Absolutely.

Pamela: Now there’s proof. There’s a trail, right, for both you and for that person. So if for some reason they quote unquote get accidentally emailed again, don’t. [laughs]

Anne: So I think, I think there’s an important thing to note here is that sending an email from Gmail is not the same, to like a, to a person you’re trying to sell your service to, is not the same as necessarily sending an email from an email program like ActiveCampaign or Constant Contact that works with your database.

Pamela: Like if you Google ESP, you’ll know email service provider is kind of the vernacular. You’re absolutely right, yeah. They’re built for that purpose. [laughs]

Anne: Yes, absolutely. So if you’re sending email that you want people to opt out of, right, or have the capability to opt out of, you might need to look into one of these, for sure. Otherwise make sure you have a disclaimer at the bottom of your email that says they have the right to opt out by replying to the email.

Pamela: Yes.

Anne: I think that works – does that legally work the same way, Pamela? Is it the same as –

Pamela: You can, it can. I think that the way to stay truly above board is to use one of these platforms. Here’s the big difference as well as, you know, later in our series of discussion, we’re going to talk about some ways that you can use these platforms through campaign design, but what a lot of folks don’t realize is when they purchase like a MailChimp subscription, or a ConvertKit or ActiveCampaign, they automatically you know think we have to build out a big banner and do all this stuff, which is all part of the discussion in terms of branding, but let’s say you just want to send a text email. You can actually do that inside of these platforms, right, and still, and then of course your footer will say unsubscribe, right, click here to unsubscribe.

Anne: That’s the big thing. In the footer, look for the unsubscribe.

Pamela: And most of the clients I work with put it in their header and their footer just to keep things above board.

Anne: Absolutely.

Pamela: Sometimes I think most of these services will give you a choice, where do you want it, how do you want to put it, that type of thing. Giving people that option to opt out is where the legal pieces really kind of come into play for sure.

Anne: Pamela, what about other methods of getting people into your database, like, I don’t know, using a social media platform like LinkedIn? Is that a thing?

Pamela: Yeah, LinkedIn is a big player in this space, right, and a lot of folks will use the free version of LinkedIn and start to just scrape the web based on titles of people and things like that, which is great. If you’re using LinkedIn InMail, it follows a lot of these same guidelines, right, it’s a platform that allows people to go, I don’t need to accept you, right? There’s that accept, not accept component. So that’s totally fine. Where it gets a little interesting and I think, and I encourage people if they’re going to reach out, do it inside of LinkedIn. And we can even break down just the kind of etiquette and protocol to that, like don’t ask them to marry you on the first date, please. [laughs]

Anne: Well you know – [laughs]

Pamela: You know.

Anne: [laughs] Pamela, let me just back up one second just to kind of clarify things. InMail is a subscription-based thing, component of LinkedIn, is that correct?

Pamela: Yes, I’m trying to remember –

Anne: Yeah.

Pamela: With the free version, I think you get one or two, right? Just a couple, but yes, you’re absolutely right. If you really want to go, you know [laughs] all guns loaded at InMail, you’re going to have to pay between $80 and $100 some a month –

Anne: Yeah.

Pamela: – for Premium, $80 or $79.99 or something is the lowest form. Now of course that gives you more capability into what you see, right, about people in their profiles as well. But for some, the, again, it just goes back to business, is $80 a month worth access capability, right? It’s –

Anne: Pamela, I didn’t mean to interrupt, but I had an epiphany here. I always was like, why is LinkedIn $80 to $100? You know what I mean? Why is it so expensive? I realize that, you know, I make – it really depends on what platform you’re using, but like depending on the number of contacts, that’s how most of the email server providers work is based upon the number of contacts. And so like you know, ActiveCampaign goes on thousands. Like there’s a level where you have 10,000 contacts, and then 25,000, and then you know 50,000 and 100,000. And you pay based upon those contacts.

Pamela: Right.

Anne: And now that I’m realizing LinkedIn InMail is part of a subscription, I’ve realized that’s probably where that $80 comes from, because you have the capability of being able to contact those people and having them be able to opt out, just like an email service provider.

Pamela: It works very similar. And of course the bigger difference is how much information you see of your prospect before you reach out, which is a huge deal. I actually am a Premium member on the Sales Navigator piece, and I can build lists of people. Right?

Anne: Right. Right.

Pamela: And so what I’ve recently done just to –

Anne: That’s pretty powerful, Pamela.

Pamela: It’s very powerful.

Anne: Pretty powerful, Pamela. That was my –

Pamela: Alliteration there.

Anne: Let me do some mic technique here. Pretty powerful Pamela. [laughs] Sorry.

Pamela: Well, you’re precious in saying so. We’re just going to have fun with the letter P.

Anne: There you go.

Pamela: This episode is brought to you by –

Both: the letter P. [laughs]

Pamela: For my Sesame Street fans out there. But yes, I use Sales Navigator, and so before, pre-Covid, I was actually in the process of building and launching a Las Vegas announcer site which is a whole other form of therapy I need now. Because Covid. [laughs] You don’t even want to know where I’m at with that today. But the reason I bring that up is I actually became a Premium member on LinkedIn with Sales Navigator, and I started to pull together lists of meeting and event planners, ptoduction event companies across the country.

Anne: Yes, brilliant, Pamela. You’re brilliant.

Pamela: And then I actually hired a database person through Upwork to help me organize that and get it into my CRM, went through a lot of work to do that, and now it’s kind of sitting there waiting to decide how it’s going to get used.

Anne: How brilliant. We can just stop the episode right now because you’ve just, you’ve just imparted this wisdom and brilliance, I mean, my gosh, what a great – that’s just amazing that you did that.

Pamela: Thank you for bringing – now that we’ve been able to talk about my pain of an entire genre –

Anne: That’s right.

Pamela: – that just died. [laughs]

Anne: But it’s coming back, it’s coming back.

Pamela: I know. I’m working now on virtual live announcers. All new thing.

Anne: That’s a great idea. So interestingly enough, you know, I have always known the power of LinkedIn in terms of my genres and being a great place to go for the genres and doing searches and advanced searches and that sort of thing. So that’s a really great idea, and I love the fact that you had help to import that into your database because I know how time-consuming this can be. Guys, if you have not built a database yet, it can be very time-consuming and lengthy. If you don’t find joy in that, I’m always the person who will say, outsource that.

Pamela: Yeah. Yeah.

Anne: Outsource that job.

Pamela: It’s really tedious. And of course now the big decision is now that I have that database, now what? Because I do have to be careful. You know I can definitely send everyone an InMail, right, and I’m super compliant. And now that I’ve got the database, I need to make some decisions on how I’m going to do outreach. Technically by law, I can’t just email them. They haven’t opted in. I just took their stuff and put it in. Keep in mind just because I have them on LinkedIn doesn’t mean they’ve provided their email address on LinkedIn. Right?

Anne: Absolutely.

Pamela: So that’s where the research comes in to kind of touch on that. Right? So I had my virtual assistant assist me with looking up websites and seeing, you know, some of those processes. Some we have, some we don’t. I’m starting to make the decision who do I have to do InMails for because I don’t have any other way to do it.

Anne: Absolutely. I’m glad you made that distinction.

Pamela: I mean, it’s important.

Anne: Because I don’t want people to go generate their lists on LinkedIn and just start emailing these people because they’ve not necessarily opted in. Especially if you’re talking email en masse.

Pamela: Right.

Anne: You know, you really have to get their permission, and you really need to have a conversation with them first and let them give permission or tell them maybe when you connect with them through InMail or through LinkedIn, however, make them come to your website and opt in.

Pamela: Right. So one of the ideas, and this is really advanced, and some listening may recognize this concept, and this may be the first for others, but now that I have the email addresses, I can set up retargeting campaigns. And retargeting campaigns are basically when you use the different social platforms to, by using the email address, they can locate those people through those platforms, and then the content you provide when you pay, do paid advertising for example will be put in front of them. Does that make sense? So again now it’s an opt in. Even though I’ve got their email address, to your point, Anne, I would actually be noncompliant if I just sent them an email.

Anne: Absolutely, absolutely.

Pamela: So I have to really think about how am I gonna, this subset of people that I really have their email, it’s like having the Christmas gift but never being able to open the wrapper.

Anne: Absolutely. Now you’ve got to be very careful that you have – I would caution anybody out there that’s – I know you’ve mentioned this, scrape the web, for those of you that are not, you don’t know what that means, that means that you’ve gone and Googled and found email addresses and put them in a database so that you can email them, cold email them. So I just want to say please be very, very careful when you do that in terms of sending out any information because they’ve not really opted into it at all, and they may take that cold email in a negative way that could hurt you and your opportunity for business.

Pamela: Yes. And also remember that if you’re doing it, and someone else is doing it, and someone else is doing it [laughs] you don’t know where the tipping point is of frustration and anger and I’m turning this person in. So just be aware of that, if they’re receiving a lot of these and now have a negative just perception around this.

Anne: Yeah.

Pamela: Even inside of LinkedIn we experience this, right, when we connect with each other, and we have all received the marketing or promotion email as our first date, oh my goodness, isn’t that frustrating?

Anne: That happens quite a bit. And that, so understand, BOSSes out there, how annoyed you get when that happens, and you do not, if you don’t give permission, understand that your campaign can be the same way. So building your database, nurturing your database I believe starts with really being compliant, making sure that people have given their permission for you to email them. Doing that on your website, I think that’s your first line of defense really is to have a way to collect and to ask people to sign in or to opt into a database, and then using some sort of email service provider along with that, or with LinkedIn mail if you’ve got the professional version, I think that’s one form of it as well because they’re an email service provider with InMail.

Pamela: Yes, very much so.

Anne: Yeah.

Pamela: And your database is your lifeline.

Anne: Sure is.

Pamela: So you definitely want to put some thoughts and energy and eventually some money around doing that for sure.

Anne: You know that the people who have opted in typically have an interest in something you have to offer.

Pamela: Yes.

Anne: That’s a good thing, rather than here, win an iPad by putting your name on my list. So.

Pamela: I’m kind of thinking we need to give away an iPad. [laughs] Joking, people. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. [laughs]

Anne: Pamela, what a great discussion.

Pamela: Yeah.

Anne: I think this was absolutely something that BOSSes, you guys need to consider doing this on all of your websites, getting your clientele to come and opt in to be more informed by you and give their permission. So generating your database. Pamela, thank you so much for all of that wonderful information. I think we could go on another episode about it probably.

Pamela: [laughs] We have some tricks up our sleeve. I think we’ll be back with some email conversation, because this is a –

Anne: For sure.

Pamela: This is a big topic. [laughs]

Anne: This is a great topic and I’m looking forward to probably another oh few episodes on just email. So BOSSes, keep in tune with us every Tuesday, because Pamela is just bringing that great content to us, and I would like to give a great big shout-out to ipDTL, who allows Pam and I to get together and deliver all of this wonderful information to you in terms of reaching out to your clients and growing your business and being BOSSes. Find out more at We’ll see you guys next week. Have a great week.

Pamela: Bye, guys.

Anne: Bye!

>> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host, Anne Ganguzza, and take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast-to-coast connectivity via ipDTL.