Getting good email addresses for your business can be done in different ways. Some companies buy groups of email addresses. According to law, you should not be emailing to people who have not agreed to sign up with you.
Many companies do, as most of you know. Most of this email we consider spam. And, it is often hard to differentiate between email from actual spammers (not a real business) and from legit businesses.
For these reasons, it is better not to buy bulk email addresses. You want people who really want your products and services. But, how do you get those addresses?
One way is to have an email sign up form on your site provided by a legit third-party email service. People who elect to sign up go through a short process where they fill in their name and email address and submit the form. Then the service sends them an email to verify. This is called double opt-in.
To get people to sign up, you need to be honest about how many emails they can expect to see a month.
There is no perfect number since it depends on your business but generally speaking, one or two a month is alright as long as your emails have good content for them.
Other ways to collect email address are:
If you have an event, have email sign up sheets
If you have a store, have email sign up sheets
Ask all customers if they would like to get your emails
Have a page on your site where you offer people a gift or a percentage off if they sign up
The above ways of collecting email addresses is called single opt in since you would be adding their names to your master email list without the automatic verification, although you could set this up in the system.
I consider someone giving me their email address on a sign up sheet or a customer telling me I can sign them up as legit without the verification.