It’s what separates Amazon’s laser-focused “here’s that exact product you looked at on our website — and 10 others like it” emails from the countless untargeted, low-response generating “batch and blast” style emails that so many other businesses send.
Combined, that’s nearly 500,000 email subscribers. How do they do it? I took a close look at each of these heavyweights of email (plus several other amazing sites) to see what methods they use to gain new subscribers. Here’s what I learned.
It’s eye-catching without being annoying. If you’re not a fan of popups, rejoice: since the feature box is front and center when your site loads, it will grab a reader’s attention without impeding their ability to read.
The DMA, first established in 1917, is a trade organization that provides research, education and support for developing direct marketing. Its membership includes more than half of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as non-profit organizations. The DMA estimates that every dollar spent on direct marketing yields a return on investment of $11.73—compared with an estimated $5.23 for indirect advertising such as newspaper or magazine ads.
For sidebar opt-ins and pop-ups, it’s best to keep things simple and just ask for an email, but on segmented lists and specific landing pages, gathering a name lets you use this tactic to create strong, personal connections with subscribers.
Daily Deal Sites offer local and online deals each day, and are becoming increasingly popular. Customers sign up to receive notice of discounts and offers, which are sent daily by email. Purchases are often made using a special coupon code or promotional code. The largest of these sites, Groupon, has over 83 million subscribers.[18]
This hack should take up no more than two lines in your email signature. As you can tell, I prefer a short, get-to-the-point way of promoting the newsletter. If you design your signature well enough, it will seem like you are offering the receivers of your emails an extra treat every time you send them an email. 
Wow, great info! Thanks Julia. I’d like to share another tip. A great way to build your opt-in email marketing lists fast & free is to participate is joint venture giveaways. I contribute in most of the JV giveaways. On a bad day I get 5 new sign up but I often get over 20 in just 1 day plus I make money from home selling discounted packages! Great for niche marketing too.
Nowadays there are various free plugins that do what subscriber magnet does and then some. Just thought I’d let everybody know. Great tips and refreshing compared to all the other same ole stuff out there 😉
When you have a list of subscribers who have specifically agreed to receive emails from you, you have an asset that can be leveraged over and over again. You can use that email list to drive traffic to different websites and sales pages again and again, and this is why you must cherish your list like an apple of your eye. The better you treat your list; the better the return will be when you want it.
In October 2013, the Federal Telephone Consumers Protection Act made it illegal to contact an individual via cell phone without prior express written consent for all telephone calls using an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice to deliver a telemarketing message to wireless numbers and residential lines. An existing business relationship does not provide an exception to this requirement.
There are tons of websites and publishers out there that cater to your audience — and larger portions of it. Guest blogging for these websites helps you expand your contact list to this audience. When creating content as a guest blogger for another website, include a call-to-action, as well as a link in you author byline, for readers to subscribe to your site’s blog or email newsletter.
Sending marketing messages through email or email marketing is one of the most widely used direct-marketing methods. One reason for email marketing’s popularity is that it is relatively inexpensive to design, test, and send an email message. It also allows marketers to deliver messages around the clock, and to accurately measure responses.
Not only have you not got accurate, up to date email lists and a strategy to reach out to them, you’ve got yourself a predictable outbound lead generation process. This strategy takes no time at all to set up and allows for truly scalable growth. Goodbye list buying.
I always Validate the Email Data first on all my lists, get all the data. You have to wash your email contacts first so you are compliant with Can Spam (#1) as well as to avoid IP Bans, blacklisting, bounce backs.
Acting on feedback from a campaign is essential for effective direct marketing. Poor direct marketing only wastes resources on a low rate of return and annoys prospective customers. In fact, an overabundance of blanket marketing has resulted in laws that make all direct marketing more difficult. For example, laws require direct marketing communications to include an opt-out option, and entirely prohibit certain methods or times of contact. Besides such legal actions, private industry has also responded to customer annoyance with spam by providing e-mail filters that block such marketing. Therefore, wise direct marketers must be careful to avoid frustrating prospective customers, and work to target them with relevant and useful messages and promotions that will be received not as “spam,” but as good business information.
That is excellent news for you – and you can get even more out of it. By giving them the option to subscribe to your newsletter during checkout, you can indeed collect some relevant and valuable emails from people, who have already shown an interest in what you have to offer.
Hey Loz, that may be the most poetic comment we’ve ever had on the blog (and we’ve had over 6,000). But you’re right: there’s A LOT more behind the scenes/up front work than there was even 2 or 3 years ago. The barrier to entry for growing a blog has doubled in that time. That’s good for hard workers like you and me 🙂
Reaching out to your customers is not easy and when you have access to Email Data Group’s B2B email lists you can connect with them effortlessly. We cater to small and large enterprises and our data team will help you in every step of marketing.
One common method is something you’ve likely come across. Think about those flashing banner ads you see across the web. They say things like “Congratulations, you’ve won a free iPad”. Or “You’re our 1 millionth visitor, click to claim your prize!”
Moreover, they typically rent these email address on a pay-per-use basis; they seldom, if ever, “sell” the email addresses. That means that you’re not sending out the email yourself. Instead, you’ll send your email’s HTML file (and possibly the related images) to the list broker, and they’ll handle the mailing for you.
* 81% of US online shoppers are more likely to make additional purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of emails based on previous shopping behaviors and preferences. – Harris Interactive 1
Ryan Hoover has a neat trick for gaining more email signups with this link. He replies to each and every mention on Twitter, often starting a conversation with folks who have shared his content. As part of this conversation, he’ll drop in an offer to sign up for his email list, sending over the direct link to do so.
Your most responsive subscribers are arguably your biggest fans. They are more likely than the average subscriber to want more email from you, and they’ve proven that they tend to act on those emails.

And sure, when you compare a nickel for a thousand emails to, say, a hundred bucks  for a thousand emails (which is TWO THOUSAND TIMES the cost), it’s easy to further calculate that even if the response rate is only 1/2000th as good, you’re still coming out ahead.
Further, a consumer who does not wish to receive further prerecorded telemarketing calls can “opt out” of receiving such calls by dialing a telephone number (required to be provided in the prerecorded message) to register his or her do-not-call request. The provisions do not cover calls from political organizations or charities.[16]
Incorporate a QR code into your print marketing collateral that people can scan for more information on the printed content. Create the QR code such that it requires an email address to access the additional content. (There are many free QR code makers online that make this process easy.)
Hyperlinked email signatures can lead people to a landing page where they can sign up for your mailing list. Plus, if you’re already in a natural email conversation with them, subscribing to more emails can be a natural next step.
From a legal standpoint, it’s very risky. From an ethical standpoint, it’s shady and pretty much guarantees that you’re doing to have a high rate of unsubscribes and spam complaints (which are much worse) since the subscribers do not have a prior relationship with your organization.
We’ve recently pushed email toward the top of our most valued sources, and it doesn’t seem like we’re alone in that. While social media might be the hot place to push your marketing efforts, there are many who choose to rely instead on building a valuable email list. And they couldn’t be happier.
These are all cases of sites installing a popup (or variation of a popup), followed by immediate boosts to email signups. Why the big boost? Well, popups are a can’t-miss call-to-action. Literally. It doesn’t get more can’t-miss than a window appearing over the content you’re trying to read.
This list buying is a very tricky subject and I agree that there must be something to it (demand and utility) or there would not be pages on google advertising . I am really tempted but not with a purchased list . I have 24000 emails from my customers from my website listed above that has been up about 10 years. These are people who have requested automatic rate quotes from our db. About 1/3 of them we had email correspondence with . This are years 2012/13. Now I am into internet marketing and would like to have some good advice about mailing to this list without hurting my present web traffic Thanks Walter Menuet
Most legitimate list suppliers or list brokers provide customized, personalized and comprehensive marketing lists. Take our school marketing lists as an example, you can get not just the email address, but the name, position, mailing address, fax, phone number and more info about the person and the organization.
To give an example of what direct marketing looks like, consider the campaign run by the sausage making company WVRST to announce their grand opening. WVRST cleverly designed t-shirts in the shape and style of sausages, even using butcher paper to wrap them.
The Sales Umbrella tool is a big game changer for me and my clients. Already speeding things up no end. Again, to get access you’ll have to request through their site as it is currently in a closed beta, but I’d highly recommend you do just that.
I got my user ID and password, and started looking around their Web site. I figured since we have done a lot of email marketing work for publishers, I’d use publishing-related SIC codes to narrow my search. Then I narrowed things down a little more using nearby states, adding new states until I got close to the 5,000 email mark.
In direct response radio, ads contain a call to action with a specific tracking mechanism. Often, this tracking mechanism is a “call now” prompt with a toll-free phone number or a unique Web URL. Results of the ad can be tracked in terms of calls, orders, customers, leads, sales, revenue, and profits that result from the airing of those ads.
Exactly what I was looking for, Brian. I have started a SEO blog recently and your post will surely help me to implement many things ! 🙂 Your contents are so huge that it’s hard to consume in one sitting ..lol ..Read a lot , it’s implementation time now 😉 Keep up the great work buddy !
At the start of my online career i used to think that list building has no benefits but after doing some research on the topic and starting with the link building thing i came to knew it’s importance. It’s really necessary for website and blog owners to build lists or they’ll just let their selves down because list building is the game changer when Search Engines and Social Media doesn’t work for you.