Direct marketing is a form of advertising in which companies provide physical marketing materials to consumers to communicate information about a product or service. Direct marketing does not involve advertisements placed on the internet, on television or over the radio. Types of direct marketing materials include catalogs, mailers and fliers.
Examining these top blogs (plus some bonus research, too) shows that there are many different ways to go about growing your list and creating those crystal clear calls-to-action that drive subscribers. Here are a few of my favorite ideas.
“You may use the email address from your blog to send marketing emails, subject to the rules of CAN SPAM in any other situation. But be aware that the focus of any CAN SPAM compliance analysis starts at whether the ‘primary purpose’ of the message is commercial content.
Wow – amazingly in depth post on list building! I am having a real focus on this (just installed my lead magnet which is doing well) but there is a tonne of things I still need to focus on. Thanks for the tips.
Harvesting emails and selling them can get you in a world of trouble. CAN SPAM specifically states that it is illegal to sell and buy email addresses. It is, however, legal to rent a list, but that’s still considered sketchy.
The most effective customers for direct marketing are customers that have opted into mailing lists or have expressed interest in a company’s products. However, nontargeted blank mailings are also acted upon at a high percentage.
That is a brilliant way to go about it, as the customers will be more inclined to sign up because they can potentially win something. You just have to remember to state clearly that they will receive other offers. Otherwise, you are going to end up with tons of unsubscribers once the competition is over. You can also add a checkbox where they can actively choose whether or not they want to receive latest offers, trends, and sales from you.
Brian… great post… again! I’ve had a look at sumome – looks like a winner – and free??!! Nice. Can you use it with any autoresponder? The one I have access to, SendReach is not on the list. Can you add html code to this?
When you “buy” a list, you’re actually taking ownership of the file. In theory, that sounds great because you are free to do with the list whatever you wish. In particular, you can send as many emails to the list as you like without paying any more money (deployment costs aside).
I’m a bride myself and I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve marked as spam from venders I’ve never requested any information from. They received my email address from the shop I bought my wedding dress from and tried to sell me services I never asked for. I marked every single one of those emails as spam because I never gave them permission to email me. I also had no idea that my dress shop had shared my email address with other vendors.
826 National is the largest nonprofit youth writing network in the country. 826 encourages under-resourced students to ignite their creativity, explore identity, advocate for themselves and their community, and achieve academic and professional success – all through the transformative power of writing.
– Decide how often you will send your updates (daily, weekly or monthly) and stick to your schedule. Consistency is beneficial to both parts. Your subscribers will know when to expect the next email from you. And you will be building your positive reputation with ISPs by sending your campaigns at a regular basis.
Start by creating a sign up form and adding the form to your website. Try offering an incentive in exchange for an email address, like a free course, ebook or discount.  Then, write engaging content that readers will find valuable.
They have made it easy to forward to a friend, and they have included the subscribe option. However, I do think one thing is missing. They aren’t really making it clear what the subscriber will receive – why should they subscribe?
EASY WAY TO VERIFY BUSINESS EMAIL LIST QUALITY: Phones! Whenever buying a business email list be sure to request phones for every record. Upon receiving your email list, simply call a random sample to verify that the email recipient does in fact work at the company. Maybe after 10 calls you’ll realize that 50% of the list is bogus. If the email list supplier doesn’t have phones for the email list, then highly recommend you avoid buying the business email list.
Another company that offers a great incentive is Zalando. They have made it absolutely crystal clear what the customer gains from signing up to the newsletter – and by including a discount they make it hard to resist! Everyone likes a great offer, hey?
Visitors to your website might overlook the call to sign up that you have at the top of every page, but it’s harder to ignore a lightbox or pop-up. Scroll boxes pop up on visitors’ screens after they’ve scrolled down a certain length of the page. The box encourages them to sign up for your email list. They can be effective for encouraging a user who’s already shown interest in your content (by staying on the page long enough to scroll) to sign up for your email list.
There are (obviously) unscrupulous email marketers among us, and you don’t want to be confused with any of them. Being illegal is, well… a bad thing. So, what are the email marketing laws that we all need to adhere to
Awesome stuff, as always. I would just like to add one thing to improve conversions and build bigger list: use feature box. Derek Halpern from SocialTriggers.com talks a lot about that, and it works like charm.
In addition to the things above, you can consider other lead magnets such as an exclusive discount, a subscriber-only bonus, a free trial, a free consultation, a contest giveaway, or whatever you think your target audience might want.

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.
It’s essential to start with a strong cocktail of data and creativity that examines audience behavior and media consumption habits to determine what topics people care about most— because art and science combine most powerfully when they unearth a human truth that speaks to the “why” of a brand
If you already have a pretty large database, you also likely have some contacts that have gone quite stale. If so, I recommend running a re-engagement campaign that can help you both scrub your list and prevent the kind of spam and IP issues I addressed earlier, as well as reawaken old contacts that might have forgotten about you, but would actually be great fits for sales. If you want help structuring a send like that, check out this blog post.
Some of these concerns have been addressed by direct marketers by the use of individual “opt-out” lists, variable printing, and better-targeted list practices. Additionally, in order to avoid unwanted mailings, members of the marketing industry have established preference services that give customers more control over the marketing communications they receive in the mail.
You must always make it clear why it’s a great idea to sign up. I stumbled across Gotogate’s checkout process, where I was surprised to see that they have a checkbox saying ‘I do not wish to sign up for the newsletter.’
List Building Maximizer allows you to email all members with your service, product or offer. And, your email cannot be considered spam because every member has opted in and confirmed their email address.
When the presentation of an offer also features products not included in the offer, or where additional products need to be purchased to enable the consumer to use the product on offer, this should be made clear in the original offer.
Used and tried, never again. Best way is with your own contacts not from a paid for database in my opinion. Most people now see as spam and delete with opening therefore a huge waste of money and resources.
“The lists were not cleaned and opt in like he said the (sic) would be and were full of spam traps and complainers. I lost my mail servers and because it was down for 4 days I lost revenue. I even lost my website because of complaints to my host.”
In this day and age, there is no need for these services. No one wants to hear from you via email, phone or snail mail. If we did, we’d contact you. Unless a person speaks to you specifically and requests to be contacted, they did NOT opt-in. We were sold by some company who lied when they claimed to respect our privacy. We HATE being contacted by you, and feel violated each time it happens. People all over the world make fun of marketers of all sorts, and wish it were illegal for you to contact us in any manner. Curious to see how many spam email I get from this post.
Chances are, you have already invested masses of time on your social media profiles or Facebook business page. You have written or created amazing content you are posting on your social media profiles like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Why not use those platforms to collect emails as well?