A 2010 study by the Direct Marketing Association reports that in 2010, marketers—commercial and nonprofit—spent $153.3 billion on direct marketing, which accounted for 54.2% of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.798 trillion in incremental sales. In 2010, direct marketing accounted for 8.3% of total US gross domestic product. In 2010, there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 8.4 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.8 million US jobs.[1]
That’s the mindset many marketers find themselves in when they’re on the phone with a list-purchasing company: We need new people to email to feed our sales organization. Acting on that moment of desperation, however, can cause them more long-term (and short-term) harm than good.
For sure, it doesn’t work having a CTA saying ‘Do as thousands. Sign up for our newsletter.’ That will lead the potential subscriber to think ‘am I just another subscriber?’ and will give the impression that the newsletter is just like all the others, left unopened and eventually deleted.
These are all examples of things you can start doing today to increase your business’ email database. Many of them are not complicated or difficult to implement. The key is to attack email list-building from as many angles as possible.
HubSpot is one of the industry leaders in giveaways (so it’s probably no surprise they’re industry leaders, period). In an article about email list growth, Ginny Soskey shared HubSpot’s two-part view of giving something of value to potential subscribers:
And let’s say I implement your “content upgrade” strategy on a particular post, by including an opt-in form at the end of the post. If people sign up via that opt-in form, they will get a beautiful PDF file that summarizes that post.
Check out The Landing Page Course from the great folks at Unbounce, you’ll get a step by step look at copywriting, design principals, psychology, testing and more tips to help you craft high converting landing pages. And it’s free.
– 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.
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You’ll still run into the same problems as buying a list. The people you’re emailing did not request information from you directly, and will likely view your messages as spam. The more complaints you get, the worse your delivery rate will be.
Wait a second. Most people who visit my site do not care about these links. They are here to learn about business. So we changed it to specific content pages that I know people who read my site would be interest in.
Twitter and Facebook widgets – these are an easy way to send people away from your site and email is far more effective at reaching people than social. I display basic follow buttons in my footer so I can keep the focus on email subscribers.
Great post as usual Brian. Already on top of most of these tips…but had no clue about the single-option aversion study. Definitely going to be something to test. Will definitely share this around because this post is a must-read.
Then they have a small checkbox at the bottom where you can subscribe to their newsletter. This form is also found in many checkout processes. However, Greenline lures their customers in with the promise of candy with the caption “Gummy bears and great offers” “sign up for our newsletter and we’ll add some candy to your order”. I mean… CANDY!
Direct Response Marketing is designed to generate an immediate response from consumers, where each consumer response (and purchase) can be measured, and attributed to individual advertisements.[19] This form of marketing is differentiated from other marketing approaches, primarily because there are no intermediaries such as retailers between the buyer and seller, and therefore the buyer must contact the seller directly to purchase products or services. Direct-response marketing is delivered through a wide variety of media, including DRTV, radio, mail, print advertising, telemarketing, catalogues, and the Internet.
So, as an example, if you run an online store that sells sweat shirts, you may hear from your customer something like this: “I’ve bought a few other sweat shirts and they always fell apart in the wash. I’m hoping your sweat shirt will last longer!”
2. The information contained is captured in a consistent form which you have control over – easier to integrate back into your customer database or tie to existing customers leveraging social channels (did you know that before? doubtful)
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.
Eduardo Yi is a content marketer at Teachable, the platform that allows anyone to teach online, where he gets to work on the intersect of his four passions: education, digital marketing, and incomplete lists.
I have literally built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it. Even today, my email list is still my number one business priority—and asset.
This wikiHow teaches you how to create a list of Gmail contacts that you can email all at once. You cannot create a mailing list from within the Gmail mobile app, nor can you select your mailing list as a recipient in the Gmail mobile app.
If you know your small business needs marketing, but don’t have the time or resources, look no further. The Duct Tape Marketing podcast covers everything from earning referrals to managing time and being more productive.
What an amazing amount of awesome content. It’s no wonder you rank #1 for list building. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for making this video that shows you explaining what you did to rank the page. Love your work, keep it up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wNTbifE8QU&feature=em-uploademail
Our marketing solutions bridge the gap between tried-and-true tactics and cutting-edge technology. For over 30 years, our approach has proven to get the results needed to make companies more profitable.
You may append telephone numbers to your mailing list by selecting Mail with Telemarketing Follow-up. You can purchase a telemarketing file that includes only the contact name and phone number without confirmed addresses. Mail-only files do not contain phone numbers.
4) Access. Create a membership level for information and community that starts with registering. This can be done with membership software like WishListMember or even through a WordPress plugin that reveals additional content to registered users.
My name is Paul, I tried Atomic Email Extractor and Atomic Email Sender and found them to be very useful. The truth is if you do not try you will never know. I recommend AtomPark company and its Atomic software to small and large businesses – it is profitable especially when you want to develop reasonable contacts and good relationship with others. Read more »
Find homeowners nationwide based on geographic and demographic characteristics. Select your geographic territory via a map interface or standard selections such as zip codes, counties, cities, etc. View more information…
Unfortunately, there are individuals off in who-knows-where selling worthless databases containing hundreds of thousands of outdated contacts for next to nothing. Not only is this shady and immoral, but it is creating a blanketing negative stereotype of the data industry.
Social media participation can allow you to reach new audiences and make new connections. Stay abreast of trending topics that are of interest to your customers and prospects. Use social media to encourage people to visit one of the channels where they can sign up for your email list.
We added calls-to-action (CTAs) on our Facebook page for HubSpot Academy below. The value in this list building technique is in the destination: Link your Facebook page’s CTA button to a landing page that requires an email address for access to a special resource.

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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.
Get creative. Since every business is different, some of the strategies in this guide might not work for your business if you implement them exactly as described. However, most of what’s described can work for a large majority of businesses with just a few tweaks. In some cases, you might even get greater results than the people who wrote these posts.
I especially like the portion on the “about” page… most people leave this as a wasted opportunity. I see this on a majority of our client sites that the about us page is the second, or third most visited site (behind the homepage) yet most people leave it under-utilized.
Both the AWeber blog and the Help Scout blog run pop-ups, and we’ve never had someone complain that it was intrusive or annoying. As a matter of fact, a large portion of Help Scout’s newsletter subscriptions are generated by that pop-up!
Electronic mailing list servers may be set to forward messages to subscribers of a particular mailing list either individually as they are received by the list server, or in digest form in which all messages received on a particular day by the list server are combined into one email that is sent once per day to subscribers. Some mailing lists allow individual subscribers to decide how they prefer to receive messages from the list server (individual or digest).[2]
We provide marketing lists to many well known global companies. I’m sure they wouldn’t have came back to extend their license with us again and again over the years if their marketing campaigns results are so poor as you said.
People enjoy offering feedback on information that pertains to them. On certain pages of your website, include a form that asks visitors what questions they might have about your business. You might also create a live chat tool that invites questions and email addresses from people who have stayed on your website for a certain amount of time.