Good information on this article. I am struggling with this myself. My company doesn’t want to risk its reputation, and there is too much conflicting information out there. I like Simon’s idea of comparing the list to social media – you can find just about everyone on there.
Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.
If you practice email marketing you know how difficult it is to find relevant and free email lists. And even when you search for contacts databases, you have no guarantee that it will work for the success of your sales and business.
The one limitation of LeadPages is its ability to customize templates, there are lots of templates but when you want something that’s easier to customize and you use WordPress, Thrive Leads* is a great option (read my review here).
Certain things go better together. Wine and cheese. Beer and tacos. And you can definitely throw direct marketing and digital marketing into that mix. If your marketing campaign is stuck, consider adding some digital spice to the concoction. You can do this in a number of proven ways and through myriad channels: social media, email and even offline campaigns with digital components, such as PURLs and video cards.
It’s one thing to say “make sure” of these things before you email the list, but the only reliable way to make sure of them is… to email the list and see what happens. Not a risk that a responsible business owner would take.
OptinMonster* is a powerful option here. I’ve mentioned it in the WordPress plugins above and that’s how OptinMonster started out. It’s now a fully fledged cloud app that supports both HTML and WordPress. It provides a great overview for all of your list building efforts and makes it easy to deploy split tests with a few clicks. Pricing starts at $19/month (or $9/month when paid annually).
As a marketer, it’s your job to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns so you can keep your numbers moving up and to the right. (But not by purchasing email lists — learn why you should never buy an email list in this post.)
One of Michael Hyatt‘s secrets to building an incredible list is with giveaways—and probably a good amount of A/B testing. His calls-to-action for downloading a free ebook are really excellent. Here’s the one that appears at the bottom of his posts.
When you send out an invoice, include an option to sign up for email communications with you. Again, sweeten the deal by offering an incentive such as a discount or free shipping on the next order as a reward for providing email addresses.
Wow….this was a well explained detailed study, and I totally agree with you pop up boxes or slider for subscriptions do work but don’t you think at the same time they do irritate the visitors and I think first impression is the last impression.
LeadPages* – This is a platform designed to help you create landing pages fast, it takes care of the hosting and integrates with WordPress while allowing you to download HTML to use with other systems. Price starts from $37/month. I use this for most of my landing pages.

Layout Especially important for HTML emailers, we found out this lesson ourselves when we saw better newsletter engagement from going from 3 calls to action in one broadcast down to only one. Those selling a variety of products (a la eCommerce) will also want to closely experiment with this variable.
Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.
The least salubrious method of creating these lists is email harvesting. This is when the vendors use bots to crawl the web and collect email addresses from websites, forums and comment sections. Sometimes, low wage and long suffering people are paid to manually grab email addresses off websites. Not very nice!
I have tried to access the link to the Site Alerts website, but it seems that the domain is no longer active. I think it is very useful tool for any starting entrepreneur out there, so I am very interested in following this. Does anybody have any idea what happened to them?
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.
Over the years direct marketing has developed a bad reputation for cluttering up people’s mail boxes with junk mail or generating spam in email inboxes. Many companies engage in opt-in or permission marketing, which limits their mailing or emailing to only those willing to receive it. Companies select communication channels they consider most effective for a particular market. For instance, a new gym may find more success distributing flyers, while a new grocery store prefers to mail promotional coupons to the residents of nearby neighborhoods.
Spring, summer, winter, and fall — your community probably has at least one street fair or similar event throughout the year. Participate in the event and collect email addresses right at the fair. Sweeten the deal by offering new subscribers a discount on their first (or next) purchase in exchange for sharing the email with you.
A few disclaimers: I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever played one on TV. For full legal counsel, contact a lawyer within your state to make sure you’re playing well with others (and being legal with all your email processes).
I agree never to purchase an email list if you do it is no longer opt-in. However email rentals have worked for me. I have found that testing is key as well as repetition. I think people expect sometimes to send on email to a rented list and have more hits than a direct mail campaign..that just isn’t realistic.
Broadcast faxing, in which faxes are sent to multiple recipients, is now less common than in the past.[citation needed] This is partly due to laws in the United States and elsewhere which regulate its use for consumer marketing. In 2005, President Bush signed into law S.714, the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 (JFPA), which allows marketers to send commercial faxes to those with whom they have an established business relationship (EBR), but imposes some new requirements. These requirements include providing an opt-out notice on the first page of faxes and establishing a system to accept opt-outs at any time of the day. Roughly 2% of direct marketers use fax, mostly for business-to-business marketing campaigns.[17]
Justin Premick is the director of education at AWeber, the email marketing software for small business owners. Below, Justin will outline how companies with modest email lists can use segmentation for better performing email campaigns.
Couponing is used in print and digital media to elicit a response from the reader. An example is a coupon which the reader receives through the mail and takes to a store’s check-out counter to receive a discount.
Think you’re going overboard with the email signup requests? Listen to your audience, who will likely let you know when you’ve crossed the line. You can also adhere to the old colloquialism, “You’ll know it when you see it.” Go with your gut.
Direct marketing via television (commonly referred to as DRTV) has two basic forms: long form (usually half-hour or hour-long segments that explain a product in detail and are commonly referred to as infomercials) and short form, which refers to typical 30-second or 60-second commercials that ask viewers for an immediate response (typically to call a phone number on screen or go to a website). TV-response marketing—i.e. infomercials—can be considered a form of direct marketing, since responses are in the form of calls to telephone numbers given on-air. This allows marketers to reasonably conclude that the calls are due to a particular campaign, and enables them to obtain customers’ phone numbers as targets for telemarketing. One of the most famous DRTV commercials was for Ginsu Knives by Ginsu Products, Inc. of Rhode Island. Several aspects of ad, such as its use of adding items to the offer and the guarantee of satisfaction were much copied, and came to be considered part of the formula for success with short-form direct-response TV ads (DRTV).
That said, there are still some benefits to more traditional approaches to direct marketing, for example, a 2009 study by Bangor University cited that direct marketing / physical material was more real to the brain, created stronger brand emotions, and led to a greater internalization of the ad. As a result, it may produce better response rates with certain groups – especially older ones.
When I upload contacts to gmail I can then import list to facebook to invite as friends. I will then delete the contacts from gmail as my invitations are sent through facebook and will pop up as a friend request notification on the targets profile if they are valid emails.
Mailerlite* offers a fully featured free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers and Drip* offers a free plan for up to 100 subscribers. Mailerlite is great for simplicity and Drip is best if you need advanced automation.
I so often forget that people can sign up to an email list in places other than an email capture form on my site. Depending on your email software, there is likely a landing page devoted to acquiring email signups. You can get the link and share it in a huge number of different places like email signatures, social media messages, and guest blog bios.
Note that not every email you send has to have some way of profiting in it; just make sure the readers enjoy it, make sure they like you and they like your emails. Make your readers feel as though they can trust you and everything you say in your emails.
Do you have an older list that you suspect has mostly decayed? Create an engaging opt-in message and send it to your old list encouraging contacts who wish to re-opt-in — promising to remove all contacts who don’t respond. Though it might seem counterintuitive to remove folks from your email lists in order to grow them, emailing only engaged contacts could improve your deliverability and increase the odds of your email getting shared with those outside your current contacts database.
The great thing about CTA’s are that you can change them for free – they are all yours, and it’s your imagination that sets the limit. You will probably spend some time coming up with the best CTA’s, but I guarantee you it’ll be worth it!
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.
In the example below, the email list is marketed as “the most accurate,” “targeted” and SPAM-free.” The thing is though, the people on the for-sale lists did not agree to have your emails sent to them. Therefore, the list is not accurate, not targeted correctly and most certainly spam.
Email marketing has been changing lives of many marketers just by having an email list. Marketers have raised their income from zero to thousands of dollars. If you are into marketing give it a try 😉
However, far more than just opt-in customers receive direct mailings. Non-targeted blanket mailings arrive daily in many mailboxes and e-mail accounts. Yet despite frustration with “junk mail” and “spam,” a high enough percentage of such mailings are acted upon. In fact, the percentages can increase when the advertising is targeted specifically at a particular community or group. Among African-Americans who receive direct mail, some three-quarters take the time to read what they receive instead of just throwing it away; while Asian-Americans open and read about 90 percent of all their direct mail.
But… there is a different way to build a targeted opt-in email list. I’m talking about a subscription form on your website. Before you start with bulk email marketing, get your website up and running. Or, probably you already have a site where you advertise your products and services. Set up a subscription form somewhere on your web page and get others to sign up for your mailing lists. You can use this free newsletter plugin for wordpress to place a signup form on your WordPress blog. The beauty in this is that the list of emails will be confirmed, and your database will only contain the people who are interested in your offers. It’s not as quick and easy as generating or harvesting email addresses but it’s a more reliable way. You won’t send unsolicited emails as you have a proof that the recipient has subscribed himself to your mailing list.