* 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with. 61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly and 28% want them even more frequently. – MarketingSherpa 2
In 1872, Ward produced the first mail-order catalog for his Montgomery Ward mail order business. By buying goods and then reselling them directly to customers, Ward was consequently removing the middlemen at the general store and, to the benefit of the customer, drastically lowering the prices.[4] The Direct Mail Advertising Association, predecessor of the present-day Direct Marketing Association, was first established in 1917.[5] Third class bulk mail postage rates were established in 1928.[6]
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.
Hi David, you raise a good point. To my knowledge there’s no data on that as of yet. My feeling is this: a mediocre lead is better than no lead at all. If a business has issues converting targeted people to sales, then the sales process needs to improve.
This is a brilliant B2B lead generation tool that grabs corporate email addresses of your ideal customers in real time i.e. they do not store data. I’ve jumped into the beta (currently in closed beta so recommend you request access) and the team are doing a great job. This tool finds really accurate data. It’s incredibly intuitive. Very fast. I could go on.
Another common form of direct marketing is telemarketing, in which marketers contact customers by phone. The primary benefit to businesses is increased lead generation, which helps businesses increase sales volume and customer base. The most successful telemarketing service providers focus on generating more “qualified” leads that have a higher probability of getting converted into actual sales.
Does anyone else think this could be utilized to clean up those data lists and build your own targetted prospected friends list per profile using paid email lists an email account plus facebook or other social site?
Finally, direct marketing is easy to optimize. Again, expanding on the above example, let’s say I carve out not just one sample size of 50, but two. I can send one offer to one group, and a variation of that same offer to the other and see which one produces better results. This is called split testing or A / B testing, and it’s extremely valuable, as it allows you to compare two approaches in a statistically significant way to choose the more optimal approach to introduce to the whole.
Not all gated content is worth it to a website visitor. In order to gain their interest, you need to give them free content first. Start with a blog post that offers beginner advice on a subject, then offer “bonus” content with more advanced tips that they can access by submitting their email address via a landing page.
First proposed and popularized by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, a feature box is a large, well, box that sits above your company blog’s content, presenting a snapshot of what the blog is about and why people will benefit if they subscribe via email. To see an example in action, check our personal example on the Help Scout blog:
Our objective is to provide reliable contact information of targeted audience so that your marketing messages reach out to them at the right time. You can also grow your customer base using our email lists.
You have lots of options to test here: including a freebie, adding social proof to your opt-in form, creating a “long” form as found on places like QuickSprout, or keeping things relatively minimal, as we do on the Help Scout blog.
Unless your company is in the middle of some M&A action, you’re not going to come across high quality email lists you can purchase. If it’s for sale, it means that the email addresses on it have already been ripped to shreds by all the other people who have purchased that list and emailed the people on it. Any email addresses that once had value have since been spammed to the ends of the earth.
Don’t make people dig around your site to stumble across subscription options. Keep your offers up front, and include calls-to-action on multiple pages of your website. Some key places to consider include your website’s homepage, your ‘About Us’ page, and your ‘Contact Us’ page.
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.
Thank you Brian. I’ve read a few of your articles and handy how-to guides. It’s clear you go the extra mile to make sure you “load up” your work with valuable content. I look forward to learning more from you soon!
An email list is a collection of email addresses that a business can create by engaging with potential customers through lead-generating campaigns. Email lists can shrink as members opt out of email subscriptions, and grow as the business solicits contact information from website visitors.
The definition of direct marketing is the business of selling products or services directly to the public, e.g. by mail order or telephone selling, rather than through retailers. This essentially means that the product / service owner and the customer are communicating directly, without an intermediate.
One of the driving forces behind every successful business is building a targeted and responsive list. We make it easy for you to build your list by mailing up to 20,000 members in as little as every 2 days.
The 2012 modification, which went into effect on October 16, 2013, stated that prior express written consent will be required for all autodialed and/or pre-recorded calls/texts sent/made to cell phone; and for pre-recorded calls made to residential land lines for marketing purposes.
With the expansion of digital technology and tools, direct marketing is increasingly taking place through online channels. Most online advertising is delivered to a focused group of customers and has a trackable response.
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.

Even though this guide focuses on building your email list and not on email marketing strategies (more on that soon!), these helpful resources can get you started on the right foot after capturing an email. 
If a subscriber isn’t engaged with your emails, ISPs will route those emails to the spam folder. And if that happens to a lot of your subscribers, it can hurt your sending reputation in the long run. Not only does this impact subscribers who aren’t interested in your emails, but it could make it impossible for those who do want to receive emails from you to even see them in the first place.
I have found that opt-in email rentals do not work well for direct sale unless you are a well known brand – but have worked very well for me in lead generation through newsletters, lead generation through coupon offers and brand awareness campaigns.
Once you have the amazing content, the next step is to ask for emails. People who adore your content will be primed to receive that content as often as you can create it, delivered straight to their inbox. It’s up to you to make sure they find your call-to-action (or, in this case, a call-to-subscribe). Make it obvious. Make it crystal clear.
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?
We’ve got several spots for CTAs here on the Buffer blog. They’re currently set to send visitors to sign up for Buffer, and we may adjust them to focus on email in the near future. If you scroll down just right on the Buffer blog, you can see all of our CTAs at once.
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.
And even if you do manage to get your emails deployed, odds are very good that your email will generate enough “this is spam” complaints to block your current and future emails at places such as AOL, Gmail, MSN/Hotmail, and Yahoo! If you have a consumer focus, the majority of the email addresses on your list are going to come from these service providers.
For example, in 1872, one of the pioneers of direct marketing, Aaron Montgomery, produced the first mail-order catalog for his business, in which he bought products directly from the source, and then resold them through a catalogue he sent directly to customers. Without a middlemen, i.e the general store, Ward was able to resell products at drastically lower prices.
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!
Through mobile marketing, marketers engage with prospective customers and donors in an interactive manner through a mobile device or network, such as a cellphone, smartphone, or tablet. Types of mobile marketing messages include: SMS (short message service)—marketing communications are sent in the form of text messages, also known as texting. MMS (multi-media message service)—marketing communications are sent in the form of media messages.
There are corporate companies in their thousands selling out peoples details every now and then. If buying these details had no way in the society, would there still be the business of selling emails? The answer is no.
– Product/service registration. When people subscribe for your service or product trial, you can add an option to join your list and receive useful tips, updates, best practices, tutorials, guides, etc. etc.
Platforms like BuddyPress for WordPress make it easy to set up a community and foster interaction between your brand and your customers. Include a sign-up form for your newsletter on every page of the community.
This one was interesting: Demaria recommends that you avoid using one large image as the entire email (especially if it includes text image). The reason being, “Spam filters cannot read images so sometimes emails trick spam filters by embedding text in images.”