Don’t give them the impression that they are about to sign up to yet another newsletter – one out of the thousand others in their inbox. So wherever you want them to subscribe – whether it’s in your newsletter, email signature or during checkout – you must give them something valuable in return.
Direct marketing is a form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, and targeted television, newspaper, and magazine advertisements, as well as outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response.
Another type of electronic mailing list is a discussion list, in which any subscriber may post. On a discussion list, a subscriber uses the mailing list to send messages to all the other subscribers, who may answer in similar fashion. Thus, actual discussion and information exchanges can happen. Mailing lists of this type are usually topic-oriented (for example, politics, scientific discussion, health problems, joke contests), and the topic may range from extremely narrow to “whatever you think could interest us”. In this they are similar to Usenet newsgroups, another form of discussion group that may have an aversion to off-topic messages.
To have a very profitable email list, you should simply build a relationship with your subscribers. You want them to like you, feel like they know you, feel comfortable buying from you, and most importantly you want them to look forward to and enjoy reading your emails. If you can build a strong relationship with your subscribers, then you have more chances of getting them to purchase your products and services.
To get some insight into the legal issues of buying or renting lists, we consulted with R. Daniel Faust, an attorney at House, Reynolds, and Faust LLP in Indianapolis and posed the question to him. On the subject of whether it’s illegal to buy/rent lists, Faust states:
To put these numbers into context: a myriad of data compiled on Twitter shows that the average click-through rate rarely tops 1.64 percent. Without paying for promotion, the average Facebook post is even worse. This is compared to email open rates, which hover around ~20% for many industries and can go up to as high as 40, 50, and 60 percent (and beyond!).
Free courses provide an incredibly high-value incentive to attract new potential customers. It stands out wholly amongst the sea of free eBooks that are used to attract attention, and because it provides so much value upfront, the likelihood that someone will continue to want to learn from you increases exponentially.”
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.
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.
In doing so, I can get early measurements and compare those against my needs / assumptions to see if it’s worth emailing the other 900 people, or if instead I should spend more time working on my pitch or target a new audience altogether.
You can specifically apply this to email marketing by following the one email, one goal rule, in that each email should only have one desired outcome (view a blog post, see a new feature, hear about an update, etc.).
Noah and his team built their own platform for this and it costs $198. Sure it may look a bit pricey but it works out more cost effective in the long run than similar tools that have a monthly payment attached.
Bought email lists can have non-existent addresses; moreover they can include spam-traps. What does this mean? A spam-trap is an email address that detects junk mailings and spammers. If you send a newsletter to this address (even if it is innocent), you can receive the status of a spammer sender. The result is that you will be banned and will not be allowed to send email messages any more.
After comparing key metrics like open rates and unsubscribes, you’ll be able to have an idea of which email performed better. Once you do, you can email the second 1⁄2 of your list with the “winning” email.
I use LeadPages* for the majority of my landing pages, it has split testing built in which allows you to setup a split test in a few clicks. The split testing feature requires a pro account which starts at $67/month.
I’ve found giveaways are a good way to build up your email list. This gives incentives for people to willing give you their email in exchange for a chance at winning something. Also searching forums related to your niche is a good way to find people who are interested in what you are selling.
In the midst of your “junk” mail, one particular piece catches your eye, one advertising a techno gadget you’ve had your eye on for a while. And there’s a sale on it—all you have to do is enter the following code on the website…
It’s like asking who the best footballer in the world is. Some will say Messi, some Ronaldo, others Maradona or Pele, so as long as there is ‘variety’, there will be ‘choices’ and they will differ with taste, from person to person. It’s exactly the same with database companies too, there are a few top guns, but who the best is can be debated.
Instead of just linking to your home page, try linking to a relevant landing page within your author bio. Conversion rates are generally high because anyone clicking on your link wants more information from you.
You must never purchase lists and mail to them – this is what most people would call Unsolicited Commercial Email (aka spam). Legitimate email service providers and Internet service providers prohibit this type of list from being sent from their networks.
All you need is to add an opt-in form within your content. This can be done by embedding a form from your email provider or you can use one of the plugins listed above which support shortcode placement.
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.
Hi Brian great post as usual. My main concern with the pop ups is the mobile perspective. I know when I am reading on my handheld and I click through to a website and there’s a pop up there I will leave. Its such a small space.
Once you collect those email addresses keep pounding away with value, don’t abuse them with offer after offer. When you continue to add value through great content and education they will turn themselves into buyers and referral sources over time.
90+ PERCENT DELIVERY RATE – EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Why is my email response rate so low? The ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) will block “good-deliverable” email addresses … or divert to SPAM box … if the “good” email addresses are associated with an email blast that includes a lot of bad email addresses. This blocking of good email addresses is why an email blast to 1,000,000 names can literally have zero responses. Using an email list that is less than 90% deliverable … will result in your good email addresses being blocked … thus making the email campaign futile. Demand a 90+ percent email delivery rate … or “money refund.”
There are plenty of plugins on the market that will help you to do this, I did put together a post about WordPress list building plugins which you can find here but I’ll summarize the main plugins and which opt-in types they support below.

Perhaps you’re a new company and don’t have a customer base. Maybe you have a service you’re sure that people will love… if only they heard about you. Whatever the reason, buying an email list seems like an easy, low cost way to grow your business. But, there are some serious consequences to purchasing. And there are real benefits to using an opt-in list!
Resending the email can yield big gains, since you can potentially reach subscribers who might have missed your first email. You could try a different subject line or slightly different content in the body. You’ll also want to segment out the responders—that could be just people who ordered, or everyone who opened or clicked.
Business-to-business lists will run even higher, usually starting at $250 CPM and running as high as $1,000 CPM for a very well targeted list. And yes, $1,000 CPM means that you’re paying a DOLLAR for each email address, and remember, that’s for a ONE-TIME use.
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.