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.
Sign up for a direct marketing course to better understand the cardinal principles of direct: have a clear and simple marketing objective, get a laser focus on list and offer, be benefit not feature centric, create multi-touch points, test and tweak campaigns.
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.
Eventually, nearly 100 years later in 1967, Lester Wunderman coined the term “direct marketing” for the first time (Lester was also responsible for notable achievements such as the toll-free 1-800 number).
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.
One day I saw a representative of this company offering 5,000 email addresses for free (he’s on LinkedIn), so I figured, “OK, let’s get a peek behind the curtain here, just to see what kind of email addresses they have.”
If you were to click on that banner, you’d wade through survey questions where they ask about age, income and collect other info relevant to placing you into categories that they can then offer as “targeted” options for marketers. They also collect your email address.
its like a bomb went off on my phone when I read this article! I’ve been struggling with my conversions and definitely going to try the content upgrade since its been on my mind. I thought I was crazy to think it might work but your numbers prove I’m sane 🙂
Enter your label’s name. In the “To” field at the top of the “New Message” window, type in the name of the group. You should see the group’s name and a preview of a few of its contacts appear below the “To” field.
With contact groups, you can easily organize your contacts making it easier to email a specific set of people. For example, if you created a contact group called “Soccer club,” you could just send a message to that group, rather than sending out an email to 50 different people. Never leave somebody off an email again. To create a contact group: Click Gmail at the top-left corner of your Gmail page, then choose Contacts. Select contacts that you want to add to a group, click the Groups button, then create new. Enter the name of the group. Click OK.
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.
You’re definitely onto something with the content upgrade idea. It’s almost like to get the most leverage from every single post now (and therefore get ahead of your competitors), it’s no use just having a generic sign up form at the bottom of each amazing post anymore.
People give their consent to get your mailings. Your website visitors are your potential recipients. They come to your site, and they like it, and they want to get more information about your products, services, or any other information you can provide.
Now that you have some gated assets that can capture email addresses, spend a considerable amount of time making sure the world knows about them. You have plenty of channels at your disposal — social media, PPC, and email are common ones to turn to. But none will provide lasting returns quite like your blog. Consider this scenario:
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.
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.
Daily deal sites can be useful for retail or local service businesses. Offer your discount (daily deal) through the site for a limited time and ask anyone who wants to grab the deal to provide their email address in exchange.
Now that you’ve seen the many different ways to grow an email list, I’d love to show you how some of the top sites implement these ideas. Here is what I found when browsing around some of my favorite sources of email inspiration.
Did you know that there are organizations dedicated to combating email spam? Thank goodness, right? They set up a little thing called a honeypot, which is a planted email address that, when harvested and emailed, identifies the sender as a spammer. Similarly, things called spam traps can be created to identify spammy activity; they are set up when an email address yields a hard bounce because it is old or no longer valid, but still receives consistent traffic. Fishy, eh? As a result, the email address turns into a spam trap that stops returning the hard bounce notice, and instead accepts the message and reports the sender as a spammer.
Segment your market (optional) – Ideally, break your market into tiny segments, large enough to collect statistically significant data, while small enough to balance your investment risks. Try testing two or more offer variations to see which one performs better on a small scale.
Testing different audiences, different pitches, different creatives and designs, different campaign times. Doing so will help you optimize your campaigns and scale them up in a way that is both practical and profitable.
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.

It’s what separates Amazon’s laser-focused “here’s that exact product you looked at on our website — and 10 others like it” emails from the countless untargeted, low-response generating “batch and blast” style emails that so many other businesses send.
Now let’s say, hypothetically, your blog posts get about 100 views per month, and your visitor-to-lead conversion rate on the blog is about 2%. That means you’d get two leads from a single blog post each month.
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.
If a visitor gets through your entire website without opting in, grab them one last time before they go. Set a lightbox to appear asking for an email address whenever someone is about to navigate away from your website or blog.
Companies that use direct marketing benefit from being able to focus limited resources on a targeted promotion, which also allows them to personalize the marketing message. Because it is easy to measure responses, companies can test different marketing messages for improving the response rate. Direct marketing can be cost-effective if the customer database is well-managed.
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that there were MANY email addresses in the list that started with admin@, advertise@, customerservice@, and webmaster@. These “role-based” email addresses may be valid, but they are certainly not opted in. In fact, there were 284 email addresses that started with “info@,” which is a clear giveaway that this is not an opt-in list.
Email marketing is an easy, cheap, and effective way to build engagement and take your business to a higher level. And building a healthy email list should be one of the key elements of your email marketing.
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:
No matter what purpose you are purchasing this email list for, you will find multiple vendors in the market to offer you this business database. But the truth is said, most of them will lack the guarantee of providing authentic and accurate business contact data.
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.
I agree with the subject matter and disagree to some extent. Yes, it is true that; buying email lists is not ideal because with email marketing, the marketer is expected to have acquired a list through the rightful source and or format. What i mean is that; the person to be emailed must have given their consent to receive updates and or news which means by signing up.
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!”
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.
One common method is something you’ve likely come across. Think about those flashing banner ads you see across the web. They say things like “Congratulations, you’ve won a free iPad”. Or “You’re our 1 millionth visitor, click to claim your prize!”
Slideshare is a great way to tap into a new group of targeted readers and because the traffic you get will be highly targeted and already value what you have to say, they will be more likely to opt-in to download your content upgrade.
If you don’t already blog, you should! Blog posts help you increase your ranking on search engines like Google, and allow you collect blog subscribers that you can then upgrade to more actionable email campaigns over time.
For sidebar opt-ins and pop-ups, it’s best to keep things simple and just ask for an email, but on segmented lists and specific landing pages, gathering a name lets you use this tactic to create strong, personal connections with subscribers.