Choose your channel – Go back to the section on direct marketing channels and decide which one you are going to test. Consider which one you think will provide you with the highest ROI by weighing the setup and launch costs against the prospective response rate you hope to get through the channel. Do you think your market will respond better to email or telephone (or something else)? How much will it cost you to send a physical mail vs. an email?
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.
The term advertising, or direct mail, is used to refer to communications sent to potential customers or donors via the postal service and other delivery services. Direct mail is sent to customers based on criteria such as age, income, location, profession, buying pattern, etc. Direct mail includes advertising circulars, catalogs, free-trial CDs, pre-approved credit card applications, and other unsolicited merchandising invitations delivered by mail to homes and businesses. Bulk mailings are a particularly popular method of promotion for businesses operating in the financial services, home computer, and travel and tourism industries.
Download the free trial of EasyMail7 and give it a try yourself to see how it helps you create and deliver awesome personalized emails to your subscribers and quickly build fully-customizable drip campaigns for all your needs.
Everyone likes the feeling of being in on something exclusive. Offer your email subscribers something only they can get. It might be a special discount. It could be access to a video, e-book or another piece of useful content. Promote the availability of this exclusive access in order to encourage more email enrollments.
One type of electronic mailing list is an announcement list, which is used primarily as a one-way conduit of information and may only be “posted to” by selected people. This may also be referred to by the term newsletter. Newsletter and promotional emailing lists are employed in various sectors as parts of direct marketing campaigns.
If you purchase a list, you have no way of confirming how often those email addresses have been emailed, whether the email addresses on that list have been scrubbed for hard bounces to prevent identifying you as a spammer, or from where those email addresses originated. Are you really willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Even if you find the light after purchasing or renting email lists and decide to only email those who have opted in with your company, it will take you months (or maybe years) to get your Sender Score up and rebuild the reputation of your IP.
If you own an ecommerce store, you have most definitely tried having products in your shop that are out of stock. It’s never a good thing, is it? Retailers lose an estimated $93 billion in annual sales because of out of stock inventory.
What about sending marketing messages to people who have only subscribed to your blog or vice-versa? If someone subscribes to a company blog, is it legal for the company to then use that provided email to send marketing information? Or should the email only be used for the intended use for which it was provided?
Additionally, direct marketing offers you a lot of control. Expanding on the above example, let’s say that before I emailed 1000 people, I instead emailed just a small sample size of 50 to 100 people and measured the response.
Really impressive link building guide that helps me to improve the current link building process of my own website. I will follow your steps and guides for my projects. thanks for this useful resource.
3) Coupons. Give people something of value towards a purchase or free trial and watch them line to get on your list. You can use tools like CellFire to automate and deliver your coupons to mobile devices.
Great post Brian. As someone that has stupidly not concentrated on building my list till recently I found this post invaluable to get my list building on the right track. Thank you for this informative and easily understandable post. Bookmarked and shared.
If you went out to eat, and you gave your email address to the restaurant, and then the restaurant went out of business… would you want to start getting emails from the old restaurant owner about his new carpet cleaning business? I suspect not.
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.
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.
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
That e-book or buying guide you created to establish thought leadership in your industry can also help build your email list. When visitors to your website request a free download, ask them to complete your opt-in form in order to download.
I have done my absolute best to create this guide with that in mind, so all of the tips are easy and fast to implement, which means you can keep doing what you do best – all while your email list grows bigger and bigger without ripping your pockets.
Whether you’re at a trade show, community event or in your own storefront, collecting email addresses in person can be as easy as putting out a signup sheet and encouraging people to write down their details.
This discussion is intended to be informational and not legal advice. Every situation is different and anyone with serious questions about their compliance responsibilities should consult with his, her, or its attorney regarding such questions.
Whatever channel you choose for your direct marketing, you must ABSOLUTELY ensure that it’s personalized. The key to personalization is data. Now that there are tools such as analytics, statistical modeling and business intelligence – take advantage of it. Data can help you bridge the gap and spend your marketing dollars on customers most likely to respond. Just remember that there’s a difference between personalized marketing and creepy marketing. The former will attract potential customers and draw you closer to your business goals; the latter will send prospects running in the other direction.
It’s easy to see that an engaging newsletter is a win-win. You get to send out valuable content to current customers and prospects who have an interest in your industry; in return, you’re able to maximize one of the most powerful, personal marketing channels available on the cluttered mess that is the internet.
One of the smarter ways to gather email leads online is to simply integrate email into your product’s usage. The most basic technique here is requiring an email to sign up (which most companies do), but this is also an opportunity to get creative.
Every direct marketing campaign should feature a specific call to action. Often this is for an immediate purchase (“Pick up the phone and call right now to order”), but it doesn’t have to be—it could be a preliminary step leading to a sale. A direct marketing effort might acquire stronger leads for a particular sales force, perhaps calling customers to schedule appointments for consultations. Other calls to action might involve a “sale” that isn’t a financial one, such as when a non-profit organization uses direct marketing to recruit volunteers.
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.
– Organize tools or resources into an e-book. You can simply organize a list of resources that are related to the subject you are focusing on into a downloadable document. The same way you can create a list of resources: blogs, YouTube videos, articles, books, or anything else. Essentially the resources will help your reader continue their education of the subject matter.
Brian , your every post is like a book, I always read your post and try to find a few questions to ask .. but to be honest your posts are that comprehensive that, I don’t find a question to ask because you left nothing unexplained ! I wonder how long you take to prepare a post like this, I probably would take a whole year ! 🙂 Good luck Brian. you are a magician of IM strategies.
You might be doing all the right things to generate leads — landing pages, gated content, contests, and more. The problem might be that the design or copy itself isn’t driving the engagement you need. A/B test (also known as “split test”) different aspects of your list-building campaigns with different versions of the same content. This includes the call-to-action text, the color of the gated offer, the time of day you’re posting to social media, and even where on your website these signup forms are placed. Sometimes a small change can drive hundreds more conversions.
A naked signup form is not the best marketing tool. To entice your potential subscribers, provide them with a solid reason to give you their email address. If the reader sees a clear benefit, they’ll be more likely to subscribe.
There’s a general assumption that the advent of digital means direct marketing is no longer useful. This isn’t true. In fact, technological advancements in online and data spaces make direct marketing that much more effective and valuable. For good or bad, data is widely available today. Take advantage of this and stretch your reach and with direct marketing.
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.
Electronic mailing lists usually are fully or partially automated through the use of special mailing list software and a reflector address set up on a server capable of receiving email. Incoming messages sent to the reflector address are processed by the software, and, depending on their content, are acted upon internally (in the case of messages containing commands directed at the software itself) or are distributed to all email addresses subscribed to the mailing list.
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.
As you may have read in my recent post, How to Create a Page That Converts at 21.7% (Step-By-Step Case Study), I recently created a Social Squeeze Page on my blog that converts at (you guessed it) 21.7%.
Very informative article as always, i have been lazy to do a lot of things even reading this post but i am glad i did today and i am full of ideas right now that i can’t wait to get back to implementing them to improving my subscriber list. Thanks for sharing.

Have you ever noticed that when you first join an email list, you tend to read almost every email? But then, over time, you start to lose interest and read less and less—even if you don’t unsubscribe?
In this context, I guess each post can’t be thought of in isolation, but in terms of a mini content ecosystem that comprises of a great blog post optimised for on-page SEO, an upgrade to that post tailored for that specific content, various on-page email conversion points including an exit pop-up or similar -and then you combine all this with your off page link building and outreach efforts. That could be over 5,000 words of content all in just that one package.