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.
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.
Unfortunately, there are individuals off in who-knows-where selling worthless databases containing hundreds of thousands of outdated contacts for next to nothing. Not only is this shady and immoral, but it is creating a blanketing negative stereotype of the data industry.
People enjoy offering feedback on information that pertains to them. On certain pages of your website, include a form that asks visitors what questions they might have about your business. You might also create a live chat tool that invites questions and email addresses from people who have stayed on your website for a certain amount of time.
Great post as usual Brian. Already on top of most of these tips…but had no clue about the single-option aversion study. Definitely going to be something to test. Will definitely share this around because this post is a must-read.
IF there’s a guarantee, be sure to have the email list supplier clarify. Does the undeliverable guarantee mean they will simply send you more bad email addresses to compensate for the undeliverables … or does the guarantee include a “money” refund? IF you find a “money” refund guarantee, then let me say congratulations because I’ve never seen one … not a single one … of the low cost email list sellers provide a “money back” guarantee. It’s always … we’ll send you more bad email addresses.
To give an example of what direct marketing looks like, consider the campaign run by the sausage making company WVRST to announce their grand opening. WVRST cleverly designed t-shirts in the shape and style of sausages, even using butcher paper to wrap them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Email leads are most effectively captured through landing pages. Since landing pages focus on a single outcome, they are fantastic for conversion rates in general, and this also applies to acquiring more email addresses—so don’t get skimpy on creating them!
Fortunately, any email marketing service worth its salt has these split-testing features at your disposal. This chapter will show how you can get started with split-testing your emails for higher conversions.
Hey Loz, that may be the most poetic comment we’ve ever had on the blog (and we’ve had over 6,000). But you’re right: there’s A LOT more behind the scenes/up front work than there was even 2 or 3 years ago. The barrier to entry for growing a blog has doubled in that time. That’s good for hard workers like you and me 🙂
My head is buzzing with some of the new ideas from this list that I now want to implement and test on my site. Some very actionable (and may I add awesome) list building strategies. Great stuff Brian!
They have made it easy to forward to a friend, and they have included the subscribe option. However, I do think one thing is missing. They aren’t really making it clear what the subscriber will receive – why should they subscribe?
Effective direct marketing is fundamentally about communicating a clear and persuasive message. Marketing programs train students to practice and develop communications and presentation skills, allowing them to better implement direct marketing campaigns.
It used to be you would have only one lead magnet on your site and that was sufficient. However, today your content and nurture sequence need to be highly relevant to the exact solution the person is actively looking for. By creating a content upgrade that is specific to a highly-targeted piece of content that is getting lots of attention helps you to raise that relevancy and turn more visitors into email subscribers.”
Marketing Podcast with Allen Gannett Podcast Transcript My guest for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is Allen Gannett. He is the CEO and co-founder of TrackMaven, a marketing insights platform. He and I discuss his new book, The Creative Curve: How to Develop the Right Idea at the Right Time. Gannett’s […]
Media employed. The medium/media used to deliver a message can have a significant impact on responses. It is difficult to truly personalize a DRTV or radio message. One can even attempt to send a personalized message via email or text message, but a high quality direct mail envelope and letter will typically have a better chance of generated a response in this scenario.
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.
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!
2. The information contained is captured in a consistent form which you have control over – easier to integrate back into your customer database or tie to existing customers leveraging social channels (did you know that before? doubtful)
MORE FREE NAMES OR MONEY REFUND: Some list sellers will promise to send you FREE email addresses to compensate for undeliverable emails. The weakness of this refund type is that more FREE emails will not correct the fact that most of the good email addresses were probably blocked or diverted to the SPAM box … due to the email list being more than 10% bad. Bottom-line, we recommend avoid buying email lists that do not offer a “money refund” guarantee. You’ll likely receive a high quality email list when there is a money refund guarantee.
For those who focus on building and growing an email subscriber list, their home pages reflect how vital email is to their content strategy. Big, bold signup forms dominate the home pages of many email-savvy blogs.
You may also notice that Chen takes a different approach to social proof. He does not advertise the number of subscribers to his list but rather mentions recommendations from Wired magazine and 500 Startups.
Thrive Leads* offers the most functionality and is easiest when it comes to displaying targeted opt-in forms across categories/posts/pages. SumoMe covers a lot of the main opt-in form types and it’s free so it’s a great option to get started with.
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:
Calls to Action Should you tell people to click right away or save the CTA for further along in the email? Should the button/link say “Click Here” or “Find Out More”? When it comes down to getting people to take action (the most important part of marketing), you simply must test a variety of elements to improve conversions, as this is one of the worst elements to leave to guesswork!
Just as important as gaining leads is knowing exactly where your leads are coming from and which marketing campaigns are most effective. Our tracking URL’s help you get the most out of your marketing efforts.
Forms of direct response marketing on television include standard short form television commercials, infomercials and home shopping networks. Short-form direct-response commercials have time lengths ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Long form infomercials are typically 30 minutes long. An offshoot of the infomercial is the home shopping industry. In this medium, items can potentially be offered with reduced overhead.[21]
How do you like it when you get an email in your inbox from a company you’ve never heard of? I bet that’s not the kind of company you want to work for or marketer you want to be. If someone didn’t ask to hear from you yet, it doesn’t mean they won’t want to hear from you later. It’s your job to prove to them — through helpful content and valuable offers — that they should stay up to date with your company via email. If you force your email content on anyone too early, even if you know in the depths of your soul that they’re a great fit for your products or services, you risk preemptively losing their trust and their future business.
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.”
Voicemail marketing emerged from the market prevalence of personal voice mailboxes, and business voicemail systems. Voicemail marketing presented a cost effective means by which to reach people directly, by voice. Abuse of consumer marketing applications of voicemail marketing resulted in an abundance of “voice-spam”, and prompted many jurisdictions to pass laws regulating consumer voicemail marketing. More recently, businesses have utilized guided voicemail (an application where pre-recorded voicemails are guided by live callers) to accomplish personalized business-to-business marketing formerly reserved for telemarketing. Because guided voicemail is used to contact only businesses, it is exempt from Do Not Call regulations in place for other forms of voicemail marketing.
One of the most effective ways of growing your list is to use the signup forms on your website. Adding the Facebook signup form to your business page and also sharing the signup form link on other social networks like Twitter yield great results.

In the checkout process at Greenline, they ask for all the “normal” things you usually ask for in a checkout process: Are you a private person, business, or public institution? And then they ask for email address, phone number, name, address, and zip code.
Twitter and Facebook widgets – these are an easy way to send people away from your site and email is far more effective at reaching people than social. I display basic follow buttons in my footer so I can keep the focus on email subscribers.
You won’t have to fall into that camp though, because today we’re going to go over how to take your startup’s blog and refine it into a conversion building machine—and the best part is that simplicity is the foundational element, so you won’t have to worry about coding up a ton of random features.
In the world of email marketing, such free offers are called lead magnets. A lead magnet is an offer of information or material that is provided in exchange for an individual’s contact information. Lead magnets are created for the only purpose of converting website visitors into email leads.
When you have a list of subscribers who have specifically agreed to receive emails from you, you have an asset that can be leveraged over and over again. You can use that email list to drive traffic to different websites and sales pages again and again, and this is why you must cherish your list like an apple of your eye. The better you treat your list; the better the return will be when you want it.
Another refund story involves a young woman who started a new business catering to the senior’s market. She bought an ailment email list consisting of a whopping 175,000 email addresses AND direct mail addresses for just $1700. She was a sharp marketer because as an extra quality control measure, she called us and asked that we append age data … just to make sure the names were really seniors. Well, I’m sure you can guess. Over 55% of the names were under age 50 … far from her target market. Plus, we also discovered that the list was loaded with duplicates. Bottom-line, after eliminating all the duplicates and under age names, her ailment list dwindled down to 48,000 names. She was mad but still under control since she still had about 48,000 email names … for just $1700 … a good deal. Then she did a test email blast to 10,000 names; undeliverable / bounce-back rate was 43% … that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. She called the email list provider demanding her money back. But like 99% of the time, the email list seller refused to refund any money, but instead offer her more email addresses. Of course she did not want more bad email addresses – as the cost of cleaning the bad email addresses was too much.
Use a reactivation campaign to gauge whether non-responsive subscribers are still reading (just not clicking through or tracking open rates), or if they’ve truly decided to opt out. An example from MarketingProfs is shown here. The language you choose can play a big role in how successful these campaigns are, so be sure to split-test a few versions to maximize response.
ISPs or email providers always look at what a subscriber is doing with his or her inbox, such as opening an email, clicking a link, reporting a message as spam, etc. If the engagement is good, this tells the ISP or email provider to route future emails to their inbox instead of the spam folder. As a result, the more a subscriber is engaged, the more frequently ISPs will route mail to the inbox.
These rentals can be pricey, though. For consumer email lists, prices run about $100 to $150 CPM (that’s “cost per mille,” which is fancy-talk for “cost per thousand”). So, that’s 10 to 15 cents apiece for a one-time rental of the email address. And if you have very specific “selects,” then the price can go up quickly.
“The legal industry refers to the unsubscribe features as “opt-out” requests. A one-click opt-out is not required, and the statute expressly permits more detailed options, such as a menu listing specific types of email from which to opt-out. However, a message covered by CAN-SPAM must contain a return email address or ‘other Internet-based mechanism, clearly and conspicuously displayed,’ within the email that a recipient can use to unsubscribe from the mailing list.
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.