Email service providers like MailChimp and ConstantContact are popular choices among marketers since they provide all basic features for subscription and marketing. Email service providers suit well for small email lists, but when the list is growing they become rather expensive.
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.
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.
I always Validate the Email Data first on all my lists, get all the data. You have to wash your email contacts first so you are compliant with Can Spam (#1) as well as to avoid IP Bans, blacklisting, bounce backs.
The downside of direct marketing is that response rates can vary widely making the flow of prospects unpredictable. Ineffective campaigns can be costly, especially if they occur frequently. Companies that send blanket direct mail or email promotions have to overcome the negative image of junk mail and email spam. The key to effective direct marketing is an accurate database, which can be expensive to maintain.
In a great case study published on AWeber (and echoed through numerous other tests), a clear picture is painted for what it takes to write a successful subject line—clarity trumps creativity when it comes to open rates.
Tap into your existing customer base to grow your email list and offer special deals exclusively in your email newsletters. Ask customers to sign up each time they purchase something and offer incentives if they spread the word.
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.

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.
Thanks Matt. It supports 5 autoresponders right. If it’s not on the list you can reach out to them and ask them to add SendReach. You can add HTML and make completely custom forms (although I use the default because it converts well).
Pinterest can play host to visual content that encourages visitors to sign up to see more content. For example, HubSpot created a Pinterest board where we pin the well-designed covers of our marketing ebooks. From this board, we’ve been able to generate new leads and grow our email list.
If you have 20 employees who all send out ten emails a day, that’s 200 emails everyday times the total number of working days in a month. That’s thousands of emails you’re sending out! With a 1.5% conversion rate, it’ll result in loads of relevant emails each month – and you haven’t paid a penny! And I promise you that you can do this in less than five minutes if you just follow this quick guide to changing your email signature. nd out anyway.
When you send out an invoice, include an option to sign up for email communications with you. Again, sweeten the deal by offering an incentive such as a discount or free shipping on the next order as a reward for providing email addresses.
Your email list is your best friend when you work with email marketing. The ideal email list contains plenty of relevant subscribers, who have all willingly given you their email address because you have promised them valuable content in return.
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.
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.
Awesome stuff. I am using aweber and optimise press at the moment. What software would you recommend to create capture pages like the ones you’ve showcased above? I might of missed it if you mentioned it.. Will definitely test the pop-up opt-in.
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.
At the start of my online career i used to think that list building has no benefits but after doing some research on the topic and starting with the link building thing i came to knew it’s importance. It’s really necessary for website and blog owners to build lists or they’ll just let their selves down because list building is the game changer when Search Engines and Social Media doesn’t work for you.
This more intimate medium of communication lends itself to more honest decisions; that’s an important reason why people will always be “warmer” to being sold on their interests via email, and just another reason why email will always beat social media marketing.
Day of the Week As with hour of the day, it’s hard to come by best practices for timing in this regard. For some lists, weekends will be amazing, and for others they will be so dead you could swear you just saw a tumbleweed roll by. The answer again here is to test it and see which day(s) work for you.
Where consumers have indicated the wish not to receive direct marketing communications by signing on to a preference service, or in any other way, this should be respected. Marketers who are communicating with consumers internationally should, where possible ensure that they avail themselves of the appropriate preference service in the markets to which they are addressing their communications and respect consumers’ wishes not to receive such communications (see also General Provisions, article 19, data protection and privacy.[26] Where a system exists, enabling consumers to indicate a wish not to receive unaddressed mail (e.g. mailbox stickers), this should be respected.
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.
Imagine reaching those who want to hear from you. Imagine taking your solutions to those who need them the most. Imagine making a positive impression on those who’ve never heard of your business. Or delighting those who have. This is direct marketing in a nut shell. And, contrary to what you may have heard, it’s still a big deal.
Your most responsive subscribers are arguably your biggest fans. They are more likely than the average subscriber to want more email from you, and they’ve proven that they tend to act on those emails.
If a customer or prospect visits your website, they’re already at least somewhat interested. Don’t miss the opportunity to add them to your email list. Include email registration forms on every main page of your site, as well as on the pages for popular products and services.
So what should you do instead? Grow an opt-in email list. We’ve already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
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.
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 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.
But I think I’ve seen similar ones finding that users absolutley hate popups. Some will just throw an email in there to get them to go away. Others “x” out of them before they load and never come back.
The ending of an article provides a classic example of the “What’s next?” phenomenon experienced by web users. The time invested in that activity has ended, leaving users without a clear cue on what they should do next.
Those people don’t know who you are; either they don’t know anything about your products or services. At best they will delete your email, at worse they will hit “Report Spam” button on it. A certain amount of spam complaints and… voila, your account with an ESP is shut down.
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?
Fortunately, there are options for popups, as the strategy covers a wide variety of different implementations. I’m throwing all these under the umbrella of “popup.” Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any favorites you’ve used or seen.
In this day and age, there is no need for these services. No one wants to hear from you via email, phone or snail mail. If we did, we’d contact you. Unless a person speaks to you specifically and requests to be contacted, they did NOT opt-in. We were sold by some company who lied when they claimed to respect our privacy. We HATE being contacted by you, and feel violated each time it happens. People all over the world make fun of marketers of all sorts, and wish it were illegal for you to contact us in any manner. Curious to see how many spam email I get from this post.
The Help Scout newsletter embraces this practice with our minimal design and very obvious call to action. There’s only one big “ask” in our emails, and this design choice has played a big role in our high click-through rates.
In the example below, the email list is marketed as “the most accurate,” “targeted” and SPAM-free.” The thing is though, the people on the for-sale lists did not agree to have your emails sent to them. Therefore, the list is not accurate, not targeted correctly and most certainly spam.
Therefore, if you want people to open your emails, cut to the chase and give them a reason to as quickly as possible (e.g., choosing “Our lowest prices ever” vs. “Now is the time to shop for the lowest prices we’ve offered all year!”).
Offline events like trade shows are highly anticipated growth opportunities for professionals in your industry. Demo your latest product at an appropriate conference and collect signups in-person. Once you’re back at the office, import these signups into your contact database. Be sure to send these contacts a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list. (See #8 in this blog post for tips on sending welcome emails.)
A day doesn’t pass where some defrauded marketer calls, and shares a story about how they just flushed $499 down the toilet. A recent call-in shared a story of how he bought 85,000 golf email addresses for just $699. He figured he couldn’t lose even if 50% of the list was bad; sounds logical. He excitedly email tested a small 5,000 name sample, and quickly learned that more than 45% of the email addresses were undeliverable. No problem – as he expected – BUT then he was faced with a new development … his email transmission company locked his account … punishment per se for using a bad list. Most unsuspected marketers are not aware of this latter point; it’s a waste of time and money to buy a huge number of email addresses if there’s not an email transmission company that is willing to transmit the email list.
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.
We provide marketing lists to many well known global companies. I’m sure they wouldn’t have came back to extend their license with us again and again over the years if their marketing campaigns results are so poor as you said.
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.
If your goal is to own and market to a legitimate opt-in email list (that is, the kind of email list that has a shot at garnering response), then buying an email list is not for you. The reason for that is simple…you really can’t “buy” someone’s permission. They have to give it to you.
A few disclaimers: I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever played one on TV. For full legal counsel, contact a lawyer within your state to make sure you’re playing well with others (and being legal with all your email processes).
All marketers should be familiar with the work of George Lowenstein, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University. Lowenstein’s research on information gap theory reveals powerful insights for creating email broadcasts that people will actually read and click through.
These are all cases of sites installing a popup (or variation of a popup), followed by immediate boosts to email signups. Why the big boost? Well, popups are a can’t-miss call-to-action. Literally. It doesn’t get more can’t-miss than a window appearing over the content you’re trying to read.
Include social sharing buttons and an “Email to a Friend” button in your marketing emails. That way, you’ll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a “Subscribe” CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.