When the average user logs into Facebook, they want to see new pictures from last Friday night (so they can un-tag any unsightly evidence), updates from family members who are out of state, and witty status updates from their friends.
In 1967, Lester Wunderman identified, named, and defined the term “direct marketing”. Wunderman—considered[by whom?] to be the father of contemporary direct marketing—is behind the creation of the toll-free 1-800 number[4] and numerous loyalty marketing programs including the Columbia Record Club, the magazine subscription card, and the American Express Customer Rewards program.[7]

In many developed countries, direct mail represents such a significant amount of the total volume of mail that special rate classes have been established. In the United States and United Kingdom, for example, there are bulk mail rates that enable marketers to send mail at rates that are substantially lower than regular first-class rates. In order to qualify for these rates, marketers must format and sort the mail in particular ways—which reduces the handling (and therefore costs) required by the postal service. In the US, marketers send over 90 billion pieces of direct mail per year.[23]
Some mailing lists are open to anyone who wants to join them, while others require an approval from the list owner before one may join. Joining a mailing list is called “subscribing” and leaving a list is called “unsubscribing”.
Get creative. Since every business is different, some of the strategies in this guide might not work for your business if you implement them exactly as described. However, most of what’s described can work for a large majority of businesses with just a few tweaks. In some cases, you might even get greater results than the people who wrote these posts.
Ever since I first time heard that you can get free traffic from a thing called Google, I wanted that. But, I had no idea where to start. And what was even worse, every “great” tip I’d receive from an “experts” was a complete BS that only sounds nice, but could never be used by real businesses. Most of those things are considered black-hat now. That’s how “great” those tips were.
The great thing about CTA’s are that you can change them for free – they are all yours, and it’s your imagination that sets the limit. You will probably spend some time coming up with the best CTA’s, but I guarantee you it’ll be worth it!
Similar to guest blogging, partner websites can allow you to target a new but appropriate audience with a campaign on your own website. Use this partner source to direct visitors back to your website — where you’re already collecting email addresses.
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.
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.
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.
Absolutely, you could go through the whitelisting process with AOL, Gmail, MSN/Hotmail, Yahoo, Comcast, etc., but it won’t matter if your email generates an inordinate number of bounces and spam complaints. And once the complaints start to roll in (and trust me, they will), your whitelist status will be terminated.
However, none of that will ever become a reality, if you don’t have any subscribers. A lot of the people I talk to claim that it can be a costly affair to grow your email list – but that is a common misunderstanding I want to correct.
This one was interesting: Demaria recommends that you avoid using one large image as the entire email (especially if it includes text image). The reason being, “Spam filters cannot read images so sometimes emails trick spam filters by embedding text in images.”
Excellent post as always Brian. You mentioned a downloadable eBook, How to Get 25,000 Visitors Per Month after subscribing. I may have lost that email. Would it be possible for you to post the download link here please? I’d love to have a read of that e-book. Thanks in advance.
One service that has been really liked by the crowd is that of a company called Database of Decision Makers. It offers you a never before heard offer of replacing the bad contacts with good ones, in case you come across any. They have established a good network of lead grabbers and can offer you a healthy database of the most recent contacts, new and freshly updated.
The most responsive customers to direct mailing (or e-mailings) are those who have opted in to mailing lists (for example, an online shopper buying a product checks a box marked “send me information on future promotions”). Such customers have already expressed interest in the company’s products, and pay attention to new products and sales. (See also Permission Marketing)
When you “buy” a list, you’re actually taking ownership of the file. In theory, that sounds great because you are free to do with the list whatever you wish. In particular, you can send as many emails to the list as you like without paying any more money (deployment costs aside).
I especially like the portion on the “about” page… most people leave this as a wasted opportunity. I see this on a majority of our client sites that the about us page is the second, or third most visited site (behind the homepage) yet most people leave it under-utilized.
I agree with the testimonials, especially videos, because they’re truly convincing and give you authority as well. Pop-ups are two-sided for me. On one hand, they’re great for getting user emails for subscriptions. On the other, some folks just find them annoying. An enjoyable and informative post nonetheless. Thanks, Brian!
The denouncement of pop-ups has become an availability cascade; people love to point out why they “won’t work” despite the fact that the data shows most people aren’t really (all that) averse to pop-ups.
Mobile Applications: Smartphone-based mobile apps contain several types of messages. Push Notifications are direct messages sent to a user either automatically or as part of a campaign. They include transactional, marketing, geo-based, and more. Rich Push Notifications are full HTML Push Notifications. Mobile apps also contain Interactive ads that appear inside the mobile application or app; Location-Based Marketing: marketing messages delivered directly to a mobile device based on the user’s location; QR Codes (quick-response barcodes): This is a type of 2D barcode with an encoded link that can be accessed from a smartphone. This technology is increasingly being used for everything from special offers to product information. Mobile Banner Ads: Like standard banner ads for desktop Web pages but smaller to fit on mobile screens and run on the mobile content network
* 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with. 61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly and 28% want them even more frequently. – MarketingSherpa 2
In October 2013, the Federal Telephone Consumers Protection Act made it illegal to contact an individual via cell phone without prior express written consent for all telephone calls using an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice to deliver a telemarketing message to wireless numbers and residential lines. An existing business relationship does not provide an exception to this requirement.
A direct marketing campaign may use multiple communications channels including mail, e-mail, phones, and face-to-face contact (See also Direct Mail Marketing). Different channels will be selected based on the target group. For example, a new restaurant might prefer distributing flyers or leaflets door to door, which saves money on mailing costs, targets the restaurant’s immediate neighborhood, and provides an opportunity for person-to-person engagement. Face-to-face engagement might also be used for in-store marketing. Home Depot In-Home Services, for instance, uses direct marketers in their stores to generate leads for various home improvement programs, such as cabinet resurfacing.
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.
So, building up lists of emails is a task you must put some effort behind in order to kick your email marketing efforts into gear. The problem is nobody really wants more email, particularly spam from unknown sources. When I talk about buying email lists, I’m am not talking about buying or renting so called opt-in lists from list brokers. I’m talking about offering something of value as a way to motivate someone to willingly exchange their email address with you in order to receive your offers and additional contact.
I have found that opt-in email rentals do not work well for direct sale unless you are a well known brand – but have worked very well for me in lead generation through newsletters, lead generation through coupon offers and brand awareness campaigns.
To me, this is worthwhile because LeadPages doesn’t limit the number of monthly visitors, I can create landing pages fast and there’s the LeadBox feature for content upgrades which I mentioned earlier.
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.
Consumers have expressed concerns about the privacy and environmental implications of direct marketing. In response to consumer demand and increasing business pressure to increase the effectiveness of reaching the right customer with direct marketing, companies specialize in targeted direct advertising to great effect, reducing advertising budget waste and increasing the effectiveness of delivering a marketing message with better geo-demography information, delivering the advertising message to only the customers interested in the product, service, or event on offer. Additionally, members of the advertising industry have been working to adopt stricter codes regarding online targeted advertising.[12]
Coupons have been around for a long time. Recently, they have moved firmly into the digital world where a new generation of users are downloading them to computers and mobile devices. In this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I visited with Steven Gray of Money Mailer and Brent Dusing of CellFire. Money […]
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.
Our marketing solutions bridge the gap between tried-and-true tactics and cutting-edge technology. For over 30 years, our approach has proven to get the results needed to make companies more profitable.
When you send out your newsletter, it is only people on your email list that’ll receive it right? But how often haven’t you forwarded a relevant newsletter to a friend, a colleague or your mom? I do it all the time.
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.
Used and tried, never again. Best way is with your own contacts not from a paid for database in my opinion. Most people now see as spam and delete with opening therefore a huge waste of money and resources.
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.
And let me tell you, mixed in with those email addresses were a huge number of foreign email addresses. I’m no geography major, but I don’t think Russia is in any part of the southeastern United States.
The way to get ideas for what to give away is by speaking with your existing customers. If you have a support team or happen to be doing support yourself, you already know what questions customers ask and what their biggest challenges are.
First proposed and popularized by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, a feature box is a large, well, box that sits above your company blog’s content, presenting a snapshot of what the blog is about and why people will benefit if they subscribe via email. To see an example in action, check our personal example on the Help Scout blog:
Internet service providers (GMail, Yahoo, etc.) and anti-spam organizations create the spam traps to prevent spam from reaching people’s inboxes. The important thing for everyone to remember is if you use a purchased list, you are technically spamming the people on that list. Spam is unsolicited email and those people did not request your information.
If you have physical stores, it is an excellent opportunity to collect leads without having to buy expensive equipment or train the staff. Hopefully plenty of customers visit your store every day – why not ask them for their email address when they are in your store? It’s just that simple. Asking for their email can seem odd or out of place if the staff doesn’t explain why they should. So instead of just asking them for their email, ask them if they want to save money on their next purchase – because who wouldn’t? I’ve previously spoken to Torkel Johannesen and Alf Johndal from the Norwegian beauty universe VITA. They introduced me to their amazing omnichannel strategy. They use their physical stores actively to collect emails and thereby sign ups for their newsletter.
Copywriters write the words that motivate the reader, listener, or viewer to take the action the marketer wants them to take. Copywriters in direct marketing are called direct response copywriters. These copywriters have a specific skill-set based on proven direct marketing techniques. The goal is to motivate prospects to take a specific action. Copywriters in general and branding advertising focus on making current and potential customers feel a certain way about the product or service. Graphic designers, web developers, and other creatives also play a crucial role in successful direct marketing.
Time of Day Timing is heavily dependent on location, industry, and the type of subscribers who are on your list—there is no ‘right’ answer for which hour of the day is best—but you can come close by testing it via your broadcasts!
Free Email List was once a dream! but now just for you Guys I am providing this ultimate Active USA email addresses list for free. A mailing list is simply a list of email addresses which can be used to send some information to people.
Even if such a service did what it claimed to do (I am skeptical that it would reliably do so, but let’s suppose I concede you this point), it doesn’t address the other issues that arise from sending to non-permission email addresses (such as purchased lists).