Every month when we pull our list of the top ten best-performing blog posts on the Buffer blog, we end up grabbing 11 because always, without fail, one of the top ten results is the root domain for our blog—the home page at blog.bufferapp.com.
Direct marketing began in the 19th century with Montgomery Ward’s mail-order catalogues (See also Catalog Marketing). Direct mail campaigns expanded greatly after the creation of bulk mail rates in 1928. More recently, the development of e-mail has further increased the reach and scope of direct marketing.
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.
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.

Hi Yi. Thanks for your comment. Bounce rate is most definitely a key indicator of the health of your list. Your hard bounce rate should be no greater than 5% – that’s the industry standard. Using a purchased or rented email lists is not permitted by reputable ESPs.
In the United States, the National Do Not Call Registry was created in 2003 to offer consumers a choice whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. The FTC created the National Do Not Call Registry after a comprehensive review of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).[15] The do-not-call provisions of the TSR cover any plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls.
There are many routes to direct marketing success. One proven way is by using premium or promotional items. Unlike standard items, which can have a short shelf life, recipients tend to keep promotional items. This gives your marketing campaigns a longer shelf life!
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.
Content upgrade popups increase abandon rate and as a result, hurting your seo. For me, I don’t care much if I got more subscriber each day. But for the best, there should be gaining without losing. Perhaps put a video in the popup would help?
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.
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.
HubSpot is one of the industry leaders in giveaways (so it’s probably no surprise they’re industry leaders, period). In an article about email list growth, Ginny Soskey shared HubSpot’s two-part view of giving something of value to potential subscribers:
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!
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?
Develop a free ebook or whitepaper and host it on a landing page that asks visitors to provide their email address in order to download it. This is called a “gated offer.” (Need ideas? This blog post lists 23 ways to create lead-generation content quickly and easily.)
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]
If ebooks aren’t your jam, create tools instead. I don’t recommend a one-or-the-other approach, necessarily, but if you have more dev talent than writing talent, this may be a more attractive option for you. For example, we created Marketing Grader (formerly Website Grader, HubSpot’s first tool) — which is free to use, but prompts you to input an email address. We also took a similar approach to a more recent tool, the Blog Topic Generator.
How great is that? It almost seems wrong, but then again, who doesn’t like candy. They have even included an image of some gummy bears to make our mouths water. This really is a great example of offering people that little extra to get them to sign up for a newsletter.
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 […]
Need a list for your next marketing campaign? InfoUSA makes finding new customers a snap. Plus once you’ve identified your target audience, we have everything you need in order to design, print, and deliver your customized mailer.
If you scan the market then there you will find many vendors like InfoUSA, Book Your Data, DMDatabases, FrescoData, etc. to get your b2b email list from. But it is doubtful that how many of them are actually confidant about the deliverability of their databases.
Platforms like BuddyPress for WordPress make it easy to set up a community and foster interaction between your brand and your customers. Include a sign-up form for your newsletter on every page of the community.
“I believe it’s important to keep in mind that crossing international boundaries with email is easy and that other nations have different (and sometimes stronger) laws on SPAM than the United States.”
Send emails regularly. Make sure you are reaching your subscribers at least once a month in emails or another medium. Track email campaigns and see how your subscribers treat your emails. If you had a poor open rate, it does not necessarily mean your audience isn’t interested in your product. Experiment with different emails, get to know which email strategy works best, and keep using it to reach your subscribers.
Not really, because it means that the contacts have opted to receive emails from, say, the list-purchasing company — not your company. Even if the opt-in process includes language like, “Opt in to receive information from us, or offers from other companies we think you might enjoy,” the fact is that the recipient has never heard of your company, and does not remember opting in to receive emails from you. That means there’s a really good chance a lot of the recipients will mark you as “Spam” because they don’t recognize you or remember opting in to communications from you … which takes us to our next point.
Kate – The problem many marketers will face is that most reputable ESPs will not accept purchased lists, targeted or not. That’s because they can wreak havoc on your deliverability in the long run. Purchased lists often contain “spam traps,” email addresses created specifically to catch people using these lists, and once you’re flagged with them most email clients will put your emails straight to the “Spam” folder.
Add a QR code (a bar code that people can scan with a smartphone app) to print ads, direct-mail post cards and other printed marketing materials. Use the code to allow people to opt-in to your email list simply by scanning the code.
“The lists were not cleaned and opt in like he said the (sic) would be and were full of spam traps and complainers. I lost my mail servers and because it was down for 4 days I lost revenue. I even lost my website because of complaints to my host.”
Mailerlite* offers a fully featured free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers and Drip* offers a free plan for up to 100 subscribers. Mailerlite is great for simplicity and Drip is best if you need advanced automation.
Resource-style content such as white papers, eBooks, and infographics is made for promotion. While blog posts and traditional articles are a great way to reach out to people (“Hey, thought you might like this recent piece we did on…”), you can get a lot more mileage out of a broad set of evergreen resources.
This is really awesome. I started using SumoMe when i saw it on your website and it did not really increase to my satisfaction and that was because i had no bait for people, but with the introduction of squeeze page, i should probably use one of your ebooks as a bait. Thanks for sharing.
This encourages you to send more emails, but without any sort of strategic thinking, these emails may start to level off your previous success: you’ll see more unsubscribes, spam complaints, and fewer people taking action.
We recently passed the 20,000 mark for subscribers on the Buffer blog, and it’s safe to say we have a lot to learn to grow a successful list. We’re inspired to learn from some of the smart and well regarded sites who have made email an emphasis. For example:
Overall responsibility for all aspects of direct marketing activities, whatever their kind or content, rests with the marketer. However, responsibility also applies to other participants in direct marketing activities and that needs to be taken into account. As well as marketers, these may include: operators, telemarketers or data controllers, or their subcontractors, who contribute to the activity or communication; publishers, media-owners or contractors who publish, transmit or distribute the offer or any other communication.
If you find a source of prospects from a targeted website and purchase an email list … you pretty much know they are visiting the website for certain reasons but I suppose this list could be useless too
If you don’t currently have any downloadable guides to offer (more on that later), it’s best to stick with a traditional newsletter page like this one. A page like this offers an opportunity to outline the benefits of joining your newsletter, letting you reach current blog readers who need that little extra nudge to sign up.
Thus, determining which channel to use is a very personal choice, however, it’s important to note that marketing channels are not mutually exclusive; you can promote through multiple channels at the same time.
That is a brilliant way to go about it, as the customers will be more inclined to sign up because they can potentially win something. You just have to remember to state clearly that they will receive other offers. Otherwise, you are going to end up with tons of unsubscribers once the competition is over. You can also add a checkbox where they can actively choose whether or not they want to receive latest offers, trends, and sales from you.
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 🙂
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.
Awesome stuff, as always. I would just like to add one thing to improve conversions and build bigger list: use feature box. Derek Halpern from SocialTriggers.com talks a lot about that, and it works like charm.
Exclusive Bonus: Without these elements, your email marketing will not work. You will forever deal with being blacklisted, unsubscribed, opted out, and banished to the spam folder. These elements must be carefully considered, planned, and executed. With them, your email marketing will not only work, it will have superpowers. Download ‘Email Marketing Secret №1’ PDF ebook that will teach you how to make your email marketing profitable with live examples.
Then, let’s say you write 30 blog posts a month. That means you’d get 60 leads in a month — 2 from each blog post. Now keep doing that for a year. The work you did to blog that first month will continue to drive leads throughout the year. That means you’re actually getting 4,680 opt-in contacts a month by the end of a 12-month period because of the compounding effects of blogging — not just 720 opt-in contacts (60 leads*12 months).
Now, not being able to afford a “quality” email list is no reason to go out and waste money on a low cost worthless email list. Instead I recommend investing $400 into a direct mail or telemarketing list. Yes telemarketing is tough, BUT there are some nifty and effective ways to generate long-term profitable customers via telemarketing. And studies have shown that a well targeted direct mail campaign will easily generate more responses (sales) than an email campaign.
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.