When it comes to rented or purchased lists, you may come across vendors or marketers who say, “This email list is totally opt-in!” This means that the people on the list opted in to an email communication from someone at some point in time — like the list provider, for example. What it doesn’t mean, however, is that they opted in to receive email communications from your business. This is a critical distinction, and the next section of this post will go into more detail on why this type of “opt-in email list” (should be read with air quotes) is not a good idea for your email marketing program.
So now that I’ve told you a few ways to acquire email lists, I’m going to tell you why you should acquire them through method number three above — the opt-in method in which you generate your own list of email contacts.
Once your visitors have decided to purchase something from your ecommerce store, they have decided they like your brand, your product, and your site. Your product range has sparked their interest to that extent that they just can’t live without that one thing, they have decided to buy.
When you meet people face to face for any reason, ask for their business card. Offer yours. Set a glass bowl on the counter in your store or the reception desk in your office, and ask visitors to drop their cards in it. Offer some incentive to do so — a free product or service, gift card, etc. Use your own business cards to further drum up emails; add an offer on the back of your card that encourages people to sign up to receive your emails.
One of the other significant benefits of direct marketing is that it enables promoting products or services that might not be known to consumers. Products or service with a sound value proposition, matched with an attractive offer, supported with effective communication, delivered through a suitable direct marketing channel and targeting the relevant customer segment can result in a very effective cost of acquisition. Relative to other channels of distribution (say retailing) direct marketing as a practice principally relies on the proposition, offer, communication, choice of channel and the target customer and so less dependent on the brand strength. Despite the proven ability of direct marketing to generate measurable results, most companies continue to use general or branding advertising to market their products or services.
One of Michael Hyatt‘s secrets to building an incredible list is with giveaways—and probably a good amount of A/B testing. His calls-to-action for downloading a free ebook are really excellent. Here’s the one that appears at the bottom of his posts.
I agree never to purchase an email list if you do it is no longer opt-in. However email rentals have worked for me. I have found that testing is key as well as repetition. I think people expect sometimes to send on email to a rented list and have more hits than a direct mail campaign..that just isn’t realistic.
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!
Ask that the email list includes the “full contact name” of the email recipient … and the “direct mail address.” Proceed with caution when an email list is missing this key data. Also, be sure the direct mail addresses have a 94+ percent delivery guarantee … or money refund. Having the full name of email recipient will let you know if you’re receiving multiple emails addresses for the same person. And the direct mail address will let you know if you’re receiving 5 email addresses for the same household … which could raise a flag if you’re were seeking just the adult male parent … not all the children. Without the “full name” of email recipient and direct mail address, you’re simply shooting in the dark … absolutely no idea about the names on the email list that you just purchased.
Segment your market (optional) – Ideally, break your market into tiny segments, large enough to collect statistically significant data, while small enough to balance your investment risks. Try testing two or more offer variations to see which one performs better on a small scale.
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.
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.
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.
In direct response radio, ads contain a call to action with a specific tracking mechanism. Often, this tracking mechanism is a “call now” prompt with a toll-free phone number or a unique Web URL. Results of the ad can be tracked in terms of calls, orders, customers, leads, sales, revenue, and profits that result from the airing of those ads.
If you’re using email marketing software now or plan to in the future, you’ll find that reputable companies will insist that you use opt-in email lists. You might be saying, “I’ll just use a non-reputable email marketing vendor.” Alas, ESPs on shared IP addresses that don’t require customers to use opt-in email lists typically suffer poor deliverability. Why? One customer’s ill-gotten email address list can poison the deliverability of the other customers on that shared IP address. You’re going to want to hitch your wagon to the light side of the email marketing force if you want your emails to actually get into inboxes.
Where consumers have a right of withdrawal (the consumer’s right to resend any goods to the seller, or to cancel the order for services, within a certain time limit and thus annulling the sale), the marketer should inform them of the existence of this right, how to obtain further information about it, and how to exercise it. Where there is an offer to supply products to the consumer on the basis of “free examination”, “free trial”, “free approval” and the like, it should be made clear in the offer who will bear the cost of returning products and the procedure for returning them should be as simple as possible. Any time limit for the return should be clearly disclosed.
Everyone hates to see the dreaded bounceback alert in their inbox. If you have snail-mail information to match an email address, send a postcard asking the contact to provide you with an updated email address so you can stay in touch. Consider rewarding them with a discount or freebie for taking the time to respond.
These are all examples of things you can start doing today to increase your business’ email database. Many of them are not complicated or difficult to implement. The key is to attack email list-building from as many angles as possible.
For sure, it doesn’t work having a CTA saying ‘Do as thousands. Sign up for our newsletter.’ That will lead the potential subscriber to think ‘am I just another subscriber?’ and will give the impression that the newsletter is just like all the others, left unopened and eventually deleted.
That is very effective, as it has increased their sign up eleven times! ELEVEN. And as mentioned before, the subscribers you collect when they are in the process of buying are more relevant than any other leads.
Instead of helping people confirm their email, how about removing the co formation completely. Sure, you will get some bad emails, but over time you will get more real subscribers than you would using a confirm email. (Stole this trick from Neil Patel)
The term “junk mail”, referring to unsolicited commercial ads delivered via post office or directly deposited in consumers’ mail boxes, can be traced back to 1954. The term “spam,” meaning “unsolicited commercial e-mail,” can be traced back to March 31, 1993, although in its first few months it merely referred to inadvertently posting a message so many times on UseNet that the repetitions effectively drowned out the normal flow of conversation.
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.
I thoroughly enjoyed the post. It is a lot to absorb at once but I will be reviewing the information later and take the appropriate actions necessary. It was an opener for me on the very many and simple strategies existing to help with traffic and interactions. I love your site and have signed up for your newsletters