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.
The Offer Finally, if/when you send out those “money” emails (especially for re-marketing purposes, which we will discuss later on), you need to test out offers. An extra 15-days to try the product, or a $10 discount for being on the newsletter? Should you offer an incentive to those who have signed up but haven’t gotten started with your product, or just send a reminder? Find out the answers with split-testing!
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.
According to this study conducted by the Nielsen Group, people scan emails very quickly (51 seconds), and the only areas they give any appreciable amount of time to at all are the initial copy and headlines.
I’m not saying you should put up something crazy like a $6,000 value prize. Think about the products in your niche that people desperately want to get their hands on and look at putting some budget aside.
Regarding the previous paragraph, you can create as many free email marketing lists under different criteria as you need. Thus you pay only once, and get a year of free updates and an endless number of leads’ contacts. Note that this email scraper even collects hidden email addresses!
The Internet has made it easier for marketing managers to measure the results of a campaign. This is often achieved by using a specific website landing page directly relating to the promotional material. A call to action will ask the customer to visit the landing page, and the effectiveness of the campaign can be measured by taking the number of promotional messages distributed and dividing it into the number of responses. Another way to measure the results is to compare the projected sales or generated leads for a given term with the actual sales or leads after a direct advertising campaign. Some companies use conversion rate as a key metric while others use revenue as the key metric.
Help Scout is one of the best at putting focus on an email signup at the home page of their blog. The image above is from the blog landing page. When you navigate deeper into the blog, the subscribe form moves to the sidebar.
Really good article. When you start out it’s definitely tempting to buy an email list, but I’m glad that I didn’t do it with my business. I hate when I receive an unsolicited email from a company that I’m not familiar with. I imagine that most people probably feel the same way.
Thanks Tammy. Great point: popups are extra annoying on a mobile. I wish there was a way to turn off popups for mobile visitors or at least make the popup responsive. That would be an awesome feature for a popup software product.

A mailing list archive is a collection of past messages from one or more electronic mailing lists. Such archives often include searching and indexing functionality. Many archives are directly associated with the mailing list, but some organizations, such as Gmane, collect archives from multiple mailing lists hosted at different organizations; thus, one message sent to one popular mailing list may end up in many different archives. Gmane had over 9,000 mailing list archives as of 16 January 2007. Some popular free software programs for collecting mailing list archives are Hypermail, MHonArc, and FUDforum.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have what I call the real “fly-by-nighters.” These are the people who purport to have 100 million or 200 million “opt in” email addresses, and they’ll send out crazy amounts of email for you (like 10 million emails) for a ridiculously small amount of money (like $500).
Thanks for the warning re ESPs, spam traps & spam treatments Crystal. That’s a shame. Who puts the Spam trap in there & I wonder what they’re trying to achieve? The clients I have already picked up with this purchased list may save our business. As mentioned, at $250-$500 per lead through our SEO campaign, this lead acquisition rate was unsustainable. In brief, this would not be a business. But at $13.75 per lead through the purchased cold email list, those are metrics which make a profitable business. I wonder why anyone would try to block this efficiency with Spam traps? Thanks for your time to help.
Is bounce rate an accurate metric to look at when valuing your email marketing campaigns and the quality of your marketing list? I don’t think so. Most of email blasts have an average bounce rate of 20%. It’s just the reality of it. Instead, I would use ROI as a standard metric for any type of marketing efforts.
Español: hacer una lista de correos en Gmail, Italiano: Creare una Mailing List in Gmail, Русский: сделать список рассылки в Gmail, Português: Criar uma Lista no Gmail, Deutsch: Eine Verteilerliste in Gmail erstellen, Français: créer une liste d’envoi dans Gmail, Bahasa Indonesia: Membuat Milis di Gmail, ไทย: สร้าง Mailing List ใน Gmail, 中文: 在Gmail中创建邮件列表, 日本語: Gmailのメーリングリストをつくる, 한국어: 지메일(Gmail) 메일링 리스트 만들기, Tiếng Việt: Tạo một danh sách thư tín trong Gmail, العربية: إنشاء قائمة مراسلة بريدية في إيميل الجيميل, Nederlands: Een mailinglijst maken in Gmail, हिन्दी: जीमेल पर मेलिंग लिस्ट (Mailing List) तैयार करें
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In doing so, I can get early measurements and compare those against my needs / assumptions to see if it’s worth emailing the other 900 people, or if instead I should spend more time working on my pitch or target a new audience altogether.
What’s nice about this trick, is that your main focus shouldn’t be on sales, as I am convinced that sales will follow automatically. People that have followed and liked your course will automatically turn to you, the expert, when they need something.
Stage an event — lunch gathering, topic talk, book club or whatever works to get people in the door. Drop invitations at nearby businesses, post the notice on your front door, and advertise in local media. Ask people to RSVP with their email addresses.
Also on the main page (and subsequent pages) is an ebook giveaway. The ebook is web-based so you can view the full thing in one click. At the end of the ebook is a call to action to sign up for email updates.
Then they have a small checkbox at the bottom where you can subscribe to their newsletter. This form is also found in many checkout processes. However, Greenline lures their customers in with the promise of candy with the caption “Gummy bears and great offers” “sign up for our newsletter and we’ll add some candy to your order”. I mean… CANDY!
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.
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.
3. The information captured provides all the legal governance – i.e. they are opting in to direct communications channels – you offer this as part of the terms and conditions of sign up / contest entry
The Sales Umbrella tool is a big game changer for me and my clients. Already speeding things up no end. Again, to get access you’ll have to request through their site as it is currently in a closed beta, but I’d highly recommend you do just that.
It works because they offer the subscriber amazing stories and tips, and emphasize that it is without anything else but relevant content. I especially love that they inform the reader about how easy it is to unsubscribe at any time and that they won’t spam their inbox.
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.
Direct marketing is attractive to many marketers because its results, positive or otherwise, can be measured directly. For example, if a marketer sends out 1,000 solicitations by mail and 100 respond to the promotion, the marketer can say with confidence that campaign led directly to a 10% conversion. This metric is known as the ‘response rate’, and it is one of many clearly quantifiable success metrics employed by direct marketers. In contrast, general advertising uses indirect measurements, such as awareness or engagement, since there is no direct response from a consumer. Measurement of results is a fundamental element in successful direct marketing.
If you are already using videos in your content marketing, you should consider how to turn viewers into leads. It is actually possible. I have discovered the tool Wistia, which allows you to collect emails directly in your videos through their Turnstile feature.
I have offered you a few tips in this post. The goal is not to try and put EVERY email list building strategy into effect – just those that make the most sense for your business, your style, your writing goals… and your sanity.