A 2010 study by the Direct Marketing Association reports that in 2010, marketers—commercial and nonprofit—spent $153.3 billion on direct marketing, which accounted for 54.2% of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $1.798 trillion in incremental sales. In 2010, direct marketing accounted for 8.3% of total US gross domestic product. In 2010, there were 1.4 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 8.4 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.8 million US jobs.[1]
Harvesting emails and selling them can get you in a world of trouble. CAN SPAM specifically states that it is illegal to sell and buy email addresses. It is, however, legal to rent a list, but that’s still considered sketchy.
Build your list with our list-builder tool, or buy one of our pre-built contact lists of managers and stakeholders in several industries. Market to your target audience, whether it’s doctors or CFOs. We have more than 100 lists to choose from!
GoDaddy Email Marketing and other reputable email newsletter apps don’t allow purchased email lists. This means that in order to send to those lists you bought, you’ll need to use a “disreputable” service which is likely already on ISP and blacklist block lists.

For example, subscribers to teen magazines might be presented with Facebook ads for acne medication which, based on their age, they are likely to need. Or members of the United States Equestrian Federation might all receive an email promotion offering special pricing on horse gear. Current residents of Wilmington, Delaware might receive a flyer announcing the arrival of Wegmans supermarket to their area. Conversely, people in Wilmington, Ohio would not.
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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.
Remember that this is perceived value, so giving people things that cost you anything (except time) can still have this same effect. Apply this to your email marketing efforts by surprising subscribers with free stuff. Blog posts don’t count, because there is no surprise there; people EXPECT them to be free.
We wrote a post awhile back about email list building, and in the course of writing that post, we got the Christmas morning jitters. We wanted to try every single idea we could. And so we did. And wouldn’t you know it, the ideas worked! I’m really happy to share with you our experience from an […]
I so often forget that people can sign up to an email list in places other than an email capture form on my site. Depending on your email software, there is likely a landing page devoted to acquiring email signups. You can get the link and share it in a huge number of different places like email signatures, social media messages, and guest blog bios.
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.
This is a brilliant B2B lead generation tool that grabs corporate email addresses of your ideal customers in real time i.e. they do not store data. I’ve jumped into the beta (currently in closed beta so recommend you request access) and the team are doing a great job. This tool finds really accurate data. It’s incredibly intuitive. Very fast. I could go on.
Business-to-business lists will run even higher, usually starting at $250 CPM and running as high as $1,000 CPM for a very well targeted list. And yes, $1,000 CPM means that you’re paying a DOLLAR for each email address, and remember, that’s for a ONE-TIME use.
Effective direct marketing begins with data. Marketers examine categories of customers or prospects they think will be interested in their product or service, and develop or procure lists for making contacts.
I bought a computer that did automated calling in the 90s for about $ 7000 and the result was a disaster. Probably not even .001 % ROI. Its been a while and I was considering buying an email list but after reading your comments, I will not do this. What about fax blasting? Is that an option?
If you’re promoting a new social media channel or post, send it to your biggest fans first; they’re more likely to share, comment, like, and so on. As a bonus, when you email the rest of your list and they click through to the post/page, they’ll see the activity from your fans, which makes it easier for them to share/like/comment as well.
Identify known homeowners and mortgage seekers, updated monthly. Select your geographic territory via a map interface or standard selections such as zip codes, counties, cities, etc.. View more information…
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.
I read your post on Jon Morrow’s blog and then landed here. This is such an exhaustive post. And it is going to take exhaustive efforts to implement. We haven’t tried page level popups. In fact, I disabled all popups because they didn’t seem to function well with mobile users. But that has affected our conversions.
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.
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.
If you know your small business needs marketing, but don’t have the time or resources, look no further. The Duct Tape Marketing podcast covers everything from earning referrals to managing time and being more productive.
All of the things I have gone through in this post are great ideas and experiences I have made, and I know for sure that they will help you to effectively grow your email list and keep your email marketing budget intact.
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.
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.
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.
There are numerous ways to compile such lists. You can simply harvest them off the Web and aggregate them into a file. You could set up a bunch of various Web sites with different free offers that require an email address to participate. Think about that method, though. Do you really think that anyone would sign up for anything like that if they understood that their email address was going to be sold countless times?
For sidebar opt-ins and pop-ups, it’s best to keep things simple and just ask for an email, but on segmented lists and specific landing pages, gathering a name lets you use this tactic to create strong, personal connections with subscribers.
And let’s say I implement your “content upgrade” strategy on a particular post, by including an opt-in form at the end of the post. If people sign up via that opt-in form, they will get a beautiful PDF file that summarizes that post.
I’ve found giveaways are a good way to build up your email list. This gives incentives for people to willing give you their email in exchange for a chance at winning something. Also searching forums related to your niche is a good way to find people who are interested in what you are selling.
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!
You do not want to use a POPUP that blocks your entire page. If you do that Google Search will penalize you. So don’t do that. However, you can use smart popups that don’t block your whole page and they work great.
Instead of just linking to your home page, try linking to a relevant landing page within your author bio. Conversion rates are generally high because anyone clicking on your link wants more information from you.
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.
Email is the most personal way to contact someone. It’s meant for one thing and one thing only–getting in direct contact with somebody. Sure, social platforms offer private messaging features, but in the end, they’re primarily meant to be used for public sharing.
People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
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.
While some marketing techniques aim to increase awareness or to educate markets about a company’s products or services, direct marketing’s sole goal is to persuade the recipient to take action. While getting a sale is the ultimate goal, some customers will not be ready to buy on-the-spot. But they might:
For example, graduates of Princeton University might be sent an email announcing a new cashmere sweater now available for sale with the school’s logo on it. Only students, graduates, and their parents are likely to be interested in owning such a piece of clothing, so by limiting who receives the announcement, the manufacturer saves money on distribution costs and increases the odds of reaching people who might make a purchase.
Hey Loz, that may be the most poetic comment we’ve ever had on the blog (and we’ve had over 6,000). But you’re right: there’s A LOT more behind the scenes/up front work than there was even 2 or 3 years ago. The barrier to entry for growing a blog has doubled in that time. That’s good for hard workers like you and me 🙂
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.
If you practice email marketing you know how difficult it is to find relevant and free email lists. And even when you search for contacts databases, you have no guarantee that it will work for the success of your sales and business.
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.
Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.
AWeber has a fantastic example of this copy in its 7 reasons to subscribe page, which is a great place to link to on guest posts and off-site features. In other words, an AWeber guest blogger could link directly to this page in their byline, as it will convert far better than just shuffling someone over to the blog homepage.
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.
While creative and “mysterious” headlines can work well for blog posts (since they create curiosity), people have less patience for mystery in their inbox, and they may even confuse the message for spam.
– Offer the webinar’s summary as a download. If you host a webinar, a written summary is a great addition. You can allow access to the webinar to anyone, but provide its written summary with the key points as a download for an email address. For those visitors who don’t have the time to watch the webinar online, downloading a quick summary can be priceless.
You probably feel like an expert within your area – and so you should! But why not share your knowledge with as many people as possible? And how about you collect emails while doing it? The answer: Email courses!
The least salubrious method of creating these lists is email harvesting. This is when the vendors use bots to crawl the web and collect email addresses from websites, forums and comment sections. Sometimes, low wage and long suffering people are paid to manually grab email addresses off websites. Not very nice!