And even if you do manage to get your emails deployed, odds are very good that your email will generate enough “this is spam” complaints to block your current and future emails at places such as AOL, Gmail, MSN/Hotmail, and Yahoo! If you have a consumer focus, the majority of the email addresses on your list are going to come from these service providers.
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.
Email lists sold on the Internet are never validated and are full of dead and undeliverable email addresses. Plus, those lists are used by many marketers and the email addresses’ owners are already fed up with emails from other email marketers, and I have a great doubt that they will open and read your message since they receive hundreds of emails every day. Email addresses harvested from websites belong to people who did not hear about you and will hardly want to receive your emails. As a return, you will receive a lot of complaints from people for sending them unsolicited emails, and ban of your email account.
Companies that use direct marketing benefit from being able to focus limited resources on a targeted promotion, which also allows them to personalize the marketing message. Because it is easy to measure responses, companies can test different marketing messages for improving the response rate. Direct marketing can be cost-effective if the customer database is well-managed.
In this tough economy, I understand how marketers are looking for a low cost way to reach their prospects, and unfortunately some are willing to risk $400 to give a low cost email list a try. However, if there’s a willingness to take that risk, then my only recommendation is to DEMAND some type of guarantee. If a list supplier is not willing to provide some type of “money-back” guarantee – then I highly recommend that a list is NOT purchased. Literally, the dollars might as well be flushed down the toilet.
It’s eye-catching without being annoying. If you’re not a fan of popups, rejoice: since the feature box is front and center when your site loads, it will grab a reader’s attention without impeding their ability to read.
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.)
Select contacts. Hover your mouse over a contact’s profile picture (or their first initial if they don’t have a picture), then click the checkbox that appears below your cursor and repeat this process for each contact you want to add.
The most vital thing is to give them a great reason to sign up. When they receive your newsletter from someone they know, they are more likely to do so, as the friend has already subscribed and has found the content valuable and shareable.
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.
Offline events like trade shows are highly anticipated growth opportunities for professionals in your industry. Demo your latest product at an appropriate conference and collect signups in-person. Once you’re back at the office, import these signups into your contact database. Be sure to send these contacts a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list. (See #8 in this blog post for tips on sending welcome emails.)
How it works is quite ingenious. It works through a live server connection process. So you have a chrome extension that allows the Sales Umbrella tool to sit over the top of your LinkedIn account. You then add people either one by one or in bulk from LinkedIn into your Sales Umbrella platform. The tool will then grab their corporate email addresses through some sort of server to server handshake connection directly with your prospects corporate server.
Free List Check by FreshAddress is a free email hygiene tool that helps marketers quickly asses the health of their email lists.  The process is fast, easy, free, and 100% secure. Input an email list and within minutes, we’ll notify you if it contains any warning signs of:
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 🙂
They have expertise in custom business lists for any industry vertical. The files that they provide comes with complete contact information including business name, contact name, contact title, telephone number, confirmed email address and fax number.
A web-based interface is often available to allow people to subscribe, unsubscribe, and change their preferences. However, mailing list servers existed long before the World Wide Web,[1] so most also accept commands over email to a special email address. This allows subscribers (or those who want to be subscribers) to perform such tasks as subscribing and unsubscribing, temporarily halting the sending of messages to them, or changing available preferences – all via email. The common format for sending these commands is to send an email that contains simply, the command followed by the name of the electronic mailing list the command pertains to. Examples: subscribe anylist or subscribe anylist John Doe.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means we may get a commission if you make a purchase. Our opinions are our own and we only share what we believe you’ll find helpful. You won’t pay anything extra but it helps us support the running of this website and continue to publish helpful content. Thank you!
This is also common. Remember, if you want people to join your email list, you need to give them a reason to join. And if you’re not giving away a discount, the next best thing is this: give away content.
The term advertising, or direct mail, is used to refer to communications sent to potential customers or donors via the postal service and other delivery services. Direct mail is sent to customers based on criteria such as age, income, location, profession, buying pattern, etc. Direct mail includes advertising circulars, catalogs, free-trial CDs, pre-approved credit card applications, and other unsolicited merchandising invitations delivered by mail to homes and businesses. Bulk mailings are a particularly popular method of promotion for businesses operating in the financial services, home computer, and travel and tourism industries.
The purpose of direct response marketing, as the name suggests, is…are you ready for this? This is huge…The purpose is to…wait for it… generate a response. Sounds simple enough, right? Yet many marketers are constantly challenged with how to accomplish this goal. If you’re one of them, I’m willing to bet a shiny nickel that you’re making this grave mistake and it’s probably limiting your direct marketing potential.
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.
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.
Webinars, ebooks, templates, etc. — these are all good long-form, premium content assets that people may find valuable enough to give over their email address. The more gated assets you have to put behind landing pages, the better — a wider variety of content will make it easier for you to attract a wider swath of people.
Choose your channel – Go back to the section on direct marketing channels and decide which one you are going to test. Consider which one you think will provide you with the highest ROI by weighing the setup and launch costs against the prospective response rate you hope to get through the channel. Do you think your market will respond better to email or telephone (or something else)? How much will it cost you to send a physical mail vs. an email?
Day of the Week As with hour of the day, it’s hard to come by best practices for timing in this regard. For some lists, weekends will be amazing, and for others they will be so dead you could swear you just saw a tumbleweed roll by. The answer again here is to test it and see which day(s) work for you.
The prevalence of direct marketing and the unwelcome nature of some communications has led to regulations and laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act, requiring that consumers in the United States be allowed to opt out.
Have you ever noticed that when you first join an email list, you tend to read almost every email? But then, over time, you start to lose interest and read less and less—even if you don’t unsubscribe?
The choice of one over the other often depends on a cost benefit analysis i.e how much does it cost to run a campaign through a particular channel compared with how much revenue it will generate for the business.
There are many such issues (see the articles linked from this blog post). For brevity’s sake I’ll stick to one: no such service is going to reliably remove spamtraps (which don’t necessarily bounce) from a list.
Wow. Can I just say thank you so much for building one insanely well done blog post instead of feeding us crumbs for 8 months over email or selling us a $29 ebook. Your go-giving will pay off for sure. Solid stuff here!
Testing different audiences, different pitches, different creatives and designs, different campaign times. Doing so will help you optimize your campaigns and scale them up in a way that is both practical and profitable.
Auto responder sequence – consider your goals here; this can be a great opportunity to grow your passive income, but avoid the hard sell approach. Nobody likes to sign up to an email list only to be battered with promotional emails.
To make the most of an otherwise unfortunate situation, you should offer to get back in touch when the product is back and add a checkbox enabling them to opt in for great offers and discounts once a month (or whatever frequency you send out newsletters)
Acting on feedback from a campaign is essential for effective direct marketing. Poor direct marketing only wastes resources on a low rate of return and annoys prospective customers. In fact, an overabundance of blanket marketing has resulted in laws that make all direct marketing more difficult. For example, laws require direct marketing communications to include an opt-out option, and entirely prohibit certain methods or times of contact. Besides such legal actions, private industry has also responded to customer annoyance with spam by providing e-mail filters that block such marketing. Therefore, wise direct marketers must be careful to avoid frustrating prospective customers, and work to target them with relevant and useful messages and promotions that will be received not as “spam,” but as good business information.
Craft your pitch – Next, put together the offer that you’re going to be sending out, and make sure the style of the creative (size, colors, user flow, language, etc) all match your target audience and selected channel. If email is your choice, we have you covered here with outreach scripts.
I’ve seen one vendor who claims to have 300 million fully opted-in email addresses available (segmentable by just about every category you can think of), and their price to buy this data is only $400 for 1 million email addresses – and only $1,000 for 15 million!
These are all cases of sites installing a popup (or variation of a popup), followed by immediate boosts to email signups. Why the big boost? Well, popups are a can’t-miss call-to-action. Literally. It doesn’t get more can’t-miss than a window appearing over the content you’re trying to read.
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.
In addition, you will need to have a process to handle all of the hard bounces, soft bounces, out-of-office replies, verification messages, and unsubscribe requests. There’s a lot more to handling your email marketing than just hitting the “send” button.
One Good Service I trust is InfoDataPlace. When you hire them, they will do a comprehensive research about your target, creating a target list of them and contact about your product and only send them to you when the Cold perspective gets Warm. To me, the service is excellent and saves tons of time.
If you don’t already blog, you should! Blog posts help you increase your ranking on search engines like Google, and allow you collect blog subscribers that you can then upgrade to more actionable email campaigns over time.