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Were there unsubscribes? Sure. But were there also email replies saying, “Die, spammer, die!” Nope — not a one! In fact, I’ve seen open and click through rates for these efforts that would make some true opt-in email marketers more than a little jealous.
If a visitor gets through your entire website without opting in, grab them one last time before they go. Set a lightbox to appear asking for an email address whenever someone is about to navigate away from your website or blog.
Until your list size is big enough to warrant more in-depth multivariate testing (which will still follow the same guidelines), conducting smart A/B tests like the one outlined above will go a long way toward helping you create an email list that converts.
The denouncement of pop-ups has become an availability cascade; people love to point out why they “won’t work” despite the fact that the data shows most people aren’t really (all that) averse to pop-ups.
The CAN SPAM Act (we’re not talking about a can of Spam, just to be clear) was put in place in 2003 and sets some clear guidelines for staying legal. Breaking the laws can result in up to $16,000 in fines. (That’s some expensive emails to send if you ask me.) Here are a few of the incriminating acts we need to stay away from if we want to be legal and ethical marketers:
Pinterest can play host to visual content that encourages visitors to sign up to see more content. For example, HubSpot created a Pinterest board where we pin the well-designed covers of our marketing ebooks. From this board, we’ve been able to generate new leads and grow our email list.
In this context, I guess each post can’t be thought of in isolation, but in terms of a mini content ecosystem that comprises of a great blog post optimised for on-page SEO, an upgrade to that post tailored for that specific content, various on-page email conversion points including an exit pop-up or similar -and then you combine all this with your off page link building and outreach efforts. That could be over 5,000 words of content all in just that one package.
I didn’t purchase a list, but am given access on a monthly basis to new people who want to hear from suppliers. In this case, the company that provides me with the details is a wedding directory where brides are looking for people to get in touch with them.
Layout Especially important for HTML emailers, we found out this lesson ourselves when we saw better newsletter engagement from going from 3 calls to action in one broadcast down to only one. Those selling a variety of products (a la eCommerce) will also want to closely experiment with this variable.
In the 19th century, Aaron Montgomery Ward believed that using the technique of selling products directly to the customer at appealing prices could, if executed effectively and efficiently, revolutionize the market industry and therefore be used as a model for marketing products and creating customer loyalty.[4] The term “direct marketing” was coined long after Montgomery Ward’s time.
Combined, that’s nearly 500,000 email subscribers. How do they do it? I took a close look at each of these heavyweights of email (plus several other amazing sites) to see what methods they use to gain new subscribers. Here’s what I learned.
Used and tried, never again. Best way is with your own contacts not from a paid for database in my opinion. Most people now see as spam and delete with opening therefore a huge waste of money and resources.
This one was interesting: Demaria recommends that you avoid using one large image as the entire email (especially if it includes text image). The reason being, “Spam filters cannot read images so sometimes emails trick spam filters by embedding text in images.”
The downside of direct marketing is that response rates can vary widely making the flow of prospects unpredictable. Ineffective campaigns can be costly, especially if they occur frequently. Companies that send blanket direct mail or email promotions have to overcome the negative image of junk mail and email spam. The key to effective direct marketing is an accurate database, which can be expensive to maintain.
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I agree with the testimonials, especially videos, because they’re truly convincing and give you authority as well. Pop-ups are two-sided for me. On one hand, they’re great for getting user emails for subscriptions. On the other, some folks just find them annoying. An enjoyable and informative post nonetheless. Thanks, Brian!
Well, for starters, direct marketing allows you to very easily measure the success of a campaign. For example, say I send 1000 people an email marketing a new product, and as a result 10 people from this group buy.
We provide marketing lists to many well known global companies. I’m sure they wouldn’t have came back to extend their license with us again and again over the years if their marketing campaigns results are so poor as you said.
What about sending marketing messages to people who have only subscribed to your blog or vice-versa? If someone subscribes to a company blog, is it legal for the company to then use that provided email to send marketing information? Or should the email only be used for the intended use for which it was provided?

Thrive Leads* offers the most functionality and is easiest when it comes to displaying targeted opt-in forms across categories/posts/pages. SumoMe covers a lot of the main opt-in form types and it’s free so it’s a great option to get started with.
Additionally, sending unsolicited emails is against the CAN-SPAM act. According to the CAN-SPAM Act, a U.S. law that regulates commercial emails, you cannot sell or transfer email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list.  Sending emails to people who didn’t ask for them is spam, and will make the readers will lose trust in your company.
We’ve established that email marketing is most certainly not dead, but one of the most popular questions posed by startups is how to increase the size of their email list, specifically through their company blog.
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.
Someone voluntarily gives you their email address either online or in person so you can send them emails. They may pick certain types of email content they wish to receive, like specifically requesting email alerts when new blog posts are published. Opt-in email addresses are the result of earning the interest and trust of your contacts because they think you have something valuable to say.
Getting the personal touch will also lead more people to sign up – so if it feels like a personal contact from one of your employees sending out personal newsletters, people will be more inclined to subscribe. You can do that easily by saying: ‘Receive our very best offers and receive the latest news from Louise.’
Bought email lists can have non-existent addresses; moreover they can include spam-traps. What does this mean? A spam-trap is an email address that detects junk mailings and spammers. If you send a newsletter to this address (even if it is innocent), you can receive the status of a spammer sender. The result is that you will be banned and will not be allowed to send email messages any more.
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.
Bottom-line, quality “opt-in” email addresses … with strong guarantees … cost a lot of money, usually 20+ cents per name. Very expensive but if you’ve a strong offer and a well priced product, then a quality email list will generate a positive ROI.
Great post Brian. As someone that has stupidly not concentrated on building my list till recently I found this post invaluable to get my list building on the right track. Thank you for this informative and easily understandable post. Bookmarked and shared.
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.
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.
Whether you are a small, medium, or enterprise sized business, InfoDataPlace are there to help you at every step using scientific techniques and focused marketing data making your readers readily available.
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
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
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 other words, don’t send emails that look/sound like spam, and you should be able to steer clear of all spam filters. Most importantly, always set up a double opt-in email list to protect yourself and your subscribers.
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.
Brian… great post… again! I’ve had a look at sumome – looks like a winner – and free??!! Nice. Can you use it with any autoresponder? The one I have access to, SendReach is not on the list. Can you add html code to this?