Finally, direct marketing is easy to optimize. Again, expanding on the above example, let’s say I carve out not just one sample size of 50, but two. I can send one offer to one group, and a variation of that same offer to the other and see which one produces better results. This is called split testing or A / B testing, and it’s extremely valuable, as it allows you to compare two approaches in a statistically significant way to choose the more optimal approach to introduce to the whole.
But… there is a different way to build a targeted opt-in email list. I’m talking about a subscription form on your website. Before you start with bulk email marketing, get your website up and running. Or, probably you already have a site where you advertise your products and services. Set up a subscription form somewhere on your web page and get others to sign up for your mailing lists. You can use this free newsletter plugin for wordpress to place a signup form on your WordPress blog. The beauty in this is that the list of emails will be confirmed, and your database will only contain the people who are interested in your offers. It’s not as quick and easy as generating or harvesting email addresses but it’s a more reliable way. You won’t send unsolicited emails as you have a proof that the recipient has subscribed himself to your mailing list.
– Product/service registration. When people subscribe for your service or product trial, you can add an option to join your list and receive useful tips, updates, best practices, tutorials, guides, etc. etc.
The way to get ideas for what to give away is by speaking with your existing customers. If you have a support team or happen to be doing support yourself, you already know what questions customers ask and what their biggest challenges are.
Some folks know it’s good to be “not bad,” but they might not be aware of the benefits (beyond a clean conscience) that comes with it. If email compliance is a rainbow, then the resulting good is the pot of gold at the end.
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 the field of b2b marketing, when you are targeting top-level executives and decision makers through your campaigns, it will not be easy to bridge the communication gap without using the right data. As they are too busy professionals to entertain any unsolicited communication from the marketers. So we provide email address lists that are can-spam compliant (on request) and can allow marketers to deliver their marketing messages to the right inboxes at the right time.
That is excellent news for you – and you can get even more out of it. By giving them the option to subscribe to your newsletter during checkout, you can indeed collect some relevant and valuable emails from people, who have already shown an interest in what you have to offer.
An essential element of successful email marketing campaign is a list of email addresses of people who are really interested in receiving the emails from the company or organization. Otherwise, unsolicited advertising will be classified as spam. Although sending out magazines and newsletters through bulk emailing is free, companies cannot risk the equity of their brands by offending people. An opt-in email list helps you assess the success of your email campaigns, and, more importantly, it reduces the risk of breaking anti-spamming laws.
Most people don’t think of email as a lead- or contact-generating channel. But because people forward helpful emails to colleagues or friends, it can actually expand your database if you simply make forwarding or sharing email content easy for recipients. Include calls-to-action in your emails that make sharing an obvious choice for recipients, particularly with your most useful assets.
That said, there are still some benefits to more traditional approaches to direct marketing, for example, a 2009 study by Bangor University cited that direct marketing / physical material was more real to the brain, created stronger brand emotions, and led to a greater internalization of the ad. As a result, it may produce better response rates with certain groups – especially older ones.
DMA’s direct marketing courses help you keep up to date on the latest direct marketing techniques and technology. Marketing is best done when it is one to one. The essence of direct marketing is about using data to serve your customers and prospects the right message at the right time. This approach is channel agnostic and not solely about direct mail. New to DM or need a refresher?
When the average user logs into Facebook, they want to see new pictures from last Friday night (so they can un-tag any unsightly evidence), updates from family members who are out of state, and witty status updates from their friends.
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.
If you plan to include them in your newsletter after the signup, notify them. Many people will not object to this, but if you try to sneak them into an email campaign when all they wanted was to sign up, you’ll create a lot of discontent (not to mention kill your credibility).
VALUE OF TIME: $99 for 100,000 email addresses. Sure, some email lists are so cheap that there is not much money risk in trying. However, the time and hassle in dealing with a low quality email list can add up a lot of dollars. There’s also the risk of your getting your IP address blacklisted for using a low quality email list. In addition, there is the potential risk/harm to your brand / company name.

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.
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]
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.
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.
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.
While email is a comparatively old, un-sexy technology compared to social media, the rallying cries of “Email is dead!” are simply inaccurate and undoubtedly hurting the bottom line of those businesses who listen.
– Organize tools or resources into an e-book. You can simply organize a list of resources that are related to the subject you are focusing on into a downloadable document. The same way you can create a list of resources: blogs, YouTube videos, articles, books, or anything else. Essentially the resources will help your reader continue their education of the subject matter.
Then, let’s say you write 30 blog posts a month. That means you’d get 60 leads in a month — 2 from each blog post. Now keep doing that for a year. The work you did to blog that first month will continue to drive leads throughout the year. That means you’re actually getting 4,680 opt-in contacts a month by the end of a 12-month period because of the compounding effects of blogging — not just 720 opt-in contacts (60 leads*12 months).
Digital Coupons: Manufacturers and retailers make coupons available online for electronic orders that can be downloaded and printed. Digital coupons are available on company websites, social media outlets, texts, and email alerts. There are an increasing number of mobile phone applications offering digital coupons for direct use.
You promote your new gated assets by blogging about subject matters related to the content assets you’ve created, and then put CTAs that lead to the asset’s landing page on every one of those blog posts.
Tap into your existing customer base to grow your email list and offer special deals exclusively in your email newsletters. Ask customers to sign up each time they purchase something and offer incentives if they spread the word.
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.
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?
One of the most effective ways of growing your list is to use the signup forms on your website. Adding the Facebook signup form to your business page and also sharing the signup form link on other social networks like Twitter yield great results.
Social media participation can allow you to reach new audiences and make new connections. Stay abreast of trending topics that are of interest to your customers and prospects. Use social media to encourage people to visit one of the channels where they can sign up for your email list.
Fortunately, there are options for popups, as the strategy covers a wide variety of different implementations. I’m throwing all these under the umbrella of “popup.” Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any favorites you’ve used or seen.
Direct marketing is a form of advertising where organizations communicate directly to customers through a variety of media including cell phone text messaging, email, websites, online adverts, database marketing, fliers, catalog distribution, promotional letters, and targeted television, newspaper, and magazine advertisements, as well as outdoor advertising. Among practitioners, it is also known as direct response.
While content marketing has proven itself to be the best strategy for bootstrapped startups, the problem is that most company blogs are poorly designed for conversions, focusing on featuring useless items like social media banners and category links.
Explain to them that if they collect emails, they will be able to send out tailored offers and thereby make the customers return to the store. That will make it clear to the staff why emails are valuable – not only for you but their business as well.
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 🙂
Great post as usual Brian. Already on top of most of these tips…but had no clue about the single-option aversion study. Definitely going to be something to test. Will definitely share this around because this post is a must-read.
Find just the right email list targeted to virtually any business or consumer segment. With tons of email lists out there (and not all of them are reputable), we can help you identify the right email lists for your campaign. Submit your email list criteria and we’ll find the perfect list for you.
After comparing key metrics like open rates and unsubscribes, you’ll be able to have an idea of which email performed better. Once you do, you can email the second 1⁄2 of your list with the “winning” email.
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.
When you invest in our email lists you are likely to save on your time. And compared to other marketing database providers, we offer email lists at an affordable price. Moreover you can use our database for your marketing campaigns, like, email marketing, tele marketing and direct marketing.
They say that hindsight is 20/20, but I gladly would have paid the $5 I saved on my total purchase to NOT receive those emails over the years. Because with every one I got – and promptly deleted – you better believe that I was cursing their company name. It did nothing but hurt their company’s reputation and leave a bad taste in my mouth.