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]
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.
For effective list building, you need to know the answer to three key questions: Why would someone subscribe to your email list? Where should you collect email addresses? And how should you ask people to sign up?
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.
Set expectations – Before diving in head first, do the math to determine what are likely outcomes, perhaps based on past campaigns you’ve run or research you’ve done elsewhere. Naturally, make sure you’ve defined exactly what it will mean for a customer to convert so that when the time comes you’ll be able to effectively measure your ROI.
when a valid builder see’s invitation to be friends with bobsbuildingsuppliers they will 9/10 add you. this conversion IS a targeted list you are building from bad data. Even if just 5 people out of the 200,000 add you these could be worth more than the price you paid for the list
In the alternative, such businesses may have in place a policy not to disclose personal information of customers to third parties for the third parties’ direct marketing purposes if the customer has opted out of such information-sharing.
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.
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.
Much like Hubspot, Social Media Examiner is really good at giving things away. Their homepage has a huge call-to-action to sign up for a free ebook. When you’re scrolling down an individual blog post, you see another CTA—a popup offering instant access to a free video. With events and webinars and many different forms of media, Social Media Examiner has lots of opportunity to appeal to subscribers in many different ways.
I want a refund! What about refunds? This question reminds me of another victim who bought a 60,000 name boat email list for just $950. A steal! So he thought. A week later his transmission company locked his account … before they even email blasted the list. Transmission company informed that their email cleansing service classified the list as a low quality list … and quality email transmission companies will NOT touch a low quality list … since doing so would damage their reputation with servers (AOL, Gmail, etc). Anyway, the victim called the email list seller for a refund, but after receiving voicemail too many times to tally … he gave up.
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!
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!
From a legal standpoint, it’s very risky. From an ethical standpoint, it’s shady and pretty much guarantees that you’re doing to have a high rate of unsubscribes and spam complaints (which are much worse) since the subscribers do not have a prior relationship with your organization.
All marketers should be familiar with the work of George Lowenstein, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University. Lowenstein’s research on information gap theory reveals powerful insights for creating email broadcasts that people will actually read and click through.
Email service providers like MailChimp and ConstantContact are popular choices among marketers since they provide all basic features for subscription and marketing. Email service providers suit well for small email lists, but when the list is growing they become rather expensive.
The ICC Consolidated Code of Advertising and Marketing relates to all direct marketing activities in their entirety, whatever their form, medium or content. It sets the standards of ethical conduct to be followed by marketers, practitioners or other contractors providing services for direct marketing purposes or in the media.[25]
So what should you do instead? Grow an opt-in email list. We’ve already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
That is a brilliant way to go about it, as the customers will be more inclined to sign up because they can potentially win something. You just have to remember to state clearly that they will receive other offers. Otherwise, you are going to end up with tons of unsubscribers once the competition is over. You can also add a checkbox where they can actively choose whether or not they want to receive latest offers, trends, and sales from you.
Throughout the day, you and your employees probably interact with many customers and prospects on the phone. Before you hang up, always ask if they would like to join your email list. Give them a brief statement of the benefits of enrolling — for example, exclusive offers and discounts only available to email subscribers.

Send useful information and tips. Your emails should contain something that the customer wants. It shouldn’t be just the information about your company or yourself. Focus on giving more than just what you sell. Specific content, messages, and other targeted information that interests your customers are good to include. It is a great way to make readers look forward to your emails as they will know that they are going to receive great information from you. Provide value in your emails and don’t try to profit in some way from everyone of them.
Select your target market – Who are you going to be marketing to? Try to get as specific and relevant as possible, only broadening your reach when you feel you need more people to reach out to. The more targeted your audience, the more targeted you can make your approach. Remember, however, that while adding data to flush out your target market is good, you need a way to actually collect this data and your audience.
When developing our business databases, our data experts have collated data from global and legitimate sources to ensure all data our email lists contain is accurate. Some of those data sources include: business directories, trade fairs, opt-in email addresses, surveys and feedback forms, seminars and conferences, etc.
There’s always room to be better. MailChimp reports show you how well you’re connecting with your audience and how much money you’re bringing in. We’ll give you customized tips for improvement, and you can check in from anywhere with our mobile dashboard.
– Test the email deliverability. You’ll spend time in vain if your subscribers don’t see your email. Don’t be lazy and test how your email is delivered across different ISPs and whether it is sent to the Inbox or spam box. You can use the GlockApps testing tools to check your email deliverability and spam score.
Even when people do start talking on social media, it’s common courtesy to ask for each other’s email to move the conversation to a more personal and professional medium if there’s lots to be discussed. I see a lot of people on Twitter do this.
Now, not being able to afford a “quality” email list is no reason to go out and waste money on a low cost worthless email list. Instead I recommend investing $400 into a direct mail or telemarketing list. Yes telemarketing is tough, BUT there are some nifty and effective ways to generate long-term profitable customers via telemarketing. And studies have shown that a well targeted direct mail campaign will easily generate more responses (sales) than an email campaign.
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.
While this is a relatively simple example, it still exemplifies the standard split-test for a majority of early stage startups. Sending out a test with four different variants to 1/8 of your subscribers doesn’t make much sense if you only have 300 people on your list!
Also working with a list provider, you identify a segment of people to email — but you never actually own the list. As such, you can’t see the email addresses of the people you’re emailing, so you must work with the provider to send out your email.
The bill would also prohibit companies from direct marketing of opioid products without adequate warning of their addictive properties and establish a reimbursement fund that would collect revenues from the penalties imposed.
At first, this may sound like a quick fix. But, buying email lists is not an effective way to grow your email list. As a business, you want engaged readers that will find your emails valuable. The people on the for-sale lists did not agree to receive your emails, so the email addresses are not quality.
If someone actually had a good email list, they’d keep it to themselves because they don’t want to see the value of those email addresses diminished by letting other people get their hands on it. Think about it — would you sell or share the email addresses of those who have voluntarily opted in to receive email from you? I didn’t think so.
Use a recognizable sender name – If your subscribers don’t recognize who is sending the email, they might not open it. Use something that is easy to recognize, this may be your name or your brand name – whatever people are more likely to recognize.