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?
Awesome stuff, as always. I would just like to add one thing to improve conversions and build bigger list: use feature box. Derek Halpern from SocialTriggers.com talks a lot about that, and it works like charm.
As mentioned above, ‘direct’ also in the sense that marketing communications are targeted at consumers by the manufacturers. For example, a brand that uses channels of distribution would target marketing communications at wholesalers/distributors, retailers, and consumers, or a blend of all three. On the other hand, a direct marketing company could focus upon communicating directly with its customers. Direct marketing and direct mail are often confused – although direct mail is a direct marketing tool.
It’s one thing to say “make sure” of these things before you email the list, but the only reliable way to make sure of them is… to email the list and see what happens. Not a risk that a responsible business owner would take.
Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.
Let’s be honest: there’s no such thing as a good email list that’s for sale. No reputable company is going to sell one in the first place. And if they do, the email addresses will have low response rates because of the number of times it has already been targeted with unwanted propaganda (Viagra, anyone?). It’s not a good way to introduce your company to someone.
The course will consist of a range of emails (let’s say 10) that will come every five days. You call the shots on this one, so think of a topic others could benefit from learning more about and create a range of emails with valuable content – just as you would build up a blog post.
If I sign up for an email newsletter to ABC Company because I love their widgets, I’m going to be more than a little confused when ABC Company starts to send me emails about the dongle manufacturer they just acquired.
Perhaps you’re a new company and don’t have a customer base. Maybe you have a service you’re sure that people will love… if only they heard about you. Whatever the reason, buying an email list seems like an easy, low cost way to grow your business. But, there are some serious consequences to purchasing. And there are real benefits to using an opt-in list!
When you buy an email list you’re not taking steps to create positive engagement with customers. Instead, you’re hoping that the few results you may get will somehow outweigh the overall negative responses that unsolicited emails usually receive.
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.
What’s nice about this trick, is that your main focus shouldn’t be on sales, as I am convinced that sales will follow automatically. People that have followed and liked your course will automatically turn to you, the expert, when they need something.
If you ship products, it’s a perfect opportunity to expand your email list at no cost! Include an inbox request on a card inside every package you ship. Be sure to tout your “email only” offers and direct recipients to your website’s opt-in form. After they join, redirect them to a page where they’ll receive their first promotional offer.
We’ve all encountered this before; it’s really just a scientific take on suspense. Research in this area (such as those studies around the Zeigarnik Effect) show that human beings hate leaving things incomplete if they’ve had a strong start.
There are organizations called blacklists like Spamhaus as well as other filtering organizations like Cloudmark and Brightmail. Email clients like Yahoo and Gmail and Hotmail rely on them to help block spam (yay!). These blacklists leave spam traps or honeypots for shady list sellers to collect. Then, if one of those email addresses ends up in your purchased list, you’re in big trouble! It’s like having bad credit – it can take a long time and a lot of hard work to rebuild trust with blacklists and until you do, you’ll have poor delivery results even if you’ve stopped using the purchased email list.
Direct marketing is a type of advertising campaign that seeks to elicit an action (such as an order, a visit to a store or website or a request for further information) from a selected group of consumers in response to communication from a marketer. The communication itself may be in any of a variety of formats, including postal mail, telemarketing, direct email marketing and point-of-sale interactions. Customer responses should be measurable: For example, the marketer should be able to determine whether or not a customer offered a discount for online shopping takes advantage of the offer.
– Turn an article into a guide. This is the fastest way to create a lead magnet. If you already have multiple blog posts on your site, you can simply check out Google Analytics and see what’s most popular. Then, all you need to do is to take the top performing article and turn it into a PDF guide, report or e-book.
That’s not to say that I endorse this as a business practice. I don’t. BUT, it does show that relevance may trump permission when it comes to email marketing. And it’s pretty darn hard to buy a list outright and be anything close to relevant to all of the recipients.
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.
Put signage around your store that encourages shoppers to use their phones to join your email list. You can also put your Text-to-Join information on your business card, on flyers, brochures, and direct mail pieces.
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.
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.
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.
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).

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Eventually, nearly 100 years later in 1967, Lester Wunderman coined the term “direct marketing” for the first time (Lester was also responsible for notable achievements such as the toll-free 1-800 number).