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.
We recently passed the 20,000 mark for subscribers on the Buffer blog, and it’s safe to say we have a lot to learn to grow a successful list. We’re inspired to learn from some of the smart and well regarded sites who have made email an emphasis. For example:
What an amazing amount of awesome content. It’s no wonder you rank #1 for list building. Thanks for sharing. And thanks for making this video that shows you explaining what you did to rank the page. Love your work, keep it up. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wNTbifE8QU&feature=em-uploademail
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.
Whatever channel you choose for your direct marketing, you must ABSOLUTELY ensure that it’s personalized. The key to personalization is data. Now that there are tools such as analytics, statistical modeling and business intelligence – take advantage of it. Data can help you bridge the gap and spend your marketing dollars on customers most likely to respond. Just remember that there’s a difference between personalized marketing and creepy marketing. The former will attract potential customers and draw you closer to your business goals; the latter will send prospects running in the other direction.
Before you go, I wanted to offer some words of encouragement that I wish someone would have told me when I began with email: when you encounter a ton of information, like what’s been shared in this guide, it is all too easy to get caught up in “bike shedding”, otherwise known as Parkinson’s law of triviality.
Customer reviews are the “social proof” that encourages people to join in on something. It’s one thing for you to tell people to sign up for a campaign, but it’s another thing for your happiest customers to say it too. Publish your best reviews from communities like Yelp right to your website. This adds genuine value to your landing pages when people are on the fence about submitting their contact information. 
Worse yet, by using multiple social networks (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest), you’re spreading your audience across multiple platforms. Comparatively, a powerful email list can be a singular distribution channel for content and updates.
If you scan the market then there you will find many vendors like InfoUSA, Book Your Data, DMDatabases, FrescoData, etc. to get your b2b email list from. But it is doubtful that how many of them are actually confidant about the deliverability of their databases.
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.
Stage an event — lunch gathering, topic talk, book club or whatever works to get people in the door. Drop invitations at nearby businesses, post the notice on your front door, and advertise in local media. Ask people to RSVP with their email addresses.

Wow – amazingly in depth post on list building! I am having a real focus on this (just installed my lead magnet which is doing well) but there is a tonne of things I still need to focus on. Thanks for the tips.
In this day and age, there is no need for these services. No one wants to hear from you via email, phone or snail mail. If we did, we’d contact you. Unless a person speaks to you specifically and requests to be contacted, they did NOT opt-in. We were sold by some company who lied when they claimed to respect our privacy. We HATE being contacted by you, and feel violated each time it happens. People all over the world make fun of marketers of all sorts, and wish it were illegal for you to contact us in any manner. Curious to see how many spam email I get from this post.
Hi David, you raise a good point. To my knowledge there’s no data on that as of yet. My feeling is this: a mediocre lead is better than no lead at all. If a business has issues converting targeted people to sales, then the sales process needs to improve.
You might be doing all the right things to generate leads — landing pages, gated content, contests, and more. The problem might be that the design or copy itself isn’t driving the engagement you need. A/B test (also known as “split test”) different aspects of your list-building campaigns with different versions of the same content. This includes the call-to-action text, the color of the gated offer, the time of day you’re posting to social media, and even where on your website these signup forms are placed. Sometimes a small change can drive hundreds more conversions.
Couponing is used in print and digital media to elicit a response from the reader. An example is a coupon which the reader receives through the mail and takes to a store’s check-out counter to receive a discount.
Yes, thousands of contacts are a credit card swipe away, but your email marketing program — a critical part of a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy — will seriously suffer. Curious why buying email lists is a legitimate email marketer’s kiss of death? Read on. Plus, we’ll give you a list of squeaky-clean and effective ways to build your email marketing list in lieu of list buying.
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.
You work with a list provider to find and purchase a list of names and email addresses based on demographic and/or psychographic information. For example, you might purchase a list of 50,000 names and email addresses of people without children who live in Minnesota.
Time of Day Timing is heavily dependent on location, industry, and the type of subscribers who are on your list—there is no ‘right’ answer for which hour of the day is best—but you can come close by testing it via your broadcasts!
Pricing is computed in real-time and depends on your selects. Geographic selects are included in the base price. All additional demographic selects are priced per record. When ordering a mailing list, you must select how you wish to retrieve the file. We offer three methods for mailing list retrieval: 1. Download, 2. CD, 3. Labels. You may always download your file from within ‘My Account.’
Exactly what I was looking for, Brian. I have started a SEO blog recently and your post will surely help me to implement many things ! 🙂 Your contents are so huge that it’s hard to consume in one sitting ..lol ..Read a lot , it’s implementation time now 😉 Keep up the great work buddy !
Direct marketing removes the “middle man” from the promotion process, as a company provides a message directly to a potential customer. Companies with smaller advertising budgets typically use this type of marketing since they cannot afford to pay for advertisements on television and often do not have the brand recognition of larger firms.
Lists can be obtained through public or commercial sources, and may represent all the people in a particular neighborhood, all the people who entered a contest drawing, all the people who opted in to a newsletter, a customer list from another business, etc. Such lists should not be used indiscriminately; instead, the data should be analyzed to create messages and offers that are likely to be relevant to these customers or prospects.
I use this in conjunction with Yesware (but have also used Outreach and ToutApp) which is an email automation tool which helps automate cold outbound emails and follow ups (using the email addresses you grab from Sales Umbrella). You’ll spend virtually no time at all sending cold outbound emails and absolutely no time in sending cold follow up emails as it is all automated. So you can imagine the time saving vs. a manual email process!
Go into a conversation with the contact you desire to remove from the group, or the person’s G+ profile. Hover over the profile picture/name, and a drop-down menu of the group(s) the person is in should come up. Un-select the box of the group from which you wish to remove the contact.
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.
If you have a brick-and-mortar presence where you interact with customers face-to-face, create an email campaign just for those walk-ins. Launch a store membership they can sign up for via email at the register. This is a smart way to keep in touch with repeat customers and reward their loyalty to your product.
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 especially like the portion on the “about” page… most people leave this as a wasted opportunity. I see this on a majority of our client sites that the about us page is the second, or third most visited site (behind the homepage) yet most people leave it under-utilized.
The most responsive customers to direct mailing (or e-mailings) are those who have opted in to mailing lists (for example, an online shopper buying a product checks a box marked “send me information on future promotions”). Such customers have already expressed interest in the company’s products, and pay attention to new products and sales. (See also Permission Marketing)
These rentals can be pricey, though. For consumer email lists, prices run about $100 to $150 CPM (that’s “cost per mille,” which is fancy-talk for “cost per thousand”). So, that’s 10 to 15 cents apiece for a one-time rental of the email address. And if you have very specific “selects,” then the price can go up quickly.
Imagine if someone was getting married and they were looking for a photographer, and they saw that headline. Or if they had a friend who was getting married and they say that. THEY WOULD SHARE IT IN A SECOND!
Content upgrade popups increase abandon rate and as a result, hurting your seo. For me, I don’t care much if I got more subscriber each day. But for the best, there should be gaining without losing. Perhaps put a video in the popup would help?
The best way to reassure the subscriber is with the link to your privacy policy page. But you can also add a line like “We will not share your email address with any third party” below the signup form to remove their doubts right now.
If you’re promoting a new social media channel or post, send it to your biggest fans first; they’re more likely to share, comment, like, and so on. As a bonus, when you email the rest of your list and they click through to the post/page, they’ll see the activity from your fans, which makes it easier for them to share/like/comment as well.
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.
Some really fantastic marketing strategies here. Pop-ups do come across as very annoying and rude but it’s true that they do work really, really well. Perhaps surprisingly email converts better than any other channel such as facebook or twitter and pop-ups have been proven to collect the most email address of visitors.
If the list is small (say, under 100,000 records), maybe you could do this. Maybe not. But you have to be aware of the fact that sending a high quantity of promotional email out using your own email server could very well put your ability to send regular business email at risk.
Some of these concerns have been addressed by direct marketers by the use of individual “opt-out” lists, variable printing, and better-targeted list practices. Additionally, in order to avoid unwanted mailings, members of the marketing industry have established preference services that give customers more control over the marketing communications they receive in the mail.
Search: 49% of US spending on Internet ads goes to search, in which advertisers pay for prominent placement among listings in search engines whenever a potential customer enters a relevant search term, allowing ads to be delivered to customers based upon their already-indicated search criteria.[14] This paid placement industry generates more than $10 billion for search companies. Marketers also use search engine optimization to drive traffic to their sites.
Fortunately, any email marketing service worth its salt has these split-testing features at your disposal. This chapter will show how you can get started with split-testing your emails for higher conversions.
Get creative. Since every business is different, some of the strategies in this guide might not work for your business if you implement them exactly as described. However, most of what’s described can work for a large majority of businesses with just a few tweaks. In some cases, you might even get greater results than the people who wrote these posts.
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.
And yes there are a few email transmission companies willing to take money for transmitting an email list, BUT what these companies don’t admit is the majority of your emails will either be blocked or sent to the SPAM Box … since the transmission company is blacklisted by the ISPs (AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, etc). In a nutshell, the unsuspected marketer flushes away $499 when purchasing the bogus email list … and then flushes away another few hundred dollars by paying a blacklisted company to transmit the bogus email addresses.
Where consumers have indicated the wish not to receive direct marketing communications by signing on to a preference service, or in any other way, this should be respected. Marketers who are communicating with consumers internationally should, where possible ensure that they avail themselves of the appropriate preference service in the markets to which they are addressing their communications and respect consumers’ wishes not to receive such communications (see also General Provisions, article 19, data protection and privacy.[26] Where a system exists, enabling consumers to indicate a wish not to receive unaddressed mail (e.g. mailbox stickers), this should be respected.