When it comes to rented or purchased lists, you may come across vendors or marketers who say, “This email list is totally opt-in!” This means that the people on the list opted in to an email communication from someone at some point in time — like the list provider, for example. What it doesn’t mean, however, is that they opted in to receive email communications from your business. This is a critical distinction, and the next section of this post will go into more detail on why this type of “opt-in email list” (should be read with air quotes) is not a good idea for your email marketing program.
As a marketer, it’s your job to make sure you’re constantly adding fresh contacts to your email marketing campaigns so you can keep your numbers moving up and to the right. (But not by purchasing email lists — learn why you should never buy an email list in this post.)
– Find the best time and day of the week to send the campaign. Some marketers find that afternoons are more convenient, simply because people used to have less mail to deal with. Depending on your market niche and your subscribers, this may vary.
I have tried to access the link to the Site Alerts website, but it seems that the domain is no longer active. I think it is very useful tool for any starting entrepreneur out there, so I am very interested in following this. Does anybody have any idea what happened to them?
For example, if someone subscribes to our blog, we don’t send them additional offers unless they download something and subscribe to our Marketing Information list. On the flip side, if someone downloads one of our resources, we don’t subscribe them to our blog unless they opt in while filling out the form (which they can do by checking a box). This ensures that we are honoring the subscriber’s intent.
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!
Thanks Rob. Single opt-in is definitely something to consider. I’m personally a fan of double optin because (as you said) you get less bad emails. But it’s a decision that depends on the person and business 🙂
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.
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
Note that not every email you send has to have some way of profiting in it; just make sure the readers enjoy it, make sure they like you and they like your emails. Make your readers feel as though they can trust you and everything you say in your emails.
Another common form of direct marketing is telemarketing, in which marketers contact customers by phone. The primary benefit to businesses is increased lead generation, which helps businesses increase sales volume and customer base. The most successful telemarketing service providers focus on generating more “qualified” leads that have a higher probability of getting converted into actual sales.
We guarantee accurate and up-to-date, premium contacts in our business mailing lists. We have developed the world’s most innovative real-time online list-builder tool using our very own data intelligence algorithms and qualified data sources. Enjoy the safety and security of our proprietary tool. With just a few easy steps, you’ll have targeted email lists ready to be fed into your computer systems and CRM software. One product can serve multiple functions: You can use the file as a mailing list, an email database, and a simple directory of highly qualified business professionals in any industry. Buying direct marketing information from Bookyourdata.com is simple. You’ll get an all-in-one, premium database full of targeted sales leads that can be marketed to right away by phone or computer. Get started now to connect with real businesses today!   — CEO, Gary Taylor
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.
Social media platforms are still in the very early stages of rolling out methods for businesses to capture email addresses. In other words, using social media is far from being a proven method to build your list. However, new platforms are usually full opportunities for new movers, so these resources might help you venture into new waters. 
Download the free trial of EasyMail7 and give it a try yourself to see how it helps you create and deliver awesome personalized emails to your subscribers and quickly build fully-customizable drip campaigns for all your needs.
Eduardo Yi is a content marketer at Teachable, the platform that allows anyone to teach online, where he gets to work on the intersect of his four passions: education, digital marketing, and incomplete lists.
Does anyone else think this could be utilized to clean up those data lists and build your own targetted prospected friends list per profile using paid email lists an email account plus facebook or other social site?
Thank you Brian. I’ve read a few of your articles and handy how-to guides. It’s clear you go the extra mile to make sure you “load up” your work with valuable content. I look forward to learning more from you soon!
In this tough economy, I understand how marketers are looking for a low cost way to reach their prospects, and unfortunately some are willing to risk $400 to give a low cost email list a try. However, if there’s a willingness to take that risk, then my only recommendation is to DEMAND some type of guarantee. If a list supplier is not willing to provide some type of “money-back” guarantee – then I highly recommend that a list is NOT purchased. Literally, the dollars might as well be flushed down the toilet.
When you want to build an email list, you need good email marketing software. And right now, after carefully considering each email marketing service provider, I can confidently say I love Drip by Leadpages.
Auto responder sequence – consider your goals here; this can be a great opportunity to grow your passive income, but avoid the hard sell approach. Nobody likes to sign up to an email list only to be battered with promotional emails.
“You may use the email address from your blog to send marketing emails, subject to the rules of CAN SPAM in any other situation. But be aware that the focus of any CAN SPAM compliance analysis starts at whether the ‘primary purpose’ of the message is commercial content.
Wow. Can I just say thank you so much for building one insanely well done blog post instead of feeding us crumbs for 8 months over email or selling us a $29 ebook. Your go-giving will pay off for sure. Solid stuff here!
Customize your credit card receipt with a field/line where customers can jot down their email address while they’re signing. Or, simply ask them to write their address on the back of the receipt. At the end of the day, enter the addresses into your database and send out a welcoming email.
HubSpot is one of the industry leaders in giveaways (so it’s probably no surprise they’re industry leaders, period). In an article about email list growth, Ginny Soskey shared HubSpot’s two-part view of giving something of value to potential subscribers:
The original list was 1500. 50 bounces. 20 unsubscribes. 32pc open rate. Fabulous ROI. I put my name, business address, a suitable offer and unsubscribe option clearly in the content. Clearly not SPAM.
Chances are, you have already invested masses of time on your social media profiles or Facebook business page. You have written or created amazing content you are posting on your social media profiles like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. Why not use those platforms to collect emails as well?
“It could be, and it is good practice to avoid being either the seller/lessor or buyer/lessee of email lists. Either the buyer or seller of an email list can be liable for a CAN SPAM violation if he, she, or it transmits emails to those addresses and he, she, or it knew or should have known by implication that:
They give the sense of urgency and VIP-status. If you sign up for their newsletter, you’ll be the first one to know about new sales, when they get new products in store, and you’ll even get exclusive previews before everyone else.
If the desired outcome of any webpage is an email signup, the structure of the content should be styled as a landing page; in other words, no sidebars, no footer, a subdued header, and plenty of single-column copy that dives right in to what the page is about.

Now that you’ve seen the many different ways to grow an email list, I’d love to show you how some of the top sites implement these ideas. Here is what I found when browsing around some of my favorite sources of email inspiration.
Promote content on your Facebook Timeline that your followers can sign up to access. Be sure to add social sharing buttons to the landing pages and thank-you pages you send them to so you encourage your leads to share those offers with their own networks.
Direct-marketing messages generally include a call to action, encouraging the recipient to respond via a toll-free phone number or a reply card or by clicking on a link in an email promotion. Companies are able to measure the effectiveness of their direct-marketing campaigns by tracking responses. Direct marketing is more effective when companies use targeted lists of prospects developed using available marketing data that can segment them into identifiable groups that are likely to have an interest in a product or service.
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 you have physical stores, it is an excellent opportunity to collect leads without having to buy expensive equipment or train the staff. Hopefully plenty of customers visit your store every day – why not ask them for their email address when they are in your store? It’s just that simple. Asking for their email can seem odd or out of place if the staff doesn’t explain why they should. So instead of just asking them for their email, ask them if they want to save money on their next purchase – because who wouldn’t? I’ve previously spoken to Torkel Johannesen and Alf Johndal from the Norwegian beauty universe VITA. They introduced me to their amazing omnichannel strategy. They use their physical stores actively to collect emails and thereby sign ups for their newsletter.
ONE SECRET TO EMAIL SUCCESS: The myth is that you need tens of thousands of email addresses for email success. Truth of the matter is that you need quality email addresses … not quantity. FACT: 5,000 carefully targeted quality email addresses will generate more responses that 100,000 low quality email addresses.
There are plenty more things you could do here, but the great thing is that you have a valuable opportunity to spend slightly longer on your blog posts and repurpose them into another content type or create something 100% exclusive.
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.
Brian. You talk about how all these variables matter in getting this article to rank #1 for “list building” and how competitors have way more links than you, but then you also consider your DA and your PA together, you have almost the highest score out of the top 10 rankings; and when you consider you are more topical authority, then that explains why Hugpages (all purpose site) is not ranking higher. Maybe its not all as complicated as you suggest.
Discussion lists often require every message to be approved by a moderator before being sent to the rest of the subscribers (moderated lists), although higher-traffic lists typically only moderate messages from new subscribers. Companies sending out promotional newsletters have the option of working with whitelist mail distributors, which agree to standards and high fines from ISPs should any of the opt-in subscribers complain. In exchange for their compliance and agreement to prohibitive fines, the emails sent by whitelisted companies are not blocked by spam filters, which often can reroute these legitimate, non-spam emails.[3]
Direct Response Marketing is designed to generate an immediate response from consumers, where each consumer response (and purchase) can be measured, and attributed to individual advertisements.[19] This form of marketing is differentiated from other marketing approaches, primarily because there are no intermediaries such as retailers between the buyer and seller, and therefore the buyer must contact the seller directly to purchase products or services. Direct-response marketing is delivered through a wide variety of media, including DRTV, radio, mail, print advertising, telemarketing, catalogues, and the Internet.
As you may have read in my recent post, How to Create a Page That Converts at 21.7% (Step-By-Step Case Study), I recently created a Social Squeeze Page on my blog that converts at (you guessed it) 21.7%.
Resending the email can yield big gains, since you can potentially reach subscribers who might have missed your first email. You could try a different subject line or slightly different content in the body. You’ll also want to segment out the responders—that could be just people who ordered, or everyone who opened or clicked.
Have you ever noticed that when you first join an email list, you tend to read almost every email? But then, over time, you start to lose interest and read less and less—even if you don’t unsubscribe?
Use varying types of email subscriptions to send more targeted content to specific segments of your marketing personas. Email recipients are more likely to click through emails that cater to their specific interests, so if you create multiple, targeted subscription types, you’ll increase the chance that visitors will subscribe to one of them.
Now that you have some gated assets that can capture email addresses, spend a considerable amount of time making sure the world knows about them. You have plenty of channels at your disposal — social media, PPC, and email are common ones to turn to. But none will provide lasting returns quite like your blog. Consider this scenario:
Top commercial and nonprofit brands nationwide rely on DirectMail.com as a comprehensive, one-stop resource for all their specialty and compiled direct mailing list and brokerage service needs – from responder, lifestyle, and interest lists to activities and membership lists, and everything in between.
Our credit multiplier function allows you to earn more credits towards building your business by reading member’s emails. This boosts member activity and response, making it easy to gain targeted leads for your business.
In 1967, Lester Wunderman identified, named, and defined the term “direct marketing”. Wunderman—considered[by whom?] to be the father of contemporary direct marketing—is behind the creation of the toll-free 1-800 number[4] and numerous loyalty marketing programs including the Columbia Record Club, the magazine subscription card, and the American Express Customer Rewards program.[7]
In contrast, general advertising—for example, a billboard promoting a brand concept or product awareness—while seen by the customer, does not call for a specific response, and therefore cannot be easily measured. A marketer doesn’t know exactly how effective such a billboard is, or how many people are thinking about and buying the product because of the billboard. However, because of the specific call to action, he or she does know exactly how many people responded to a direct mailing.
With most email marketing tools a welcome email will be part of your auto responder, but if you are using MailChimp, you could customize the ‘Final welcome email’ which is what subscribers are sent straight after they sign up.
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.