Meeting the demands of the consumer revolution and growth in wealth of the middle classes that helped drive the Industrial Revolution in Britain, the 18th century entrepreneur and pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood pioneered many of the marketing strategies used today, including direct marketing.[2][3]
Send emails regularly. Make sure you are reaching your subscribers at least once a month in emails or another medium. Track email campaigns and see how your subscribers treat your emails. If you had a poor open rate, it does not necessarily mean your audience isn’t interested in your product. Experiment with different emails, get to know which email strategy works best, and keep using it to reach your subscribers.
It describes what your site is about. A good feature box provides a 10-second pitch of what your site is about. This means visitors won’t have to review your website’s navigation or even your content to decide if your blog is right for them.
Over the years direct marketing has developed a bad reputation for cluttering up people’s mail boxes with junk mail or generating spam in email inboxes. Many companies engage in opt-in or permission marketing, which limits their mailing or emailing to only those willing to receive it. Companies select communication channels they consider most effective for a particular market. For instance, a new gym may find more success distributing flyers, while a new grocery store prefers to mail promotional coupons to the residents of nearby neighborhoods.
Just as important as gaining leads is knowing exactly where your leads are coming from and which marketing campaigns are most effective. Our tracking URL’s help you get the most out of your marketing efforts.
Adam used to manage the content marketing efforts for brands earning well over 8 figures in annual revenue. Now he teaches bloggers how to create a blog that thrives in a noisy online world. Click here to get exclusive content you won’t find on the blog.
I agree never to purchase an email list if you do it is no longer opt-in. However email rentals have worked for me. I have found that testing is key as well as repetition. I think people expect sometimes to send on email to a rented list and have more hits than a direct mail campaign..that just isn’t realistic.
Your tip about CTA’s really hit the spot. I’ve been noticing that some of our competitors are using wordy yet highly specific buttons like ‘Get My Free Consultation Now!’ or ‘See Other Works From ____’. I was skeptic at first, but reading your logic behind it, it makes sense. I’m looking forward to implementing this on my own sites. Thank you, Brian.
Free courses provide an incredibly high-value incentive to attract new potential customers. It stands out wholly amongst the sea of free eBooks that are used to attract attention, and because it provides so much value upfront, the likelihood that someone will continue to want to learn from you increases exponentially.”
The one limitation of LeadPages is its ability to customize templates, there are lots of templates but when you want something that’s easier to customize and you use WordPress, Thrive Leads* is a great option (read my review here).
There might be a signup in a popover, a signup at the top of a blog post, another one at the bottom. Basically, the design assumes that people will view the site differently and that in order to maximize the chances that a potential subscriber sees a signup form you’d best put sign up forms everywhere.
Good information on this article. I am struggling with this myself. My company doesn’t want to risk its reputation, and there is too much conflicting information out there. I like Simon’s idea of comparing the list to social media – you can find just about everyone on there.
I thoroughly enjoyed the post. It is a lot to absorb at once but I will be reviewing the information later and take the appropriate actions necessary. It was an opener for me on the very many and simple strategies existing to help with traffic and interactions. I love your site and have signed up for your newsletters
Building a list of valid email addresses is definitely the best way to ensure quality, but it takes time. Historically this has been difficult to achieve, but nowadays new channels make it easier to build prospect pools or identify fresh data to introduce to your customer database.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of keywords relevant to direct marketing, so instead of defining them all here, we’ve made a list of around 200 you should be aware of, which you can cross check here for the full definition.
Certain things go better together. Wine and cheese. Beer and tacos. And you can definitely throw direct marketing and digital marketing into that mix. If your marketing campaign is stuck, consider adding some digital spice to the concoction. You can do this in a number of proven ways and through myriad channels: social media, email and even offline campaigns with digital components, such as PURLs and video cards.
When you meet people face to face for any reason, ask for their business card. Offer yours. Set a glass bowl on the counter in your store or the reception desk in your office, and ask visitors to drop their cards in it. Offer some incentive to do so — a free product or service, gift card, etc. Use your own business cards to further drum up emails; add an offer on the back of your card that encourages people to sign up to receive your emails.
We added calls-to-action (CTAs) on our Facebook page for HubSpot Academy below. The value in this list building technique is in the destination: Link your Facebook page’s CTA button to a landing page that requires an email address for access to a special resource.
Hi Brian great post as usual. My main concern with the pop ups is the mobile perspective. I know when I am reading on my handheld and I click through to a website and there’s a pop up there I will leave. Its such a small space.
List Building Maximizer allows you to email all members with your service, product or offer. And, your email cannot be considered spam because every member has opted in and confirmed their email address.
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In the United States, the National Do Not Call Registry was created in 2003 to offer consumers a choice whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. The FTC created the National Do Not Call Registry after a comprehensive review of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).[15] The do-not-call provisions of the TSR cover any plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls.
A major requirement of the United States marketing law is that recipients are given a way to elect to terminate any future emails from you. Unsubscribe is usually the option offered at the end of an email.
So as a marketer, you have to take the call. Do you want to roll out campaigns standing on a weak foundation or increase your market response using database which already has a record of delivering maximum campaign success to the global marketers? The decision is yours. All the best!
When you’re out in the world at a tradeshow, business meeting or other public forum, use your smartphone to collect email addresses. And be sure to include an email opt-in with your business’ mobile app. If you offer the app for free download through your website, “charge” users the “price” of their email address in order to download the app.
Check out The Landing Page Course from the great folks at Unbounce, you’ll get a step by step look at copywriting, design principals, psychology, testing and more tips to help you craft high converting landing pages. And it’s free.
GoDaddy Email Marketing and other reputable email newsletter apps don’t allow purchased email lists. This means that in order to send to those lists you bought, you’ll need to use a “disreputable” service which is likely already on ISP and blacklist block lists.
The identity of the marketer and/or operator and details of where and how they may be contacted should be given in the offer, so as to enable the consumer to communicate directly and effectively with them. This information should be available as a permanent reference which the consumer can keep, i.e. via a separate document offline, an online document, email or SMS; it should not, for example, appear only on an order form which the consumer is required to return. At the time of delivery of the product, the marketer’s full name, address and telephone number should be supplied to the consumer.
However, none of that will ever become a reality, if you don’t have any subscribers. A lot of the people I talk to claim that it can be a costly affair to grow your email list – but that is a common misunderstanding I want to correct.
I guess these vendors just rely on people saying to themselves, “Wow, 10 MILLION emails going out for my business for only FIVE HUNDRED BUCKS! I mean, that’s only a NICKEL to send out a THOUSAND emails! How could this NOT work?”
In the midst of your “junk” mail, one particular piece catches your eye, one advertising a techno gadget you’ve had your eye on for a while. And there’s a sale on it—all you have to do is enter the following code on the website…
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 🙂
There really isn’t a shortcut to building a list. It takes time and effort but there might be one alternative. Buy a web property that has a trusted list and continue from there. It’s really a off-line strategy of acquisition but it works online too.
I always Validate the Email Data first on all my lists, get all the data. You have to wash your email contacts first so you are compliant with Can Spam (#1) as well as to avoid IP Bans, blacklisting, bounce backs.
To me, it is entirely worth it. Purchasing of Email List is an elegant idea. Besides that, You should look to a company that should be trustworthy. Many Companies can provide you with fake list contacts or even inactive ones. Please be aware of it when you buy an Email List.
I created the page above using LeadPages*; it’s a paid tool (starts from $37/month) that makes landing pages super quick to create. It hosts them for you, integrates well with WordPress and you get access to the HTML code to use outside of WordPress.
Take Social, you can leverage Social channels such as Facebook and Twitter to deploy campaigns (you no longer have to be a coded / programmer), there are wizard-based tools for doing this to create Apps that are publishing directly to these channels. When people respond to your App (e.g. Photo Contest, Refer-A-Friend for incentive, etc.) they opt-in to direct communications and provide an email address and address (or whatever it is you customise that you wish to capture). These people are then immediately available for your direct marketing campaigns.
Sandwich boards are nothing new, but what about using one in a new way? Place one on the sidewalk in front of your storefront or office to advertise your newsletter and offer a reward to anyone who signs up. Invite customers into the store to enroll, or give them the web address where they’ll find your opt-in form.
Creating an ebook or webinar with a partner can split up the work of content creation and allow you to share the audience of a similar business. After you release your content, split the leads you generate with your partner.
– Ask for a reason for the unsubscribe request. The truth can hurt, but it can also inform you about what you did wrong if anything so you can avoid the same mistakes in the future. You can put a quick box on your unsubscribe page asking the user to tell you why they decided to unsubscribe.
In the example below, the email list is marketed as “the most accurate,” “targeted” and SPAM-free.” The thing is though, the people on the for-sale lists did not agree to have your emails sent to them. Therefore, the list is not accurate, not targeted correctly and most certainly spam.
Free List Check by FreshAddress is a free email hygiene tool that helps marketers quickly asses the health of their email lists.  The process is fast, easy, free, and 100% secure. Input an email list and within minutes, we’ll notify you if it contains any warning signs of:
As a business you should maximize any investments you make, including the investment in email marketing. Purchasing a list is a waste of money, damages your sender reputation and lowers the value of any legitimate email sending you may do. Seriously, it’s not worth it!
Summing up, meeting the customers face to face can be used actively to collect email address – and it doesn’t cost a thing. You have to change your approach at conferences, and you need to motivate your staff in physical stores to collect email addresses. As well as the customers have to know what value they get from subscribing, the staff should as well.
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.
If you own an ecommerce store, you have most definitely tried having products in your shop that are out of stock. It’s never a good thing, is it? Retailers lose an estimated $93 billion in annual sales because of out of stock inventory.
– Handle unsubscribes on time. Have a bounce handling process set up and working. You are not allowed to send emails to those people anymore, so you have to make sure they are removed from your list. Again, a timely handling of unsubscribe requests builds trust in you as a marketer and protects you from serious troubles with ISPs and email service providers.
I have done my absolute best to create this guide with that in mind, so all of the tips are easy and fast to implement, which means you can keep doing what you do best – all while your email list grows bigger and bigger without ripping your pockets.
– Offer the webinar’s summary as a download. If you host a webinar, a written summary is a great addition. You can allow access to the webinar to anyone, but provide its written summary with the key points as a download for an email address. For those visitors who don’t have the time to watch the webinar online, downloading a quick summary can be priceless.
Awesome stuff. I am using aweber and optimise press at the moment. What software would you recommend to create capture pages like the ones you’ve showcased above? I might of missed it if you mentioned it.. Will definitely test the pop-up opt-in.
You must always make it clear why it’s a great idea to sign up. I stumbled across Gotogate’s checkout process, where I was surprised to see that they have a checkbox saying ‘I do not wish to sign up for the newsletter.’
Faster Campaigns – Digital campaigns from start to finish generally take less time. For example, it’s very possible to launch a digital campaign in a matter of a few hours, which would be nearly impossible to do for a mail campaign.

Also on the main page (and subsequent pages) is an ebook giveaway. The ebook is web-based so you can view the full thing in one click. At the end of the ebook is a call to action to sign up for email updates.