According to this study conducted by the Nielsen Group, people scan emails very quickly (51 seconds), and the only areas they give any appreciable amount of time to at all are the initial copy and headlines.
Choose your channel – Go back to the section on direct marketing channels and decide which one you are going to test. Consider which one you think will provide you with the highest ROI by weighing the setup and launch costs against the prospective response rate you hope to get through the channel. Do you think your market will respond better to email or telephone (or something else)? How much will it cost you to send a physical mail vs. an email?
It’s tempting to collect as much information on a user as possible right away, but adding too many fields to your landing pages and lead-capturing forms can actually scare people off. Reduce the length of your forms to just two to three fields — you can collect more information from them once you start a conversation.
Direct selling is the sale of products by face-to-face contact with the customer, either by having salespeople approach potential customers in person, or through indirect means such as Tupperware parties.
In addition, you will need to have a process to handle all of the hard bounces, soft bounces, out-of-office replies, verification messages, and unsubscribe requests. There’s a lot more to handling your email marketing than just hitting the “send” button.
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!

This is amazing stuff! Thank you so much. I’ve learned so much in the last hour. I have a question for you. You use Aweber as your email service right? What do you use to make such nice looking sign-up forms/popups on various areas/pages of your site? Is it LeadPages? I find that Awebers sign-up forms are not very good.
The downside to LinkedIn is that it doesn’t give you email addresses to anyone who isn’t already a connection. You do have InMails if you have an upgraded account, but that’s time consuming and won’t allow you to do things on a large scale. What about everyone else?
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).
In analyzing the websites and techniques of some of these awesome email list builders, a certain formula started to emerge. If I could boil down the process of building a massive email list to just the most basic parts, I think it would look like this:
The downside of direct marketing is that response rates can vary widely making the flow of prospects unpredictable. Ineffective campaigns can be costly, especially if they occur frequently. Companies that send blanket direct mail or email promotions have to overcome the negative image of junk mail and email spam. The key to effective direct marketing is an accurate database, which can be expensive to maintain.
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.
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.
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.
1) Great how to information. Create checklists, forms, and detailed instructions for things that your prospects might want to know or use. This is something you should be doing no matter what, but using this information to attract email addresses is a proven winner. Hubspot is a great example of a company that produces tons of useful info.
If you want to how to create quality backlinks to rank your site and boost your business, leave a name and email in the fields on the right side, and click button called “Yes, I want quality backlinks.” I’ll then send you my free eGuide on how you can the exact same thing that me and my clients are doing to promote our businesses.
Sign up for a direct marketing course to better understand the cardinal principles of direct: have a clear and simple marketing objective, get a laser focus on list and offer, be benefit not feature centric, create multi-touch points, test and tweak campaigns.
Sorry but I’ve just proven this info to be wrong. I bought a highly targeted list, wrote a highly targeted offer and received 8 strong leads. The rate per lead was $13.75 per lead. Incredible when compared to my seo rate of $250-$500 per lead!
This is also common. Remember, if you want people to join your email list, you need to give them a reason to join. And if you’re not giving away a discount, the next best thing is this: give away content.
Actually, this problem could have been avoided if they would have cleaned the list. Some companies do it really cheap. Just do a web search of “deep clean email lists” and you’ll find the ones that will clean the hard bounces before you mail.
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Thanks for the warning re ESPs, spam traps & spam treatments Crystal. That’s a shame. Who puts the Spam trap in there & I wonder what they’re trying to achieve? The clients I have already picked up with this purchased list may save our business. As mentioned, at $250-$500 per lead through our SEO campaign, this lead acquisition rate was unsustainable. In brief, this would not be a business. But at $13.75 per lead through the purchased cold email list, those are metrics which make a profitable business. I wonder why anyone would try to block this efficiency with Spam traps? Thanks for your time to help.
They typically have a big bucket and a form where the customers can write their email address to participate in the competition. It says on the form that they will receive other relevant information, offers, and a notification whenever there is a new competition.
When you send out your newsletter, it is only people on your email list that’ll receive it right? But how often haven’t you forwarded a relevant newsletter to a friend, a colleague or your mom? I do it all the time.
Pinterest can play host to visual content that encourages visitors to sign up to see more content. For example, HubSpot created a Pinterest board where we pin the well-designed covers of our marketing ebooks. From this board, we’ve been able to generate new leads and grow our email list.
Even though the law condemns spamming, spamming is here to stay because people that think out of the box are making good money from it. I for one will delete any email that I do not know the source. However, if the headline or the subject matter is of interest, I will open the email before deleting it. Am I alone with this behavior? Surely not
If you purchase a list, you have no way of confirming how often those email addresses have been emailed, whether the email addresses on that list have been scrubbed for hard bounces to prevent identifying you as a spammer, or from where those email addresses originated. Are you really willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Even if you find the light after purchasing or renting email lists and decide to only email those who have opted in with your company, it will take you months (or maybe years) to get your Sender Score up and rebuild the reputation of your IP.
Don’t feel like you have to do everything on this guide. If you already have an email service provider and are happy with it, you can skip over chapter 1. Invest your time on other things that will generate value for your business. If your email service provider becomes an obstacle, you can revisit this later on.
Add hyperlinked “end cards” to your YouTube videos that encourage people to subscribe to your channel via their email address. You can see an example of this below, to the bottom right of the video screen. You can also include links to relevant landing pages in your videos’ text captions below your published video.
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.
Another company that offers a great incentive is Zalando. They have made it absolutely crystal clear what the customer gains from signing up to the newsletter – and by including a discount they make it hard to resist! Everyone likes a great offer, hey?
A day doesn’t pass where some defrauded marketer calls, and shares a story about how they just flushed $499 down the toilet. A recent call-in shared a story of how he bought 85,000 golf email addresses for just $699. He figured he couldn’t lose even if 50% of the list was bad; sounds logical. He excitedly email tested a small 5,000 name sample, and quickly learned that more than 45% of the email addresses were undeliverable. No problem – as he expected – BUT then he was faced with a new development … his email transmission company locked his account … punishment per se for using a bad list. Most unsuspected marketers are not aware of this latter point; it’s a waste of time and money to buy a huge number of email addresses if there’s not an email transmission company that is willing to transmit the email list.
2) Free tools. Create templates, rank checkers, calculators and widgets and let people use them to their heart’s content and even enable them to pass them around. Aaron Wall of SEO Book is a master of this one.
People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
There are many vendors out there who sell lists or rent them (though renting means that the list seller maintains ownership and control of the email list). These are collections of email addresses that the vendors sell to any business or individual who can pay the fees. Your email list is considered to be a purchased or shared list if it’s provided to you by a third party, like an email list vendor or affiliate. There’s a few ways that vendors build these non opt-in email lists.
saying up to the mark would be a small word for you. Whatever you share gives a lot of quality to our knowledge. Its a wonderful list. Right now i am working on the 17 untapped backlink techniques, will start working on it once i am done with it.
Many people use throwaway email addresses when pressured into giving their info. This is especially true for the methods that list sellers use to collect email addresses. When you buy an email list, you’re really buying a large amount of defunct and unused email addresses.