The way to get ideas for what to give away is by speaking with your existing customers. If you have a support team or happen to be doing support yourself, you already know what questions customers ask and what their biggest challenges are.
Another type of electronic mailing list is a discussion list, in which any subscriber may post. On a discussion list, a subscriber uses the mailing list to send messages to all the other subscribers, who may answer in similar fashion. Thus, actual discussion and information exchanges can happen. Mailing lists of this type are usually topic-oriented (for example, politics, scientific discussion, health problems, joke contests), and the topic may range from extremely narrow to “whatever you think could interest us”. In this they are similar to Usenet newsgroups, another form of discussion group that may have an aversion to off-topic messages.
– Organize tools or resources into an e-book. You can simply organize a list of resources that are related to the subject you are focusing on into a downloadable document. The same way you can create a list of resources: blogs, YouTube videos, articles, books, or anything else. Essentially the resources will help your reader continue their education of the subject matter.
Don’t put your profits in the hands of a third party, be in control of your email — OWN YOUR DATA, OWN YOUR AUTORESPONDERS, CONTROL YOUR INBOX DELIVERY, REPUTATION, DELIVERY SPEED and either send email for free using your SMTP or use any number of third party email senders of your choice like AMAZON SES API… No Monthly Fees!
Select your target market – Who are you going to be marketing to? Try to get as specific and relevant as possible, only broadening your reach when you feel you need more people to reach out to. The more targeted your audience, the more targeted you can make your approach. Remember, however, that while adding data to flush out your target market is good, you need a way to actually collect this data and your audience.

2. The information contained is captured in a consistent form which you have control over – easier to integrate back into your customer database or tie to existing customers leveraging social channels (did you know that before? doubtful)
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.
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.
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?
Now that you’ve established the important topic on your site that this hub page will address, showcased your best pieces of content on that same topic, and piqued your readers’ interest, it’s time to leverage the opportunity to build your email list.
Some mailing lists are open to anyone who wants to join them, while others require an approval from the list owner before one may join. Joining a mailing list is called “subscribing” and leaving a list is called “unsubscribing”.
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.
When you have a list of subscribers who have specifically agreed to receive emails from you, you have an asset that can be leveraged over and over again. You can use that email list to drive traffic to different websites and sales pages again and again, and this is why you must cherish your list like an apple of your eye. The better you treat your list; the better the return will be when you want it.
View target prospects and select advanced demographics to build your consumer mailing list easily and accurately. Select your geographic territory via a map interface or standard selections such as zip codes, counties, cities, etc. View more information…
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.
The least salubrious method of creating these lists is email harvesting. This is when the vendors use bots to crawl the web and collect email addresses from websites, forums and comment sections. Sometimes, low wage and long suffering people are paid to manually grab email addresses off websites. Not very nice!
All you need is to add an opt-in form within your content. This can be done by embedding a form from your email provider or you can use one of the plugins listed above which support shortcode placement.
Unfortunately, there are individuals off in who-knows-where selling worthless databases containing hundreds of thousands of outdated contacts for next to nothing. Not only is this shady and immoral, but it is creating a blanketing negative stereotype of the data industry.
Another form of direct marketing, insert media are marketing materials that are inserted into other communications, such as a catalog, newspaper, magazine, package, or bill. Coop or shared mail, where marketing offers from several companies are delivered via a single envelope, is also considered insert media.
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.”
I referenced this earlier, but it’s worth going into some more detail on this subject. Rented and purchased lists are sometimes scraped from other websites which, I think we can all agree, is a dirty way to acquire email marketing contacts. But let’s say they’re not scraped and are acquired through considerably less sketchy means — list purchase and rental companies may tout that those lists are opt-in. Sounds great, right?
Just an Idea as a facebook/social friends request is slightly different than a push to read my spam email and less intrusive. the prospect has the choice and through this decision you can pretty much ascertain they are looking for what you are offering or interested in the targeted keywords your profile centres around- when you are friends start a conversation and follow up.
Then they have a small checkbox at the bottom where you can subscribe to their newsletter. This form is also found in many checkout processes. However, Greenline lures their customers in with the promise of candy with the caption “Gummy bears and great offers” “sign up for our newsletter and we’ll add some candy to your order”. I mean… CANDY!
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.
Great post Brian. As someone that has stupidly not concentrated on building my list till recently I found this post invaluable to get my list building on the right track. Thank you for this informative and easily understandable post. Bookmarked and shared.
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%.
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.
Were there unsubscribes? Sure. But were there also email replies saying, “Die, spammer, die!” Nope — not a one! In fact, I’ve seen open and click through rates for these efforts that would make some true opt-in email marketers more than a little jealous.
Kate – The problem many marketers will face is that most reputable ESPs will not accept purchased lists, targeted or not. That’s because they can wreak havoc on your deliverability in the long run. Purchased lists often contain “spam traps,” email addresses created specifically to catch people using these lists, and once you’re flagged with them most email clients will put your emails straight to the “Spam” folder.
Our email lists are a great fit for any company looking to include email marketing within its strategies. Some of our most popular email lists and campaigns are used by businesses in the following industries:
The term advertising, or direct mail, is used to refer to communications sent to potential customers or donors via the postal service and other delivery services. Direct mail is sent to customers based on criteria such as age, income, location, profession, buying pattern, etc. Direct mail includes advertising circulars, catalogs, free-trial CDs, pre-approved credit card applications, and other unsolicited merchandising invitations delivered by mail to homes and businesses. Bulk mailings are a particularly popular method of promotion for businesses operating in the financial services, home computer, and travel and tourism industries.
3) Coupons. Give people something of value towards a purchase or free trial and watch them line to get on your list. You can use tools like CellFire to automate and deliver your coupons to mobile devices.
I’ve found this as possibly the most effective way to gather a lot of email subscribers in a very short period of time. Giveaways are a great tactic that leverage network effects to increase the reach of your message. 
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.
Resource-style content such as white papers, eBooks, and infographics is made for promotion. While blog posts and traditional articles are a great way to reach out to people (“Hey, thought you might like this recent piece we did on…”), you can get a lot more mileage out of a broad set of evergreen resources.
The fact is, email clients like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail don’t consider purchased lists or lists given to you by a third party to be opt-in, at all. They call it unsolicited bulk/commercial email. If the people you’re emailing did not directly sign up with you (and only you!) then it’s considered unsolicited.
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.
The key is to really get your staff on board. Otherwise, you won’t succeed. Convince them that it will add value for the customers and it will shine through when they ask the customers for their email addresses. A nice way to make the staff extra keen is to have competitions between the different stores – who collects the most emails?
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!
its like a bomb went off on my phone when I read this article! I’ve been struggling with my conversions and definitely going to try the content upgrade since its been on my mind. I thought I was crazy to think it might work but your numbers prove I’m sane 🙂
Through mobile marketing, marketers engage with prospective customers and donors in an interactive manner through a mobile device or network, such as a cellphone, smartphone, or tablet. Types of mobile marketing messages include: SMS (short message service)—marketing communications are sent in the form of text messages, also known as texting. MMS (multi-media message service)—marketing communications are sent in the form of media messages.
That is an absolute no go. It is wishful thinking if you figure, you can trick people into subscribing. The leads will in no way be relevant, and the receivers will just get annoyed by your newsletters.