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.
Find homeowners nationwide based on geographic and demographic characteristics. Select your geographic territory via a map interface or standard selections such as zip codes, counties, cities, etc. View more information…
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!
If you have 20 employees who all send out ten emails a day, that’s 200 emails everyday times the total number of working days in a month. That’s thousands of emails you’re sending out! With a 1.5% conversion rate, it’ll result in loads of relevant emails each month – and you haven’t paid a penny! And I promise you that you can do this in less than five minutes if you just follow this quick guide to changing your email signature. nd out anyway.
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.
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.
“I believe it’s important to keep in mind that crossing international boundaries with email is easy and that other nations have different (and sometimes stronger) laws on SPAM than the United States.”
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]
And let me tell you, mixed in with those email addresses were a huge number of foreign email addresses. I’m no geography major, but I don’t think Russia is in any part of the southeastern United States.
If you don’t currently have any downloadable guides to offer (more on that later), it’s best to stick with a traditional newsletter page like this one. A page like this offers an opportunity to outline the benefits of joining your newsletter, letting you reach current blog readers who need that little extra nudge to sign up.
This hack should take up no more than two lines in your email signature. As you can tell, I prefer a short, get-to-the-point way of promoting the newsletter. If you design your signature well enough, it will seem like you are offering the receivers of your emails an extra treat every time you send them an email. 
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And sure, when you compare a nickel for a thousand emails to, say, a hundred bucks  for a thousand emails (which is TWO THOUSAND TIMES the cost), it’s easy to further calculate that even if the response rate is only 1/2000th as good, you’re still coming out ahead.
Hi Yi. Thanks for your comment. Bounce rate is most definitely a key indicator of the health of your list. Your hard bounce rate should be no greater than 5% – that’s the industry standard. Using a purchased or rented email lists is not permitted by reputable ESPs.
Subject Lines Chapter 4 offered best practices to utilize in your subject lines as well as some engagement killers to avoid, but open-rates can always be maximized by sending out variations to small segments of your list to see which one resonates the most.
The prevalence of direct marketing and the unwelcome nature of some communications has led to regulations and laws such as the CAN-SPAM Act, requiring that consumers in the United States be allowed to opt out.

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.
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.
Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.
You might have good content going out to your more established subscribers, but is it the right content for someone who’s just getting to know you? If not, consider this two-part strategy for onboarding new subscribers and maximizing engagement and conversion:
Harvesting emails and selling them can get you in a world of trouble. CAN SPAM specifically states that it is illegal to sell and buy email addresses. It is, however, legal to rent a list, but that’s still considered sketchy.
Identify known homeowners and mortgage seekers, updated monthly. Select your geographic territory via a map interface or standard selections such as zip codes, counties, cities, etc.. View more information…
To get some insight into the legal issues of buying or renting lists, we consulted with R. Daniel Faust, an attorney at House, Reynolds, and Faust LLP in Indianapolis and posed the question to him. On the subject of whether it’s illegal to buy/rent lists, Faust states:
An essential element of successful email marketing campaign is a list of email addresses of people who are really interested in receiving the emails from the company or organization. Otherwise, unsolicited advertising will be classified as spam. Although sending out magazines and newsletters through bulk emailing is free, companies cannot risk the equity of their brands by offending people. An opt-in email list helps you assess the success of your email campaigns, and, more importantly, it reduces the risk of breaking anti-spamming laws.
A few disclaimers: I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever played one on TV. For full legal counsel, contact a lawyer within your state to make sure you’re playing well with others (and being legal with all your email processes).
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!
In a great case study published on AWeber (and echoed through numerous other tests), a clear picture is painted for what it takes to write a successful subject line—clarity trumps creativity when it comes to open rates.
Send an email asking subscribers what you can help with or what they’re most interested in these days. You can collect replies via surveys or by having people reply to you with their answers (if you can handle a decent volume of incoming mail, this is a nice personal touch that makes people feel appreciated).
First proposed and popularized by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers, a feature box is a large, well, box that sits above your company blog’s content, presenting a snapshot of what the blog is about and why people will benefit if they subscribe via email. To see an example in action, check our personal example on the Help Scout blog:
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.
Given how speculative that rule is, it is a good practice to avoid purchasing email lists altogether. If you must sell an email list, you should probably rely on the ‘opt-in’ approach for creating such a list. ‘Opting in’ is express consent (preferably written) to a ‘clear and conspicuous’ request to share the consenting party’s email with others in order that they may send commercial email or to send the consenting party commercial email again after he or she has opted out at an earlier time.”
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.
It’s easy to see that an engaging newsletter is a win-win. You get to send out valuable content to current customers and prospects who have an interest in your industry; in return, you’re able to maximize one of the most powerful, personal marketing channels available on the cluttered mess that is the internet.
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.
Fortunately, there are options for popups, as the strategy covers a wide variety of different implementations. I’m throwing all these under the umbrella of “popup.” Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed any favorites you’ve used or seen.
And even if you do manage to get your emails deployed, odds are very good that your email will generate enough “this is spam” complaints to block your current and future emails at places such as AOL, Gmail, MSN/Hotmail, and Yahoo! If you have a consumer focus, the majority of the email addresses on your list are going to come from these service providers.
Don’t read everything at once. There is a lot of great information in here, but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed after reading through all of the content in one sitting. Instead, take incremental steps. For example, if you want to find out where or how to ask people for their emails on your site, read the content in chapter 2, then implement it; come back later for the next steps.
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.
Hey Brian. Another crazy good post! Man your content is so good. I had a request from your fans. Would you consider doing a post on http: vs https? Will that change to this new format hurt our backlinks and create 404s? Is it necessary to change? How to go about doing it? etc etc
So what should you do instead? Grow an opt-in email list. We’ve already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
Throughout the day, you and your employees probably interact with many customers and prospects on the phone. Before you hang up, always ask if they would like to join your email list. Give them a brief statement of the benefits of enrolling — for example, exclusive offers and discounts only available to email subscribers.
Offline events like trade shows are highly anticipated growth opportunities for professionals in your industry. Demo your latest product at an appropriate conference and collect signups in-person. Once you’re back at the office, import these signups into your contact database. Be sure to send these contacts a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list. (See #8 in this blog post for tips on sending welcome emails.)