The great thing about CTA’s are that you can change them for free – they are all yours, and it’s your imagination that sets the limit. You will probably spend some time coming up with the best CTA’s, but I guarantee you it’ll be worth it!
Let’s be honest: there’s no such thing as a good email list that’s for sale. No reputable company is going to sell one in the first place. And if they do, the email addresses will have low response rates because of the number of times it has already been targeted with unwanted propaganda (Viagra, anyone?). It’s not a good way to introduce your company to someone.
We wrote a post awhile back about email list building, and in the course of writing that post, we got the Christmas morning jitters. We wanted to try every single idea we could. And so we did. And wouldn’t you know it, the ideas worked! I’m really happy to share with you our experience from an […]
Unless your company is in the middle of some M&A action, you’re not going to come across high quality email lists you can purchase. If it’s for sale, it means that the email addresses on it have already been ripped to shreds by all the other people who have purchased that list and emailed the people on it. Any email addresses that once had value have since been spammed to the ends of the earth.
I use LeadPages* for the majority of my landing pages, it has split testing built in which allows you to setup a split test in a few clicks. The split testing feature requires a pro account which starts at $67/month.
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:
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.
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).
If the list is small (say, under 100,000 records), maybe you could do this. Maybe not. But you have to be aware of the fact that sending a high quantity of promotional email out using your own email server could very well put your ability to send regular business email at risk.
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Segmenting is easy, but it’s not 100 percent costless. It takes time and effort to determine how to segment your list and what to send to each segment. You’ll want to make sure that your segmented email campaigns are indeed performing up to their potential.
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.
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. 
There are many, many tools that can aid you in your direct marketing campaigns, such as lead generation tools to help you generate your list of prospects to outreach tools, which will help you actually launch the campaign.
The ICC Consolidated Code of Advertising and Marketing relates to all direct marketing activities in their entirety, whatever their form, medium or content. It sets the standards of ethical conduct to be followed by marketers, practitioners or other contractors providing services for direct marketing purposes or in the media.[25]
We suggest starting with two types of free offers. One top-of-the-funnel, educational piece of content like an ebook, and one middle-of-the-funnel offer to let someone speak with your sales team to get a demo or a quote or a free consultation or whatever works for your specific business. By having these two types of offers on your website, you can capture potential leads and convert customers that are in different stages of the buying process.
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.
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.
when you upload contact csv from your free email account for requests to add as friend to facebook profile, then the people who respond see your profile, find relevant info then add you – are good prospects.
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.
We provide marketing lists to many well known global companies. I’m sure they wouldn’t have came back to extend their license with us again and again over the years if their marketing campaigns results are so poor as you said.
This is one of the most interesting threads I have seen in a long time. It discusses a challenge that many of our customers face when trying to identify and increase their customer base. Whilst purchasing lists may reap rewards, the reality is that you just don’t know the quality of the email addresses you are obtaining.
Do keep in mind that nothing in life (unfortunately) is ever free. So when I tell you, you can do all of these things without spending any money, it does, however, mean you are going to invest a certain amount of your own time implementing these tips.
A company who really knows hows to make the most out of events is Shark Gaming. They attend plenty of conferences and events, and they collect plenty of emails by offering vouchers or discounts. You can easily do the same.
In sum, choosing the best of all the above parameters may yield up to 58 times more response, as compared to choosing the worst of the above parameters. Addressing these helps assuage the concerns of the marketers.
– Test the email deliverability. You’ll spend time in vain if your subscribers don’t see your email. Don’t be lazy and test how your email is delivered across different ISPs and whether it is sent to the Inbox or spam box. You can use the GlockApps testing tools to check your email deliverability and spam score.

Getting the personal touch will also lead more people to sign up – so if it feels like a personal contact from one of your employees sending out personal newsletters, people will be more inclined to subscribe. You can do that easily by saying: ‘Receive our very best offers and receive the latest news from Louise.’
Instead of just linking to your home page, try linking to a relevant landing page within your author bio. Conversion rates are generally high because anyone clicking on your link wants more information from you.
If you have a prospect who needs your service or product, you MUST do everything you can (ethically and legally) to get them to open your envelope. This is important because there’s only one question on the mind of everyone who receives direct marketing communication, be it an email or a direct mail piece: “To open or not to open.” And prospects will ponder this question for no more than 5 seconds before deciding whether to keep reading or toss your piece in the trash. And this is especially true for direct mail. Your goal is to get customers and prospects so excited that they can’t wait to rip open the envelope. And when they finally open it, you want to make the copy so captivating that they can’t wait to sink into a comfy sofa and read the entire thing.
Imagine reaching those who want to hear from you. Imagine taking your solutions to those who need them the most. Imagine making a positive impression on those who’ve never heard of your business. Or delighting those who have. This is direct marketing in a nut shell. And, contrary to what you may have heard, it’s still a big deal.
Platforms like BuddyPress for WordPress make it easy to set up a community and foster interaction between your brand and your customers. Include a sign-up form for your newsletter on every page of the community.
Whether you’re at a trade show, community event or in your own storefront, collecting email addresses in person can be as easy as putting out a signup sheet and encouraging people to write down their details.
AWeber has a fantastic example of this copy in its 7 reasons to subscribe page, which is a great place to link to on guest posts and off-site features. In other words, an AWeber guest blogger could link directly to this page in their byline, as it will convert far better than just shuffling someone over to the blog homepage.
To give an example of what direct marketing looks like, consider the campaign run by the sausage making company WVRST to announce their grand opening. WVRST cleverly designed t-shirts in the shape and style of sausages, even using butcher paper to wrap them.
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.
Everyone hates to see the dreaded bounceback alert in their inbox. If you have snail-mail information to match an email address, send a postcard asking the contact to provide you with an updated email address so you can stay in touch. Consider rewarding them with a discount or freebie for taking the time to respond.
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.
To make the most of an otherwise unfortunate situation, you should offer to get back in touch when the product is back and add a checkbox enabling them to opt in for great offers and discounts once a month (or whatever frequency you send out newsletters)