To get people who want to give you their emails (instead of feeling forced to do so), building an email list requires a combination of skills: content marketing, design, copywriting, sales, and paid acquisition.
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.
Direct-marketing messages generally include a call to action, encouraging the recipient to respond via a toll-free phone number or a reply card or by clicking on a link in an email promotion. Companies are able to measure the effectiveness of their direct-marketing campaigns by tracking responses. Direct marketing is more effective when companies use targeted lists of prospects developed using available marketing data that can segment them into identifiable groups that are likely to have an interest in a product or service.
If I sign up for an email newsletter to ABC Company because I love their widgets, I’m going to be more than a little confused when ABC Company starts to send me emails about the dongle manufacturer they just acquired.
If you’re promoting a new social media channel or post, send it to your biggest fans first; they’re more likely to share, comment, like, and so on. As a bonus, when you email the rest of your list and they click through to the post/page, they’ll see the activity from your fans, which makes it easier for them to share/like/comment as well.
There are many routes to direct marketing success. One proven way is by using premium or promotional items. Unlike standard items, which can have a short shelf life, recipients tend to keep promotional items. This gives your marketing campaigns a longer shelf life!
A marketing program will also teach you how to acquire and interpret meaningful data, including how to obtain and analyze marketing lists. By applying the right analytical and statistical tools, you’ll be able to target a direct marketing campaign in order to increase the rate of response, and consequently, the return on investment.
If you have a brick-and-mortar presence where you interact with customers face-to-face, create an email campaign just for those walk-ins. Launch a store membership they can sign up for via email at the register. This is a smart way to keep in touch with repeat customers and reward their loyalty to your product.
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?”
However, there is some juice when you buy emails list. If you buy 100,000emails and 85,000 happens to bounce it means you have a conversion rate of 15%. This is quite significant and why should I not buy if 15,000 are going to be good? How long does it take to have 15,000 people subscribe to ones list? If one is able to maintain and convert this 15,000 to become part of a sign up list, then can we not see that buying email lists could be a gold mine?
Incentivizing or at very least conveying the benefit of joing your list is critical. ”On exit’ style popups can increase subscriptions (in addition to simple sidebar integration.) Coregistration services like coRegMedia.com can also help to grow you r email list.
Brian, there’s one tip you forgot to add that you CONSISTENTLY nail: author engagement. For proof, I dare all readers to scroll down the comments section and see how many comments get a Brian Dean reply. Hint: all of them. Including this one, I bet.
Now, not being able to afford a “quality” email list is no reason to go out and waste money on a low cost worthless email list. Instead I recommend investing $400 into a direct mail or telemarketing list. Yes telemarketing is tough, BUT there are some nifty and effective ways to generate long-term profitable customers via telemarketing. And studies have shown that a well targeted direct mail campaign will easily generate more responses (sales) than an email campaign.
At the start of my online career i used to think that list building has no benefits but after doing some research on the topic and starting with the link building thing i came to knew it’s importance. It’s really necessary for website and blog owners to build lists or they’ll just let their selves down because list building is the game changer when Search Engines and Social Media doesn’t work for you.

Build your list with our list-builder tool, or buy one of our pre-built contact lists of managers and stakeholders in several industries. Market to your target audience, whether it’s doctors or CFOs. We have more than 100 lists to choose from!
Telemarketing executives must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business administration, or a related field, and demonstrate strong communication and management skills. Prior experience must demonstrate management success, and may include telemarketing, customer service/retention, or advertising.
Excellent post as always Brian. You mentioned a downloadable eBook, How to Get 25,000 Visitors Per Month after subscribing. I may have lost that email. Would it be possible for you to post the download link here please? I’d love to have a read of that e-book. Thanks in advance.
You have lots of options to test here: including a freebie, adding social proof to your opt-in form, creating a “long” form as found on places like QuickSprout, or keeping things relatively minimal, as we do on the Help Scout blog.
Webinars are a great way to go deeper on topics than you can through other list-building tools and really give a robust training, and cohesively introduce an offer to them, while also building real connection with your audience via the audio + video medium. Hands-down the best (and most FUN) list-building approach!”
Wow….this was a well explained detailed study, and I totally agree with you pop up boxes or slider for subscriptions do work but don’t you think at the same time they do irritate the visitors and I think first impression is the last impression.
The CAN SPAM Act (we’re not talking about a can of Spam, just to be clear) was put in place in 2003 and sets some clear guidelines for staying legal. Breaking the laws can result in up to $16,000 in fines. (That’s some expensive emails to send if you ask me.) Here are a few of the incriminating acts we need to stay away from if we want to be legal and ethical marketers:
List fatigue is also a concern. If you’re buying a list from a trade show, keep in mind that the other vendors at the trade show, and even businesses elsewhere who bought the list, are also emailing these recipients. By the time you reach the recipients’ inboxes, those readers are going to be exhausted by the barrage of unsolicited commercial email they’ve been receiving.
Forms of direct response marketing on television include standard short form television commercials, infomercials and home shopping networks. Short-form direct-response commercials have time lengths ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Long form infomercials are typically 30 minutes long. An offshoot of the infomercial is the home shopping industry. In this medium, items can potentially be offered with reduced overhead.[21]
Moreover, they typically rent these email address on a pay-per-use basis; they seldom, if ever, “sell” the email addresses. That means that you’re not sending out the email yourself. Instead, you’ll send your email’s HTML file (and possibly the related images) to the list broker, and they’ll handle the mailing for you.
The email address or “mechanism” must remain functional for 30 days after it is transmitted, and if an unsubscribe request is sent, the advertiser is required to honor the request within 10 business days.”
– 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.
Whenever an offer is made, all the commitments to be fulfilled by the marketer, the operator and the consumer should be made clear to consumers, either directly or by reference to sales conditions available to them at the time of the offer.
Effective direct marketing is fundamentally about communicating a clear and persuasive message. Marketing programs train students to practice and develop communications and presentation skills, allowing them to better implement direct marketing campaigns.
Social media platforms are still in the very early stages of rolling out methods for businesses to capture email addresses. In other words, using social media is far from being a proven method to build your list. However, new platforms are usually full opportunities for new movers, so these resources might help you venture into new waters. 
Download the free trial of EasyMail7 and give it a try yourself to see how it helps you create and deliver awesome personalized emails to your subscribers and quickly build fully-customizable drip campaigns for all your needs.
If you don’t already blog, you should! Blog posts help you increase your ranking on search engines like Google, and allow you collect blog subscribers that you can then upgrade to more actionable email campaigns over time.
It’s one thing to say “make sure” of these things before you email the list, but the only reliable way to make sure of them is… to email the list and see what happens. Not a risk that a responsible business owner would take.