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]
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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.
While this is a relatively simple example, it still exemplifies the standard split-test for a majority of early stage startups. Sending out a test with four different variants to 1/8 of your subscribers doesn’t make much sense if you only have 300 people on your list!
Get creative. Since every business is different, some of the strategies in this guide might not work for your business if you implement them exactly as described. However, most of what’s described can work for a large majority of businesses with just a few tweaks. In some cases, you might even get greater results than the people who wrote these posts.
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.
At first, this may sound like a quick fix. But, buying email lists is not an effective way to grow your email list. As a business, you want engaged readers that will find your emails valuable. The people on the for-sale lists did not agree to receive your emails, so the email addresses are not quality.
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.
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.
LeadPages* – This is a platform designed to help you create landing pages fast, it takes care of the hosting and integrates with WordPress while allowing you to download HTML to use with other systems. Price starts from $37/month. I use this for most of my landing pages.
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.
Everyone likes the feeling of being in on something exclusive. Offer your email subscribers something only they can get. It might be a special discount. It could be access to a video, e-book or another piece of useful content. Promote the availability of this exclusive access in order to encourage more email enrollments.
Our credit multiplier function allows you to earn more credits towards building your business by reading member’s emails. This boosts member activity and response, making it easy to gain targeted leads for your business.
The purpose of direct response marketing, as the name suggests, is…are you ready for this? This is huge…The purpose is to…wait for it… generate a response. Sounds simple enough, right? Yet many marketers are constantly challenged with how to accomplish this goal. If you’re one of them, I’m willing to bet a shiny nickel that you’re making this grave mistake and it’s probably limiting your direct marketing potential.
Bottom-line, quality “opt-in” email addresses … with strong guarantees … cost a lot of money, usually 20+ cents per name. Very expensive but if you’ve a strong offer and a well priced product, then a quality email list will generate a positive ROI.
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.
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?
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.
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.”
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:
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!
One of the smarter ways to gather email leads online is to simply integrate email into your product’s usage. The most basic technique here is requiring an email to sign up (which most companies do), but this is also an opportunity to get creative.
At the other end of the spectrum, you have what I call the real “fly-by-nighters.” These are the people who purport to have 100 million or 200 million “opt in” email addresses, and they’ll send out crazy amounts of email for you (like 10 million emails) for a ridiculously small amount of money (like $500).
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.
Email addresses are processed to verify deliverability, and IP addresses are checked for legitimacy. We follow all CAN-SPAM laws and suppress opt-outs in compliance with the CAN-SPAM guidelines established for business data.
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.
In the United States, the National Do Not Call Registry was created in 2003 to offer consumers a choice whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. The FTC created the National Do Not Call Registry after a comprehensive review of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).[15] The do-not-call provisions of the TSR cover any plan, program, or campaign to sell goods or services through interstate phone calls.
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.
If you know your small business needs marketing, but don’t have the time or resources, look no further. The Duct Tape Marketing podcast covers everything from earning referrals to managing time and being more productive.

A major requirement of the United States marketing law is that recipients are given a way to elect to terminate any future emails from you. Unsubscribe is usually the option offered at the end of an email.
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.