All marketers should be familiar with the work of George Lowenstein, a neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University. Lowenstein’s research on information gap theory reveals powerful insights for creating email broadcasts that people will actually read and click through.
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there are individuals off in who-knows-where selling worthless databases containing hundreds of thousands of outdated contacts for next to nothing.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.
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).
I love the fact that my mass emails can be highly personalized and still look like regular emails, vs. emails from Constant Contact etc. I can also go into the HTML code and tweak things if they are not right. We use Amazon Web Service SES which is very affordable. A great product for those who have reasonable computer skills to set everything up.
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Even though the law condemns spamming, spamming is here to stay because people that think out of the box are making good money from it. I for one will delete any email that I do not know the source. However, if the headline or the subject matter is of interest, I will open the email before deleting it. Am I alone with this behavior? Surely not
* 72% of consumers say that email is their favored conduit of communication with companies they do business with. 61% say they like to receive promotional emails weekly and 28% want them even more frequently. – MarketingSherpa 2
There are plenty more things you could do here, but the great thing is that you have a valuable opportunity to spend slightly longer on your blog posts and repurpose them into another content type or create something 100% exclusive.
If you scan the market then there you will find many vendors like InfoUSA, Book Your Data, DMDatabases, FrescoData, etc. to get your b2b email list from. But it is doubtful that how many of them are actually confidant about the deliverability of their databases.
Personalization Since it will be important in some cases to gather a subscriber’s name from a sign-up form, you’d be wise to test to see if this has a significant impact on open-rates & click-throughs. In some instances seeing a name in the subject line (or intro) will do wonders; in others it may confuse people into thinking your message is spam.
Segment your market (optional) – Ideally, break your market into tiny segments, large enough to collect statistically significant data, while small enough to balance your investment risks. Try testing two or more offer variations to see which one performs better on a small scale.
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.
If you insist on using social proof, I highly recommend you to use more quirky numbers. It is more powerful saying ‘Join 4,693 other ecommerce fans. Get your tips now.’ It seems like the number is the exact number of subscribers and will seem more accurate.
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.
I’ve seen a handful of business-to-business companies use non-permission email lists with tremendous success, because the content of the emails was of great interest to the majority of people on the list.
Not really, because it means that the contacts have opted to receive emails from, say, the list-purchasing company — not your company. Even if the opt-in process includes language like, “Opt in to receive information from us, or offers from other companies we think you might enjoy,” the fact is that the recipient has never heard of your company, and does not remember opting in to receive emails from you. That means there’s a really good chance a lot of the recipients will mark you as “Spam” because they don’t recognize you or remember opting in to communications from you … which takes us to our next point.
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.
Yes, thousands of contacts are a credit card swipe away, but your email marketing program — a critical part of a well-rounded inbound marketing strategy — will seriously suffer. Curious why buying email lists is a legitimate email marketer’s kiss of death? Read on. Plus, we’ll give you a list of squeaky-clean and effective ways to build your email marketing list in lieu of list buying.
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
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.

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.
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…
Coupons have been around for a long time. Recently, they have moved firmly into the digital world where a new generation of users are downloading them to computers and mobile devices. In this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast I visited with Steven Gray of Money Mailer and Brent Dusing of CellFire. Money […]
Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.
One of the other significant benefits of direct marketing is that it enables promoting products or services that might not be known to consumers. Products or service with a sound value proposition, matched with an attractive offer, supported with effective communication, delivered through a suitable direct marketing channel and targeting the relevant customer segment can result in a very effective cost of acquisition. Relative to other channels of distribution (say retailing) direct marketing as a practice principally relies on the proposition, offer, communication, choice of channel and the target customer and so less dependent on the brand strength. Despite the proven ability of direct marketing to generate measurable results, most companies continue to use general or branding advertising to market their products or services.
While content marketing has proven itself to be the best strategy for bootstrapped startups, the problem is that most company blogs are poorly designed for conversions, focusing on featuring useless items like social media banners and category links.
I use this in conjunction with Yesware (but have also used Outreach and ToutApp) which is an email automation tool which helps automate cold outbound emails and follow ups (using the email addresses you grab from Sales Umbrella). You’ll spend virtually no time at all sending cold outbound emails and absolutely no time in sending cold follow up emails as it is all automated. So you can imagine the time saving vs. a manual email process!
In analyzing the websites and techniques of some of these awesome email list builders, a certain formula started to emerge. If I could boil down the process of building a massive email list to just the most basic parts, I think it would look like this:
They say that hindsight is 20/20, but I gladly would have paid the $5 I saved on my total purchase to NOT receive those emails over the years. Because with every one I got – and promptly deleted – you better believe that I was cursing their company name. It did nothing but hurt their company’s reputation and leave a bad taste in my mouth.
So how do the most engaged newsletters keep their open and click-through rates so high? The secret boils down to using proven psychological principles that invoke curiosity, grab the reader, and compel them to take action.
That e-book or buying guide you created to establish thought leadership in your industry can also help build your email list. When visitors to your website request a free download, ask them to complete your opt-in form in order to download.
Sandwich boards are nothing new, but what about using one in a new way? Place one on the sidewalk in front of your storefront or office to advertise your newsletter and offer a reward to anyone who signs up. Invite customers into the store to enroll, or give them the web address where they’ll find your opt-in form.
ISPs or email providers always look at what a subscriber is doing with his or her inbox, such as opening an email, clicking a link, reporting a message as spam, etc. If the engagement is good, this tells the ISP or email provider to route future emails to their inbox instead of the spam folder. As a result, the more a subscriber is engaged, the more frequently ISPs will route mail to the inbox.
Sorry but I’ve just proven this info to be wrong. I bought a highly targeted list, wrote a highly targeted offer and received 8 strong leads. The rate per lead was $13.75 per lead. Incredible when compared to my seo rate of $250-$500 per lead!
Mailerlite* offers a fully featured free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers and Drip* offers a free plan for up to 100 subscribers. Mailerlite is great for simplicity and Drip is best if you need advanced automation.
If you’re new to list building and email marketing, look around and see which services will allow you to do these important activities: segmenting subscribers, tracking email marketing metrics, broadcasting emails, customizing email messages, and building automated funnels.
In October 2013, the Federal Telephone Consumers Protection Act made it illegal to contact an individual via cell phone without prior express written consent for all telephone calls using an automatic telephone dialing system or a prerecorded voice to deliver a telemarketing message to wireless numbers and residential lines. An existing business relationship does not provide an exception to this requirement.
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.
– Decide how often you will send your updates (daily, weekly or monthly) and stick to your schedule. Consistency is beneficial to both parts. Your subscribers will know when to expect the next email from you. And you will be building your positive reputation with ISPs by sending your campaigns at a regular basis.
– 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.
With all that said, your signup form should be put at the place where it’s clearly visible, give a solid reason to subscribe, promise an irresistible offer that can take right away, and reassure them with the privacy statement.
Certain things go better together. Wine and cheese. Beer and tacos. And you can definitely throw direct marketing and digital marketing into that mix. If your marketing campaign is stuck, consider adding some digital spice to the concoction. You can do this in a number of proven ways and through myriad channels: social media, email and even offline campaigns with digital components, such as PURLs and video cards.
Hyperlinked email signatures can lead people to a landing page where they can sign up for your mailing list. Plus, if you’re already in a natural email conversation with them, subscribing to more emails can be a natural next step.
Top commercial and nonprofit brands nationwide rely on DirectMail.com as a comprehensive, one-stop resource for all their specialty and compiled direct mailing list and brokerage service needs – from responder, lifestyle, and interest lists to activities and membership lists, and everything in between.