Effective direct marketing begins with data. Marketers examine categories of customers or prospects they think will be interested in their product or service, and develop or procure lists for making contacts.
When you “buy” a list, you’re actually taking ownership of the file. In theory, that sounds great because you are free to do with the list whatever you wish. In particular, you can send as many emails to the list as you like without paying any more money (deployment costs aside).
When you send out your newsletter, it is only people on your email list that’ll receive it right? But how often haven’t you forwarded a relevant newsletter to a friend, a colleague or your mom? I do it all the time.
Include social sharing buttons and an “Email to a Friend” button in your marketing emails. That way, you’ll gain access to their friends, colleagues, and networks and expand your contact list. At the bottom of your emails, include a “Subscribe” CTA as a simple text-based link so that the people receiving the forwarded emails can easily opt-in, too.
Andrew Chen was one of leaders in implementing the homepage-as-signup-form. His main page has an additional little trick. When you first land on there, the email form is highlighted automatically, and you can start typing your email address without needing to even click.
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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.
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.
A direct marketing campaign may use multiple communications channels including mail, e-mail, phones, and face-to-face contact (See also Direct Mail Marketing). Different channels will be selected based on the target group. For example, a new restaurant might prefer distributing flyers or leaflets door to door, which saves money on mailing costs, targets the restaurant’s immediate neighborhood, and provides an opportunity for person-to-person engagement. Face-to-face engagement might also be used for in-store marketing. Home Depot In-Home Services, for instance, uses direct marketers in their stores to generate leads for various home improvement programs, such as cabinet resurfacing.
You may append telephone numbers to your mailing list by selecting Mail with Telemarketing Follow-up. You can purchase a telemarketing file that includes only the contact name and phone number without confirmed addresses. Mail-only files do not contain phone numbers.
There are many vendors out there who sell lists or rent them (though renting means that the list seller maintains ownership and control of the email list). These are collections of email addresses that the vendors sell to any business or individual who can pay the fees. Your email list is considered to be a purchased or shared list if it’s provided to you by a third party, like an email list vendor or affiliate. There’s a few ways that vendors build these non opt-in email lists.
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)
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!
When you buy an email list you’re not taking steps to create positive engagement with customers. Instead, you’re hoping that the few results you may get will somehow outweigh the overall negative responses that unsolicited emails usually receive.
This list buying is a very tricky subject and I agree that there must be something to it (demand and utility) or there would not be pages on google advertising . I am really tempted but not with a purchased list . I have 24000 emails from my customers from my website listed above that has been up about 10 years. These are people who have requested automatic rate quotes from our db. About 1/3 of them we had email correspondence with . This are years 2012/13. Now I am into internet marketing and would like to have some good advice about mailing to this list without hurting my present web traffic Thanks Walter Menuet
2. The information contained is captured in a consistent form which you have control over – easier to integrate back into your customer database or tie to existing customers leveraging social channels (did you know that before? doubtful)
There are hundreds, if not thousands of keywords relevant to direct marketing, so instead of defining them all here, we’ve made a list of around 200 you should be aware of, which you can cross check here for the full definition.
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.”
when a valid builder see’s invitation to be friends with bobsbuildingsuppliers they will 9/10 add you. this conversion IS a targeted list you are building from bad data. Even if just 5 people out of the 200,000 add you these could be worth more than the price you paid for the list
First off, of the 4,917 email addresses that I received, 1,483 of them were for “Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel.” Is anyone else having a hard time believing that nearly 1,500 people from ONE company genuinely opted in to this list?
Some mailing lists are open to anyone who wants to join them, while others require an approval from the list owner before one may join. Joining a mailing list is called “subscribing” and leaving a list is called “unsubscribing”.
Daily deal sites can be useful for retail or local service businesses. Offer your discount (daily deal) through the site for a limited time and ask anyone who wants to grab the deal to provide their email address in exchange.
When creating your email marketing campaign, be sure the header information including the originating domain name and email address are accurate. These are your “To” and “From” fields. This is required, so there’s no sense in falsifying the information.
This encourages you to send more emails, but without any sort of strategic thinking, these emails may start to level off your previous success: you’ll see more unsubscribes, spam complaints, and fewer people taking action.
An email list is a collection of email addresses that a business can create by engaging with potential customers through lead-generating campaigns. Email lists can shrink as members opt out of email subscriptions, and grow as the business solicits contact information from website visitors.
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.
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!”
The term “junk mail”, referring to unsolicited commercial ads delivered via post office or directly deposited in consumers’ mail boxes, can be traced back to 1954.[8] The term “spam,” meaning “unsolicited commercial e-mail,” can be traced back to March 31, 1993,[9] although in its first few months it merely referred to inadvertently posting a message so many times on UseNet that the repetitions effectively drowned out the normal flow of conversation.
When it comes to rented or purchased lists, you may come across vendors or marketers who say, “This email list is totally opt-in!” This means that the people on the list opted in to an email communication from someone at some point in time — like the list provider, for example. What it doesn’t mean, however, is that they opted in to receive email communications from your business. This is a critical distinction, and the next section of this post will go into more detail on why this type of “opt-in email list” (should be read with air quotes) is not a good idea for your email marketing program.
The least salubrious method of creating these lists is email harvesting. This is when the vendors use bots to crawl the web and collect email addresses from websites, forums and comment sections. Sometimes, low wage and long suffering people are paid to manually grab email addresses off websites. Not very nice!
Even though this guide focuses on building your email list and not on email marketing strategies (more on that soon!), these helpful resources can get you started on the right foot after capturing an email. 
We understand that data analytics are essential in understanding results and how they’ll drive us forward. We leverage our findings to generate useful insights that improve all our marketing efforts. It’s crucial that we’re telling the right story, to the right people, at the right time.
Just as important as gaining leads is knowing exactly where your leads are coming from and which marketing campaigns are most effective. Our tracking URL’s help you get the most out of your marketing efforts.
90+ PERCENT DELIVERY RATE – EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Why is my email response rate so low? The ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, etc) will block “good-deliverable” email addresses … or divert to SPAM box … if the “good” email addresses are associated with an email blast that includes a lot of bad email addresses. This blocking of good email addresses is why an email blast to 1,000,000 names can literally have zero responses. Using an email list that is less than 90% deliverable … will result in your good email addresses being blocked … thus making the email campaign futile. Demand a 90+ percent email delivery rate … or “money refund.”
Exclusive Bonus: Without these elements, your email marketing will not work. You will forever deal with being blacklisted, unsubscribed, opted out, and banished to the spam folder. These elements must be carefully considered, planned, and executed. With them, your email marketing will not only work, it will have superpowers. Download ‘Email Marketing Secret №1’ PDF ebook that will teach you how to make your email marketing profitable with live examples.
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In contrast, general advertising—for example, a billboard promoting a brand concept or product awareness—while seen by the customer, does not call for a specific response, and therefore cannot be easily measured. A marketer doesn’t know exactly how effective such a billboard is, or how many people are thinking about and buying the product because of the billboard. However, because of the specific call to action, he or she does know exactly how many people responded to a direct mailing.
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.
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.
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.
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

If you have physical stores, it is an excellent opportunity to collect leads without having to buy expensive equipment or train the staff. Hopefully plenty of customers visit your store every day – why not ask them for their email address when they are in your store? It’s just that simple. Asking for their email can seem odd or out of place if the staff doesn’t explain why they should. So instead of just asking them for their email, ask them if they want to save money on their next purchase – because who wouldn’t? I’ve previously spoken to Torkel Johannesen and Alf Johndal from the Norwegian beauty universe VITA. They introduced me to their amazing omnichannel strategy. They use their physical stores actively to collect emails and thereby sign ups for their newsletter.
Build a mailing list of movers new to the area, updated daily. Select your geographic territory via a map interface or standard selections such as zip codes, counties, cities, etc. View more information…
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!
Twitter and Facebook widgets – these are an easy way to send people away from your site and email is far more effective at reaching people than social. I display basic follow buttons in my footer so I can keep the focus on email subscribers.
Consumers have expressed concerns about the privacy and environmental implications of direct marketing. In response to consumer demand and increasing business pressure to increase the effectiveness of reaching the right customer with direct marketing, companies specialize in targeted direct advertising to great effect, reducing advertising budget waste and increasing the effectiveness of delivering a marketing message with better geo-demography information, delivering the advertising message to only the customers interested in the product, service, or event on offer. Additionally, members of the advertising industry have been working to adopt stricter codes regarding online targeted advertising.[12]
If you were to click on that banner, you’d wade through survey questions where they ask about age, income and collect other info relevant to placing you into categories that they can then offer as “targeted” options for marketers. They also collect your email address.