It's practically impossible to overstate the importance of direct mailing lists to the success of your direct mail program. The correct mailing list will contain your most valuable prospects. The more careful you are in analyzing and selecting direct mailing lists, the better your chances for success. There are several different categories of mailing lists available on the market today ranging in cost and appropriateness for your market. When you are considering what type of mailing list to buy consider the following three types:
“We’re always giving people the option to join our email list when they come into the spa, but we just recently added the option for people to sign up when they visit our website,” explains Christine Copertino, spa director for Allegria Spa. “The response has been great. We’re seeing a ton of people signing up, and we know that these are really engaged people who will be excited to receive our emails.”
Before online marketing channels emerged, the cost to market products or services was often prohibitively expensive, and traditionally difficult to measure. Think of national television ad campaigns, which are measured through consumer focus groups to determine levels of brand awareness. These methods are also not well-suited to controlled experimentation. Today, anyone with an online business (as well as most offline businesses) can participate in online marketing by creating a website and building customer acquisition campaigns at little to no cost. Those marketing products and services also have the ability to experiment with optimization to fine-tune their campaigns’ efficiency and ROI.
It's important to know the exact result you want before you begin. Then make that result happen by ending your message with a specific call to action (or CTA). A call to action might be "call us now," "use this discount code in our shop," or "schedule a demo." Make sure the CTA is direct and appealing, and that you show the reader why it's worth their time to click, visit, or call.
One hundred years ago, companies such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and J.C. Penny Co. used customer data to send out catalogs and mailers. Back then, the companies possessed small sets of data, mainly names and addresses of customers. Now, marketers have mountains of complex data and are faced with a modern conundrum: How much personal data is too much to incorporate into the content?

Once the direct mail campaign has gone out, and customers have responded, companies track results to determine the campaign's effect. Measuring the number of responses, increased traffic, and profit margin gives marketers important information about whether the direct mail piece produced the desired results, and what else (or instead) should be targeted in future campaigns.


Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.
E-customers' most serious concern is security and privacy, followed by price, delivery cost, return policy, customer service, site design, navigation, one-click shopping, and personalization. E-marketers must assure customers that their sites use cybercrime-proof systems to protect ecustomer information and clearly display the security/privacy statement on their sites. Competitive prices, discounts, e-coupons, free delivery, and standard return policies motivate initial online purchases and repeat purchases. Nevertheless, requiring too many mouse clicks for navigating on a site, a lack of easily accessible help, technical difficulties, and requesting too much customer information for purchasing goods often causes shoppers to abandon their online shopping carts before reaching the checkout.
A blast furnace is used to create pig iron from iron ore. It is a large vertical chamber lined with refactory (heat resistant) material into which iron ore, lime and charcoal is dropped. The charcoal is burned, with the help of compressed air blowin into the bottom of the chamber via ducts called tuyere's. This generates enough heat for the charcoal to react with the iron ore, effectively stripping out the excess oxygen and leaving the iron behind. After the process has run for some time, the impure pig iron is drained from the bottom of the chamber. The pig iron gets its name from the grid of ducts the iron was drained into, because it resembed piglets suckling alongside the mother.
If ebooks aren't your jam, create tools instead. I don't recommend a one-or-the-other approach, necessarily, but if you have more development talent than writing talent, this may be a more attractive option for you. These tools can be valuable enough to some of your website visitors that they'll trade you their email address for a free demo of the product you built. Then, for your first email, ask them what they thought of the tool. It's the perfect icebreaker.
As we wrote in an earlier post, 7 Email List Hygiene Best Practices for a Fresh & Clean List, it’s far better to let people unsubscribe – to make it really easy for them to unsubscribe – than to keep them on your list. Don’t blast people – force people – into getting your email messages. Email marketing at its best is not mass advertising. It is tailored, persona-driven, relationship-building, inbound marketing.
A strategy that is linked into the effectiveness of digital marketing is content marketing.[39] Content marketing can be briefly described as "delivering the content that your audience is seeking in the places that they are searching for it".[39] It is found that content marketing is highly present in digital marketing and becomes highly successful when content marketing is involved. This is due to content marketing making your brand more relevant to the target consumers, as well as more visible to the target consumer.
Content marketing should be a familiar concept to most marketers these days. Nearly 90 percent of B2B marketers currently employ a content marketing strategy because they believe it is an effective mechanism for building a brand’s reputation, increasing brand awareness, driving new leads, and ultimately boosting your sales.  In fact, content marketing has become so MORE…
People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
“MailLift is basically an API for direct mail marketing. It allows you to integrate your CRM or customer service software directly into its messaging system. You can write out a message, and it will be transcribed as a handwritten letter and sent to your customer. It’s completely revolutionary because you can do mass mail customization efficiently for the first time.” ~ Liam Martin, Staff.com

Like any marketing strategy, building an email strategy relies on knowing your audience. That means checking out analytics and social analytics for demographic information. Once you know who your subscribers are, it’s easy to come up with a lead magnet such as an ebook that will encourage them to subscribe. That also makes it easier to decide on the right content for your email. If you can, give subscribers options about how often they hear from you.
Emails triggered by milestones, like anniversaries and birthdays, are fun to get -- who doesn't like to celebrate a special occasion? The beauty of anniversary emails, in particular, is that they don't require subscribers to input any extra data, and they can work for a variety of senders. Plus, the timeframe can be modified based on the business model.
Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.

I typically create my email artwork in photoshop and then just drop in the jpeg using html and image mapping. Is there a “best practices” when it comes to actually putting the email together? Perhaps speaking from an editing perspective? Basically I make one big image and then use coding: img name, src, alt, a href and so forth. And for every different block, I simply create a new jpg image to use. Is there a better way I should be doing this?


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.

Use it as a lead magnet/free mini course. You can also use an autoresponder as a lead magnet to attract new subscribers to your email list. This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini course”, or a free “challenge”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons (or other valuable information) over the course of several days or weeks. There is a high perceived value with a mini course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
The downside of Every Door Direct Mail Service is that, besides the location of the recipient, you don’t know anything else about them. If you would like to be able to further target the recipients based on other factors, then you will need to rent a third party mailing list. There are many places where you can go to purchase third party list that is tailored to your specific need. Experian, DirectMail, and InfoUSA being some of the more popular options.
Besides the fact that email blasts can be spammy and impersonal, they’re also not the most effective way to make money. Although a large-scale email blast is sure to convert, it’s not because sending it was a strategic move — it’s because you cast a wide net. If you crafted a targeted newsletter instead, you’d see a better conversion rate and you’d be able to replicate the strategy many times over. Marissa Petteruti calls email blasts a wasted opportunity to generate more revenue, citing:
I am loving this article. I specifically like points 1 and 7. As for number 1, I think a quality list is better than a gigantic list of just anyone like you say. I think this is also true for “followers” and “likes”. Are the people following you genuinely caring about your content or just subscribing just to apease you? As for #7, we have to KNOW if our efforts are working and not just go off of a gut feeling. Great points here Erik.

Perhaps you're a new company and don't have a customer base. Maybe you have a service you're sure that people will love... if only they heard about you. Whatever the reason, buying an email list seems like an easy, low cost way to grow your business. But, there are some serious consequences to purchasing. And there are real benefits to using an opt-in list!

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