Buying email lists doesn't just damage your deliverability and brand reputation -- it can also put your email account at risk. Email clients like Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook don't want to be associated with accounts that recipients repeatedly flag as spam. Email service providers like AWeber go as far as immediately closing your account if it suspects you're sending unwanted content.
BuzzFeed – The popular news and entertainment website earns revenue by selling advertisements on their site, so the key objective of their marketing team is to drive more traffic. With that in mind, BuzzFeed sends regular email newsletters containing links to stories on their website with the goal of increasing the number of visits they get each month and increasing the amount of revenue they generate.
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While this is obviously more of a guideline than a hard-fast rule, if nothing else it should show you where your efforts need to be placed when undertaking a direct mail marketing campaign. Too often, business owners will spend an inordinate amount of time on coming up with the flashiest, snazziest, most eye-catching design that they are sure will blow everyone away, and then rush to put together the offer and/or the list of folks to send it to. It’s one of the most common mistakes of a mail marketing campaign.
Further, today's consumer is connected 24/7 and attention spans are divided across multiple mediums -- web, email, mobile apps, texts, TV, radio, etc. Direct mail pieces received directly to homes or businesses break through marketing silos and require a dedicated pause to consider compared to the many thousands of on-screen messages we receive any given hour. Consider how unaffected you are as a consumer when you receive spam emails -- it's a quick click to delete without a second thought. But we're receiving less physical mail than before, and are therefore less likely to dismiss mail as quickly as we used to.
In this day and age, there is no need for these services. No one wants to hear from you via email, phone or snail mail. If we did, we’d contact you. Unless a person speaks to you specifically and requests to be contacted, they did NOT opt-in. We were sold by some company who lied when they claimed to respect our privacy. We HATE being contacted by you, and feel violated each time it happens. People all over the world make fun of marketers of all sorts, and wish it were illegal for you to contact us in any manner. Curious to see how many spam email I get from this post.
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.

By placing links back to Foundr’s website, it means that we’re able to piggyback on high-profile influencers and expose our brand to an already interested audience. Similar to how the content upgrades work, placing these backlinks throughout these guest articles encourages readers to click on them and get even more value with our much more in-depth article.
It wasn’t enough to just post high-quality articles on the Foundr blog itself, but it was crazy important that we start getting our posts onto other influential sites as well. Taking our cues from Buffer, we began drastically ramping up our content creation process. Part of that process of guest posting was including as many links as possible back to the Foundr site.
If you haven’t yet started building an email list (but know you need to), this article is for you. You may have heard that a strong email list is one of the most valuable assets you can have, but when you’re starting from scratch, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is partly because many business owners have a hard time envisioning the long-term payoff for the hard work they need to do now.
If you create an email blast that asks your contacts to do something (like call you, fill out a form on your website, or take advantage of an offer), make sure you have that high up in the email.  A good rule of  thumb is that your call to action should appear right away, when someone opens your email. If someone has to scroll to find it, it’s in the wrong place. It’s the same philosophy as the old newspaper theory that the stories “above the fold” are those which get the most attention.

If your average meal price is $20 – you may consider sending a coupon for 25% off of their meal. This seems great but if you instead use psychology in your offer, it will get a much better response. So instead of 25% off, make the coupon for $5 meal bucks or something similar. Instead of saying you have to spend money to redeem this coupon, you are saying this coupon is worth $5. Period. This is free money. You will see a much greater response.
Although there’s no panacea for direct mail’s attribution problem, Simpson says that he shores up his data by matching a list of recent buyers with consumers from the campaign’s direct mail list. This method is more inductive than deductive, in that he cannot be entirely sure the direct mail led to the purchase, but it allows him to have an idea of how effective a direct mail campaign has been. 
We just started using MailChimp because it seems to be the only one that offers a free account for small or new users. The problem is that there are so many steps for a potential subscriber to go through with both double opt-in and recaptcha, that we are getting at best complaints to worst, plain nasty comments posted on our Facebook page. We don’t know how many would be subscribers we lost because of this.
First, you will need a computer with internet connection. Then, you can choose from a variety of email servers such as Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail etc. I recommend Gmail because it's free and has and excellent spam blocker. If you go to gmail.com, and click a link that will say something like "create an account". Fill out the information and use your new login and password to enter your new account.

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.
If all Michael had was the 57k Facebook fans listed right below, I’m not nearly impressed. Combined with the big number above, however, the FB fan numbers serve as crucial verification. If your website has 1,500 FB likes, there is NO WAY I believe you have 500k viewers. But with Michael’s Facebook numbers, I start to believe in that much bigger number above, and it means I probably can’t afford to miss what he’s saying.
Generating your own list of email contacts who have opted in to receive content from you doesn't just comply with legal regulation and protect your brand reputation. It also presents you with opportunities to grow this list through genuine relationships with new customers. We've already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
Postcards can still be an effective medium if you use one of the oversized formats. One of our clients mails more than 2 million prospecting postcards a year and has had great success with an 11″ x 6″ size. This is just large enough to stand out from the rest of the mail and yet not so large that it incurrs additional postage. Obviously, good creative and a relevent message help tremendously, but from a pure format standpoint, this size has worked best for our clients.
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