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!
GoDaddy Email Marketing provides great statistics to show you how many people are opening, engaging with and sharing your email. There’s no mystery or guesswork. You can even compare different emails side-by-side to quickly see which emails get the best response. Once you know what appeals to your readers, you can refine your emails for even better results.
I would wager that most business owners under the age of 35 probably have never even considered running a direct mail marketing campaign for their business. Having grown up in an increasingly paperless world, the mere concept of spending precious marketing dollars on printing up thousands of pieces of paper to stuff into mailboxes across a large swath of people seems pretty crazy to the younger generation of entrepreneurs – and it’s not a baseless feeling. There’s no denying that the business world (and our world in general) has been dramatically swinging toward the quicker, more efficient, much cheaper, and much more environmentally friendly realm of electronic communication. But does direct mail marketing actually work?

Save any new documentation as a PDF for download, and require that individuals enter their names and email addresses in order to access it. The value of the information you are offering is directly proportional to the amount of personal data your customers are willing to provide, so make sure the tradeoff is fair. A highly anticipated white paper or report can garner a high number of new email subscribers who are openly expressing interest in your brand, so don’t leave this opportunity unaddressed.
“Paper direct mail can be a nuisance to most customers, but if you include a product sample, the direct mail instantly becomes more valuable as a trial tool. There are several companies that specialize in creating product samples, such as Arcade Marketing for the fragrance and makeup industries, and they often have interactive programs that aim to increase the ROI for your brand.” ~ Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.
Once your list is targeted, you need to spend an equally large portion of time coming up with a great deal – even if it means you might lose a bit of money on it. The underlying goal of any marketing campaign is to gain new customers, and it’s worth it to significantly reduce your profit margins to gain said customers. Once you have a surgically-honed list and an amazing offer, then you can spend some time on the design, copy, delivery methods, postage rates, date of delivery, size of the mailer…there are a lot of other options to consider, but following the 40/40/20 rule you can see how important audience and offer truly are.
Keep your list fresh and up-to-date – It’s an unfortunate fact of life that occasionally email addresses become invalid. People’s work email addresses change as they move between companies and others abandon old AOL and Compuserve email addresses in favor of modern platforms like Gmail. However, by focusing some of your time and energy on building your email list, you can fight list decay and ensure you have a growing list of people to receive and click-through on your email campaigns.
If you sign up for something and the terms include words like "Sign up to receive updates from us and our partners that we think you'll like," your email address is likely being collected for a shared or sold list. A subset of this method is called co-registration. This is where you sign up at a website, but that website also automatically, or nearly automatically, signs you up for other sites. They try to legitimize this by informing you of the additional subscriptions, or providing boxes to uncheck. This is a situation where it's not the subscriber’s intention to sign up for the material they will be receiving.
Target Corp. inadvertently drew an early line in the sand between good data use and data use that was too personal for customer comfort. In 2012, Charles Duhigg reported in The New York Times that Target addressed a mailer, which featured coupons for cribs and baby clothes, to a high school girl. When her father complained to the company, yelling that his daughter was not pregnant, the company apologized; when the father called back a few days later, he was contrite. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of,” the father said, according to Duhigg. “She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”
The books I've written have actually had three different titles, updated to move with the times. My first text book was titled: Internet Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. I then created E-business E-commerce Management and, with PR Smith, E-marketing Excellence, for professionals a couple of years later. Then, much later, the names switched and in 2012 we renamed the Internet Marketing book to Digital Marketing with the others becoming Digital Business and Digital Marketing Excellence.  About time too, since I was involved in developing the syllabus as an examiner for the first IDM Diploma in Digital Marketing back in 2004-5 when the term was hardly used at all - so it's been great to see 'Digital Marketing' adopted as the 'de facto' term, when I was first involved in defining it with the IDM students in 2004!
Expert marketer Ramit Sethi of GrowthLab agrees with Julie about saying goodbye to the email blast, going as far as to publish a blog post entitled “Stop sending email blasts! Do this instead”. The post takes the recommendation to segment even further by suggesting “hotlists” — sub-segments of your email list that subscribers can opt into based on their interest in a specific project of yours.
They have real concerns, hopes, frustrations and interests. Talk to them about those things. Don’t just tell them about your products of services. Tell them about how your products or services can help them. For an example, as a B2B marketer you need to learn to match your B2B content to your sales funnel. Show them how some of your customers or clients have solved their problems.
Email marketing - Email marketing in comparison to other forms of digital marketing is considered cheap; it is also a way to rapidly communicate a message such as their value proposition to existing or potential customers. Yet this channel of communication may be perceived by recipients to be bothersome and irritating especially to new or potential customers, therefore the success of email marketing is reliant on the language and visual appeal applied. In terms of visual appeal, there are indications that using graphics/visuals that are relevant to the message which is attempting to be sent, yet less visual graphics to be applied with initial emails are more effective in-turn creating a relatively personal feel to the email. In terms of language, the style is the main factor in determining how captivating the email is. Using casual tone invokes a warmer and gentle and inviting feel to the email in comparison to a formal style. For combinations; it's suggested that to maximize effectiveness; using no graphics/visual alongside casual language. In contrast using no visual appeal and a formal language style is seen as the least effective method.[48] https://blog.capterra.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/email-templates-720x360.png
Email marketing is all about expectations, and it’s up to you to set them. If your call to action is strong, and your follow-up is consistent, then you can count on a positive campaign. However, if you promise to send one email per week and instead send them daily, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. On the contrary, if someone is expecting daily updates or critical product updates and you don’t’ deliver, then they are likely to be just as upset in that case too.

It’s important to note how a number of growing trends revolve around content of value – not promotional content. Things like personalization and subscriber lifetime value, bite-sized content that’s easy to digest, stronger narratives and storytelling, richer experiences… that’s all key to crafting highly engaging emails that will grow your open and engagement rates.
First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:
I won’t lie to you, it does take a fair amount of preparation and time to build your authority up to this point. But I guarantee you that if you start implementing the exact same tactics that I’ve listed here, you’ll immediately be able to increase your conversion rate and start building one of the most important resources you’ll need as an entrepreneur.
I know a few of you just thought, “I cannot run my business like that”. So work with this. Instead of sending endless sale item emails, send just one “give” email a month. And what if you sent a really cool story of what someone has done with your products once a month? If you send weekly emails, just adding those two emails into the mix every month now means you’re on 1 to 1 schedule. Will your sales go down if you do this? Maybe a little. Will your engagement go up over time if you execute this well? Like a rocket ship.
Hi Jonathan, great post and well done on your prolific growth. It would be really interesting to know how many of the 56,717 subscribers came from each channel that you wrote about. Based on past experiences, I’ve seen JV launches really explode list size. My guess is that your JV partners/affiliates made up a decent chunk of these new subscribers during this period? It would cool to know what moved the needle the most. Cheers!
We make a plastic postcard that has a gift card detach from it. Although they are much more expensive than paper they have a tremendous return rate. If these are used as promotion they don’t need to comply with the PCI stored value gift card rules and regulations. It really comes down to the data files and target segment. Nothing beats good market intelligence and rewarding a good, repeat customer.
In a typical email marketing scenario, an organization builds an email list to reach or inform established and prospective customers. An email list may be complemented by a marketing database that allows for customization, data mining, precise targeting or other purposes. However, ubiquitous and unsolicited email, also known as spam, has made it difficult for ethical email marketers. Most email and Internet service providers (ISP) have significant filters to block spam, so getting legitimate messages across is easier said than done. Given this, email marketing has evolved into a specialized niche in digital marketing.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.
Not only is InVision's newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between images and text, making it really easy to read and mobile-friendly -- which is especially important, because its newsletters are so long. (Below is just an excerpt, but you can read through the full email here.) We like the clever copy on the call-to-action (CTA) buttons, too.
Sometimes this just means cashing in on some old favors, other times it means we’ll share one of their lead magnets on our account too. Sometimes we’ll work out a deal where we’ll do five caption shoutouts of their account in return for them sharing just one of our lead magnets or something similar. If necessary, sometimes we’ll even pay money to have them share one of our promotional posts.
Word of mouth communications and peer-to-peer dialogue often have a greater effect on customers, since they are not sent directly from the company and are therefore not planned. Customers are more likely to trust other customers’ experiences.[22] Examples can be that social media users share food products and meal experiences highlighting certain brands and franchises. This was noted in a study on Instagram, where researchers observed that adolescent Instagram users' posted images of food-related experiences within their social networks, providing free advertising for the products.[26]
To help explain the scope and approaches used for digital marketing working with the IDM in 2005 I developed a more (too?) detailed definition than the simple one at the start of this post to better scope it and show how digital marketing needs to be closely aligned to broader marketing objectives and activities and involves much more than SEO and inbound marketing. So this is the original definition from 2005 - how should it change now?
Direct marketing campaigns that include personalization and relevancy strike me as some of the most effective uses of print marketing. The amount of variability you can automate into a printed piece is astounding. From tailored color schemes to unique headlines, marketers can create a piece so individualized that no one can tell it is automatically generated from a database. #7 on this list really stood out to me, but all of these tips and more prove that print marketing is still relevant and can thrive as long as it is personalized and adapts over time. – Shelley Sweeney, VP/GM Service Bureau/Direct Mail Sectors, Xerox
If you’ve read this blog before, you know how heavily we stress the importance of preparing, making a well-thought out and comprehensive plan, and then executing against it. Well, it’s no different for direct mail marketing, and the tried-and-true approach for this tried-and-true method of marketing is known as the 40/40/20 rule. This rule dictates that the success and eventual ROI of your direct mail marketing efforts are going to be dependent upon three factors – 40% of your success will come from how effective your mailing list is, another 40% will depend on how compelling your offer is, and the remaining 20% will come from everything else (design, the copy/text of the mailing, the images you’ve chosen, delivery date and method, etc.).
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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.
Email blast is one of the most popular methods you can use to promote products and services online. It is an email sent to a large subscribers list and its biggest advantage is its speed and reach. As if that wasn’t enough, email blast programs can be designed in HTML so you can increase brand recall by using the right colors, logos and a look that is similar to your own website. Best of all, you can even conduct online surveys and polls in your email blast to get an idea of what customers think of your offerings.
Much of this increase can be attributed to the ability to couple physical mail pieces with mobile and online marketing efforts, resulting in a sound multichannel marketing program. Think of how many pieces of mail you've seen recently sporting QR codes, URLs to social media sites, and SMS short codes. Mail affords marketers greater reach, allows more information to be communicated than most online advertising efforts, and gives buyers the opportunity to respond to a call to action in the way that they want, on their own time.
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Just because something is true, it doesn’t mean it should be sent to the customer. Good personalization is relevant and valuable, but it shouldn’t be too specific, O’Keefe says, citing Netflix and Amazon as good examples for direct marketers. These companies know what their customers want, but they don’t go over the top in telling them things about themselves they may not yet know. 

As a marketing strategy the email blast is divisive, to put it mildly. In fact, it’s somewhat akin to using cilantro in your cooking: either you love it or you hate it (and if you hate it, you really hate it). Some marketers have written off the email blast completely as an outdated strategy, some swear by it, and others find it cringe-worthy but still use it because it gets results.
Be aware from January the popup opt in is going to decimate your Google search rankings, so the evergreen welcome mat and overlay (which you’re using on this page on exit intent) are going to be things of the past (unless you want to lose your position in the SERPS…). Time to get rid of the popups now and move to content upgrades inline in your articles (which you do really well in this post!).
Are you really willing to risk not only your email deliverability, but also the reputation of your IP address and your company? Even if you find the light after purchasing or renting email lists and decide to only email those who have opted in with your company, it'll take you months (or maybe years) to get your Sender Score up and rebuild the reputation of your IP.
In addition to linking to Letter Shoppe's designs (available on merchandise that is ultimately sold by Redbubble), the email campaign includes an endearing quote by the Featured Artist: "Never compromise on your values, and only do work you want to get more of." Redbubble's customers are likely to agree -- and open other emails in this campaign for more inspiring quotes.

Note: If you want to attach additional files, such as a .pdf, we recommend that you store these files on a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, and linking to these files within your blast. We do not support file attachments to an email blast as these file types tend to be larger, increasing your chances of triggering spam filters and preventing your blast from reaching your recipients.