To build a maling list, marketers collect information about clients and potential customers through in-house research. Many stores offer a substantial percentage off a first purchase when consumers apply for a credit card in the store, or when they opt-in to an email list. Other organizations and companies might set up a booth at a fair or conference, offering a chance to win an iPad when customers sign up for their newsletters and mailings.

Offer giveaways. Content doesn’t just have to be social media content and/or blog posts. You can make use of reports, how-to guides or something else that the target audience will sight as valuable information. As soon as you provide a high quality giveaway, your visitors will be much more likely to give their information in exchange for your giveaway.

While it’s tempting to say that we were able to create such a massive email list all by ourselves the reality is that it impossible to get that far without the help of some friends. As an entrepreneur one of our most valuable resources is our community of peers. While it may be easy to view others in your niche as your competitors, you’ll actually get a lot of more out of your entrepreneur community if you actually view them as potential partners who can help you out.


But before any of you young guns scoff and discount the idea of a mail marketing campaign, you might want to read through this blog entry. Direct mail, while certainly a dinosaur in the world of marketing, can still be a powerful weapon in your arsenal – if it’s done correctly and intelligently, of course. We’ll lay out a few broad tips for you to consider if carrying out a direct mail campaign. While we would still urge the majority of business owners toward a more electronic/Internet based marketing strategy, you can still get solid results from direct mail. 

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.


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?
The call to action doesn’t have to be a sale or discount – it could be advertising a contest or promotion, or incentivizing people to conduct an online survey. Regardless of the nature of the call to action, there must at least BE a call to action. Direct mailing is most certainly not the avenue to send out a blank postcard or flyer that simply informs people of your presence – it’s too expensive, too time consuming, and too hard to efficiently track metrics to garner simple impressions.
Most of the article really talks about how to successfully get an email of a person who has already landed on your landing page/podcast page/affiliate/blog etc. but how to get those people there in the first place is a bigger challenge. Also, one of the ways you can include in your list is by offering free tools/widgets. For example, OpenSiteExplorer by Moz is a great example. Evergreen and very useful for the target audience.
Personalization in email marketing is essential because most people want a more relevant experience. Email personalization is not just about using people’s names in an email. It’s also about making sure you send the right emails to the right people at the right time. One essential tool for email personalization is segmentation. You can get an email marketing expert to help you set up segments so you can personalize appropriately. Done right, email personalization results in more clicks and more business.
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.
As mentioned before, the type of email campaign you send depends entirely on your goals with email. If you’re looking to drive direct sales then sending marketing offer and announcement campaigns are going to return the best results, however if you are simply looking to keep your existing customers up-to-date on the latest projects, products or developments at your company, then sending a regular newsletter is going to be the best way to achieve that.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a bachelor's degree in marketing, statistics, business administration or a similar field is the common requirement to enter a career in marketing. If you'd like to specialize in e-marketing, you could complete a bachelor's program in this field. Certificate and master's degree programs in e-marketing are also available, if you have a different education background and now want to enter this field.

The corporate image must be conveyed through the direct mail pieces, meaning strong design and direction are required. Corporate image is vital, and seemingly small details such as paper quality and the resolution of the graphics used will make an impression. Some companies may hire a third-party direct mail company to handle list creation, design, and printing. Larger companies may handle list creation, design, writing, and possibly even printing in-house. (See also Art Director)
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 want to code your own emails, you have the freedom to do so. But this is an advanced skill that requires a good bit of technical know-how. Here’s what you need to take the coding leap—whether you’re just getting started, wondering about the basics of HTML emails, or looking for a guide to coding them. We’ve also rounded up a few more resources you might need as you become a certifiable email pro. https://dab1nmslvvntp.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/1463308986image05-1024x694.jpg
Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of marketing and content at the Data & Marketing Association, says that marketers began questioning direct mail’s endurance in 2007. That year, Statista reports that smartphone sales jumped 70% from the previous year to $8.7 billion. At the same time, the volume of mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service began to plummet: In 2006, people in the U.S. sent 213.1 billion pieces of mail, according to USPS; by 2017, they were sending 149.5 billion pieces each year, a 29.9% decline. By this point, smartphone sales had reached $55.6 billion. The price of postage and paper had skyrocketed, as did the number of internet users—everything seemed to hammer a nail into direct mail’s coffin.
Companies considering the use of an email marketing program must make sure that their program does not violate spam laws such as the United States' Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM),[9] the European Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, or their Internet service provider's acceptable use policy.
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[60]

Use it to promote up-sells/cross-sells. You can even set up an autoresponder sequence for someone after they purchase and get repeat customers. Depending on the products you sell, you could offer an upsell, or cross sell related products. For example, if someone buys a digital camera, you can offer to add a lens, a tripod, and other accessories to their order before it ships. Or, if you sell products that people buy frequently (like food or disposable items, like diapers), you can automatically send them offers for new items when you know they’re about due for another order. 

Most direct mail marketing managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in marketing, advertising, or business management. That education will have included classes in marketing strategy, interpreting buying statistics, watching market trends, and sociological purchasing patterns. Direct mail marketing managers will also have had at least a few years of prior marketing experience before attaining the position of manager.

You definitely want to avoid the tactics of spammers and the language that they employ. Loading the email blast with terms like “special offer” or “urgent news” could send up a flag for spam and that will get your email newsletter sent straight to the spam folder. For more information about sending emails that don’t look like spam, check out these email marketing laws for business owners.

Offer giveaways. Content doesn’t just have to be social media content and/or blog posts. You can make use of reports, how-to guides or something else that the target audience will sight as valuable information. As soon as you provide a high quality giveaway, your visitors will be much more likely to give their information in exchange for your giveaway.


Thank you for this great roundup of tips regarding marketing emails. I especially appreciate your mention of tracking emails so you can continually improve your strategies, including an above the fold call to action so customers know exactly what to do next, and most of all making sure you have a solid (not necessarily huge) email list. Reaching out to those you know may be interested in your company and what it has to offer is always going to garner you the best results. I would also love to add that focusing on the customer, proofreading your email, and making the email conversational are other excellent tips for making your sales emails stand out and actually get read. Thanks again for sharing!

InfusionSoft is a fully functional CRM and marketing solution created for small and medium size businesses. Comparing it to MailChimp or AWeber is like comparing a Lamborghini to a VW Golf. It provides highly advanced features for list segmentation, lead scoring and marketing automation. On top of all that, you can integrate all of these features with your optin form using Infusionsoft Tags + OptinMonster.
“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.

Display advertising - As the term infers, Online Display Advertisement deals with showcasing promotional messages or ideas to the consumer on the internet. This includes a wide range of advertisements like advertising blogs, networks, interstitial ads, contextual data, ads on the search engines, classified or dynamic advertisement etc. The method can target specific audience tuning in from different types of locals to view a particular advertisement, the variations can be found as the most productive element of this method.

To find what campaigns bring in the best ROI, O’Keefe suggests that marketers test as many aspects of their campaign as possible, including frequency, number of pages and types of mail they’re sending. He also suggests that marketers get a baseline of their efforts, then test their campaign by holding off on sending mail to certain segments of customers. This can help marketers understand the true value of that segment. O’Keefe says that many marketers get nervous about losing touch with a potentially important customer group, but he believes holding off is one of the best ways to get statistically significant data on the ROI of direct mail.


To find what campaigns bring in the best ROI, O’Keefe suggests that marketers test as many aspects of their campaign as possible, including frequency, number of pages and types of mail they’re sending. He also suggests that marketers get a baseline of their efforts, then test their campaign by holding off on sending mail to certain segments of customers. This can help marketers understand the true value of that segment. O’Keefe says that many marketers get nervous about losing touch with a potentially important customer group, but he believes holding off is one of the best ways to get statistically significant data on the ROI of direct mail.


We also love how consistent the design of Uber's emails is with its brand. Like its app, website, social media photos, and other parts of the visual branding, the emails are represented by bright colors and geometric patterns. All of its communications and marketing assets tell the brand's story -- and brand consistency is one tactic Uber's nailed in order to gain brand loyalty.
I think this email also makes quite a brilliant use of responsive design. The colors are bright, and it's not too hard to scroll and click -- notice the CTAs are large enough for me to hit with my thumbs. Also, the mobile email actually has features that make sense for recipients who are on their mobile device. Check out the CTA at the bottom of the email, for example: The "Open Stitcher Radio" button prompts the app to open on your phone.
For the design element, odds are that unless you have an artistic background, you’ll be either using a pre-existing template from your printer or having it designed by a graphics designer. The templates from your printer will more than likely have an effective eye flow and a solid ratio of graphics to text – if you go the designer route, be sure to get several mock ups and again seek the opinions of those around you whose opinion you value. And finally, print quality should be self-explanatory – be sure to go with a printer that offers some sort of guarantee on quality, or at the very least one that will offer you a refund or reprint if you’re not 100% satisfied. The last thing you’d want to do is have to settle on a poorly printed mailer to save costs.
Whether you’re wanting to send emails quarterly, monthly, or more often, put your email creation dates on a calendar and stick to the schedule. You’ll build momentum for yourself and your contacts. They’ll come to start expecting your emails to arrive within a certain timeframe. If you’re good about sending your emails for a while but then suddenly go dark, you’ll start to lose the momentum on both ends. Keep the bigger picture in mind when forming this schedule. If you have a busy season or other foreseen challenge up ahead, for example, you may not have the same amount of time to allot to emailing as you do right now. Take the various factors affecting your business into account, and then increase or decrease the frequency of your emails accordingly so that you can maintain consistency.
Transactional emails are usually triggered based on a customer's action with a company. To be qualified as transactional or relationship messages, these communications' primary purpose must be "to facilitate, complete, or confirm a commercial transaction that the recipient has previously agreed to enter into with the sender" along with a few other narrow definitions of transactional messaging.[2] Triggered transactional messages include dropped basket messages, password reset emails, purchase or order confirmation emails, order status emails, reorder emails, and email receipts.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Instead, adopt a different way of thinking about your marketing emails. Send relevant messages, invitations, and truly valuable offers to your customers. Understand who your recipients are—what they want, what challenges they have, and so on. Then, send them relevant messages that both engage them and motivate action. Cast your “blast” aside and stop the scattershot approach that accompanies anything that remotely can be defined as a bulk email blast. If you adopt this different mindset, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
Using Dr Dave Chaffey's approach, the digital marketing planning (DMP) has three main stages: Opportunity, Strategy and Action. He suggests that any business looking to implement a successful digital marketing strategy must structure their plan by looking at opportunity, strategy and action. This generic strategic approach often has phases of situation review, goal setting, strategy formulation, resource allocation and monitoring.[60]
When you send messages to a purchased email list, you don’t have explicit opt-in to be emailing those subscribers. Explicit opt-in — meaning subscribers actively and knowingly gave you permission to email them (i.e. filling out a sign up form on your website) — is required for a quality list, says AWeber’s Best Practices Manager, Josh Smith. “If you don’t have explicit opt-in, you are bound to have problems,” he explains.
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.
So, building up lists of emails is a task you must put some effort behind in order to kick your email marketing efforts into gear. The problem is nobody really wants more email, particularly spam from unknown sources. When I talk about buying email lists, I’m am not talking about buying or renting so called opt-in lists from list brokers. I’m talking about offering something of value as a way to motivate someone to willingly exchange their email address with you in order to receive your offers and additional contact.
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