Couple your sign-up boxes with a clear description of “what’s in it for them.” Let customers know exactly what to expect when signing up, and sell the benefits for being on your email list. This can be as simple as promoting the general advantages of the channel — such as being able to receive information and offers faster and that it’s eco-friendly.
Most people don't think of email as a lead- or contact-generating channel. But because people forward helpful emails to colleagues or friends, it can actually expand your database if you simply make forwarding or sharing email content easy for recipients. Include calls-to-action in your emails that make sharing an obvious choice for recipients, particularly with your most useful assets.
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.
Marketers continue to use direct mail in 2016 because it still leads in ROI. However, traditional direct mail marketing has changed dramatically. InfoTrends did a study on direct mail that found the following statistics: 66% of direct mail is opened, 82% of direct mail is read for a minute or more, 56% of consumers who responded to direct mail went online or visited the physical store, 62% of consumers who responded to direct mail in the past three months made a purchase, and over 84% reported that personalization made them more likely to open a direct mail piece.
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.
A key benefit of using online channels for marketing a business or product is the ability to measure the impact of any given channel, as well as how visitors acquired through different channels interact with a website or landing page experience. Of the visitors that convert into paying customers, further analysis can be done to determine which channels are most effective at acquiring valuable customers.
The primary purpose of a transactional email is to convey information regarding the action that triggered it. But, due to their high open rates (51.3% compared to 36.6% for email newsletters), transactional emails are an opportunity to introduce or extend the email relationship with customers or subscribers; to anticipate and answer questions; or to cross-sell or up-sell products or services.[3]
Electronic mailing list servers may be set to forward messages to subscribers of a particular mailing list either individually as they are received by the list server, or in digest form in which all messages received on a particular day by the list server are combined into one email that is sent once per day to subscribers. Some mailing lists allow individual subscribers to decide how they prefer to receive messages from the list server (individual or digest).[2]

Video: Video mailers have a built-in audiovisual player. The video plays after opening the mailer or by pushing a button. With a built-in video screen, people are inclined to instantly watch it. You don’t have to worry about applications or other software; you know that once opened, people will watch it. Since this form of direct mail is relatively new, they can be costly and not affordable for all campaigns. But the costs are starting to come down, so keep an eye on them until you can afford to try them.
If you say, “I want to see what type of response I get from my first email before I send more”, it’s not going to work. Email marketing is marketing, not magic. You wouldn’t expect to get a great return on playing a radio ad or running a TV spot just once.  Don’t expect a great return from sending just one email. Tell yourself you’re going to test the effectiveness of email marketing for a period of time (a full year is a reasonable amount of time). Remember that customers will open emails differently depending on the time of year and even the time of day that your email is sent. To get as many customers as possible to open your emails, you need to commit to sending emails over a period of time.
Outlook’s Contact Group option can make blasts quicker and more accurate. You create a list by clicking the “People” link, then clicking the “Actions” menu. Choose “New Contact Group,” type a name for the group such as “Customers,” and click “Select Members” to pick and choose the people who should be in your group. Click “Save & Close” when the Contact Group setup is complete.
Use custom campaign URLs. Google provides a tool where you can create your own unique URL for your particular marketing campaigns. You may include parameters such as your medium, source, content, term, and campaign name. As soon as you have a customized link, you may use it in its complete form or shorten it by using a link shortening tool such as bit.ly.

Two other practical limitations can be seen in the case of digital marketing. One,digital marketing is useful for specific categories of products,meaning only consumer goods can be propagated through digital channels.Industrial goods and pharmaceutical products can not be marketed through digital channels. Secondly, digital marketing disseminates only the information to the prospects most of whom do not have the purchasing authority/power. And hence the reflection of digital marketing into real sales volume is skeptical.[citation needed] 
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