When planning a direct mail campaign, don’t forget that you still need to follow the basic direct mail rules. A good list, a good design and a strong call-to-action are a must in order for your direct mail to be a success. Provide information on how people can use the technology you are including and strong content for them to view. If the content is not well designed, then your effort will have been a waste of time.
Nathan, it’s a great write up,no doubt about that.But I would be more willing to learn or see your progresssion from none to an established brand. For example, you said you had worked with affiliates. But it’s not easy for a new brand to work with top affiliates. So what you did to build relationships with them? Lastly, time frame and monetary costs can be discussed as well 🙂
To increase traffic to one of its stores, a company may post a coupon on its website that offers customers an in-store discount. To entice customers to shop more online, a business may send consumers an e-mail offering free shipping for Internet purchases. Businesses also pay for advertisements on popular search engine sites. This way, even if a company's site doesn't show up in search engine results, it may be able to maintain visibility.
If you’re serious about growing your business, building a healthy email list should be one of your top priorities. When it comes down to it, your list is one of the only online assets that you have 100% control over. Having a solid social media presence is absolutely essential (here’s why), but you’ll always be at the mercy of new and changing algorithms (think Facebook’s Edgerank). And achieving high search engine rankings is great too, but again, you’re at the mercy of changing algorithms and updates.
There are organizations called blacklists like Spamhaus as well as other filtering organizations like Cloudmark and Brightmail. Email clients like Yahoo and Gmail and Hotmail rely on them to help block spam (yay!). These blacklists leave spam traps or honeypots for shady list sellers to collect. Then, if one of those email addresses ends up in your purchased list, you're in big trouble! It's like having bad credit - it can take a long time and a lot of hard work to rebuild trust with blacklists and until you do, you'll have poor delivery results even if you've stopped using the purchased email list.
Even better was the fact that we had built the Foundr brand up to the point where we had people actually ask to become an affiliate of ours. Our very brand became an important leveraging point for us because we had developed it to the point where people would want to become associated with our brand. Obviously this didn’t happen overnight and it took many years of work to get us to that point, but it was a great side-benefit to all the success we had achieved so far.
“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.”
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:

As opposed to static messaging, chat advertising refers to real time messages dropped to users on certain sites. This is done by the usage of live chat software or tracking applications installed within certain websites with the operating personnel behind the site often dropping adverts on the traffic surfing around the sites. In reality this is a subset of the email advertising but different because of its time window.
Although online marketing creates many opportunities for businesses to grow their presence via the Internet and build their audiences, there are also inherent challenges with these methods of marketing. First, the marketing can become impersonal, due to the virtual nature of message and content delivery to a desired audience. Marketers must inform their strategy for online marketing with a strong understanding of their customer’s needs and preferences. Techniques like surveys, user testing, and in-person conversations can be used for this purpose.
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.

Focus on the reader first. You should always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours. Offer ways to solve their problems, don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are. (This is a part that so many companies get wrong.) Ask yourself, what are the biggest pain points/struggles for my subscribers? How can I solve their current problem in this email?
Paid channel marketing is something you’ve probably come across in some form or another. Other names for this topic include Search Engine Marketing (SEM), online advertising, or pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. Very often, marketers use these terms interchangeably to describe the same concept — traffic purchased through online ads. Marketers frequently shy away from this technique because it costs money. This perspective will put you at a significant disadvantage. It’s not uncommon for companies to run PPC campaigns with uncapped budgets. Why? Because you should be generating an ROI anyway. This chapter walks through the basics of how.
The huge advantage of email over social media is that prospects and customers are more likely to see an email than social media. Just posting something doesn't mean that everyone you want to see your message will see it. Your post might not even show up in your targets' social media streams. However, an email will sit in the inbox until it's read (or deleted).  https://www.websolutions.com/Customer-Content/www/CMS/files/blog/email-must-haves.png
Scammers can take advantage of consumers' difficulties verifying an online persona's identity,[98]:1 leading to artifices like phishing (where scam emails look identical to those from a well-known brand owner)[99] and confidence schemes like the Nigerian "419" scam.[100][101][102] The Internet Crime Complaint Center received 289,874 complaints in 2012, totaling over half a billion dollars in losses, most of which originated with scam ads.[103][104]
Update your website and continuously offer useful and updated content. Think of your website as a storefront but in the virtual world. In the same way that you do not leave your physical store unattended for a month, you would not do the same to your website. Always update your website and keep it fresh by having a blog, announcing sales, special offers, and new products. Think that you are a customer yourself, so give them the information that they want.

The new digital era has enabled brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer's recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services,[38] This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era.


Many email newsletter software vendors offer transactional email support, which gives companies the ability to include promotional messages within the body of transactional emails. There are also software vendors that offer specialized transactional email marketing services, which include providing targeted and personalized transactional email messages and running specific marketing campaigns (such as customer referral programs).[citation needed]
No matter how effective the subject line you’ll always have subscribers who don’t open it for a variety of reasons. Send your email again specifically targeting a list segment of those who didn’t open the first time around. Not only is this a second chance in case they just missed the first email, it’s another opportunity to further split test subject lines as well as send times.
But affiliates can be very guarded when it comes to their mailing list, we can’t blame them because we jealously protect our own email list too. When it comes to asking someone to promote you over their highly valuable email list you have to make sure that you’re offering them and their audience something that’s worth their time. Which is why we we strove to make sure our lead magnets were as valuable as possible so that their audience wouldn’t see this cross-promotion as spam, but something that’s worth their time.
You could use your Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo accounts, but if you need something professional and fool-proof and want to avoid being labeled a spammer, it’s a far better idea to use an email blast program provided by a professional email marketing company such as Benchmark Email. Benchmark’s partnerships with elite consortiums like The Email Sender & Provider Coalition (EPSC) and leading delivery experts like Return Path give you the best chance of reaching a prospect’s inbox, which is a major challenge in email blast marketing. Benchmark Email even has built-in data merging features, which allow you to import contact information from different databases so you don’t need to re-enter long email lists. Besides this, you can also customize your mails in easy-to-use HTML editors before sending them to your customers and prospects.
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.

The old formula for direct marketing success was mass marketing: "Mail to as many people as you can; someone has to be interested." However, paper and postage costs are always increasing, and with so much mail ending up in the trash, businesses have changed their way of thinking. Why waste money mailing to everyone when everyone is not a potential customer? You need to target the leads who will buy. That is the difference between mass marketing and target marketing.  Targeted mailing lists pinpoint your best leads.  There is less waste and a higher percentage of prospects responding to your mailing.
This is why it’s so important to make the time to establish strong connections with other influencers in your niche, and to view them as collaborators and not competitors. It was because of the relationships that we’ve built with these other influencers that allowed us to have our lead magnets and content shared directly to their own community. Which in turn led to us growing our mailing list by 56,000 new subscribers in just 30 days.

Direct mail is a type  of direct marketing in which businesses send letters, postcards or other promotional materials to past, current or potential customers or clients. Direct mail campaigns may be targeted to either a consumer or business or both.  In many cases, the mailing is directed to a target demographic (i.e. home owners) or geographic market (i.e. a specific neighborhood). In most cases, it's mass or bulk mailing, but you can send direct mail in smaller quantities as well. 
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