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.
Cross-platform measurement: The number of marketing channels continues to expand, as measurement practices are growing in complexity. A cross-platform view must be used to unify audience measurement and media planning. Market researchers need to understand how the Omni-channel affects consumer's behaviour, although when advertisements are on a consumer's device this does not get measured. Significant aspects to cross-platform measurement involves de-duplication and understanding that you have reached an incremental level with another platform, rather than delivering more impressions against people that have previously been reached (Whiteside, 2016).[42] An example is ‘ESPN and comScore partnered on Project Blueprint discovering the sports broadcaster achieved a 21% increase in unduplicated daily reach thanks to digital advertising’ (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Television and radio industries are the electronic media, which competes with digital and other technological advertising. Yet television advertising is not directly competing with online digital advertising due to being able to cross platform with digital technology. Radio also gains power through cross platforms, in online streaming content. Television and radio continue to persuade and affect the audience, across multiple platforms (Fill, Hughes, & De Franceso, 2013).[45]
Advertisers have a wide variety of ways of presenting their promotional messages, including the ability to convey images, video, audio, and links. Unlike many offline ads, online ads also can be interactive.[18] For example, some ads let users input queries[69] or let users follow the advertiser on social media.[70] Online ads can even incorporate games.[71]
Why does email list segmentation matter? We know that beyond relevancy, list segmentation is important from a revenue perspective. Data from the DMA indicates that segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all email revenue. On top of this, our research found that marketers who used segmented campaigns noted as much as a 76% increase in revenue–and more than 76% of marketers say basic segmentation is part of their email marketing strategy.

This article is informative, but it does not offer distinguishing features between the services covered (other than mailchimp is free). You seemed to go to great lengths to say good things about each – although I’m sure each services has positive aspects. I would have benefited much more from a rating of some sort of the various features of each service, or at least the pros & cons of each.
Because users have different operating systems, web browsers[84] and computer hardware (including mobile devices and different screen sizes), online ads may appear to users differently from how the advertiser intended, or the ads may not display properly at all. A 2012 comScore study revealed that, on average, 31% of ads were not "in-view" when rendered, meaning they never had an opportunity to be seen.[85] Rich media ads create even greater compatibility problems, as some developers may use competing (and exclusive) software to render the ads (see e.g. Comparison of HTML 5 and Flash).
A pop-up ad is displayed in a new web browser window that opens above a website visitor's initial browser window.[31] A pop-under ad opens a new browser window under a website visitor's initial browser window.[24]:22 Pop-under ads and similar technologies are now advised against by online authorities such as Google, who state that they "do not condone this practice".[32] http://dgmseo.com/images/email1.png
Testimonials – If you work with contractors or freelancers, you can reach out to them to offer your testimonials in exchange for a link. Moreover, if you are using consultants’ or specialists’ services, you can also do the same as you do with contractors. Lastly, if there are customers who are happy with your product or service offering and they do not mind you linking to their site, this could be a good opportunity for your business.

One of Raquel’s suggestions is to make sure the email contains a clear call to action. The recipient should be able to tell right away what you’re asking them to do, and when they click through, they should be taken to the exact page they need, not just your homepage. If you ask them to click on a video thumbnail to watch a video, you need to link them directly to the video. If you’re asking them to read your latest blog post, link them right to it. https://echogravity.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/What-to-Expect-When-You-First-Launch.png
Another key aspect of any email blast is the target audience. Make sure you’re hitting inboxes where the probability response, purchase or interaction is high. If you’re shooting emails like a loose cannon on a rolling deck, you could put off prospects and customers (if you make it to their inboxes!), tarnish your image and end up wasting a lot of time, money and effort.
If your campaign includes emails to a large number of accounts that are either no longer active or have not been used for a long time, alarm bells start to ring. Email services want to see senders of bulk email campaigns make an effort to send only emails that will be seen by their recipients, since this is something spammers are unlikely to care about.
Marketers don’t always automatically receive notifications when they’ve been blacklisted, so it’s up to the marketer to monitor their brand’s email sending reputation. There are a number of free online resources that marketers should utilize to check their blacklist status before sending an email blast, such as Barracuda Reputation Block List or MultiRBL.

Instead, use a high-quality opt-in email list that you’ve built over time and execute a targeted email blast campaign where recipients want to get your emails. The advantage with using a professional email blast service like Benchmark Email is that you will know how many recipients are opening your mails, clicking through and bouncing in an easily decipherable campaign report. Not only this, you also get access to useful tools like customizable signup forms for your website, double opt-in tools like Permission Pass and much more.
Once the direct mail campaign has gone out, and customers have responded, companies track results to determine the campaign's effect. Measuring the number of responses, increased traffic, and profit margin gives marketers important information about whether the direct mail piece produced the desired results, and what else (or instead) should be targeted in future campaigns.
If you are still interested in trying direct mail, I would suggest using USPS Every Door Direct Mail Service. With this service, you can target the specific area you are interested in sending a mailer to. If you have the budget, send out 1,000 direct mail pieces to start and see how many sales you get. It’s a good idea to include a promotion, like 15% off of your first purchase, to entice people to buy your product. If you use a code that is unique to your direct mail campaign, you will also be able to track how many sales came directly from your direct mail piece.
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.
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.
Most email marketers around the world are legally required to allow recipients to opt out of emails they no longer want to receive. Contacts must be able to do this directly in the email message. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European data privacy act that went into effect in May 2018, doubles down on the opt-in side of this relationship. And purchased email lists are simply not compliant. 

Ideally, email marketing should go hand-in-hand with social media. Adding social media "Like" or "Share" buttons to your marketing emails gives an additional way for customers to connect with your brand. Snippets of positive reviews from social media fans can be included in emails, and conversely, social media postings can be used to encourage fans to subscribe to your email newsletters.
If someone didn't ask to hear from you yet, it doesn't mean they won't want to hear from you later. It's your job to prove to them -- through helpful content and valuable offers -- that they should stay up to date with your company via email. If you force your email content on anyone too early, even if you know in your bones they're a great fit for your products or services, you risk preemptively losing their trust and their future business.
And that leads us right into understanding service pricing and packaging. The email marketing services we reviewed range from about $5 per month to as much as $20 per month for a range of features. Many email marketing plans include unlimited email sends each month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, then look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. On the flip side, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with up to 100,000 or more contacts. Sometimes this requires a custom plan that has to be arranged directly with a sales rep. If you're willing to commit, then look for the companies that offer discounts if you pay yearly rather than monthly. A few offer also money-back guarantees.
This is not a recommended email marketing practice any more. The most successful email marketers segment their lists. The cutting-edge marketers are using things like dynamic content to take personalization even further. But even beginner email marketers can add a subscriber’s name to subject lines. Even that has been shown to give a nice lift when used appropriately.
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.

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 🙂
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

Advertisers have a wide variety of ways of presenting their promotional messages, including the ability to convey images, video, audio, and links. Unlike many offline ads, online ads also can be interactive.[18] For example, some ads let users input queries[69] or let users follow the advertiser on social media.[70] Online ads can even incorporate games.[71]
In order to engage customers, retailers must shift from a linear marketing approach of one-way communication to a value exchange model of mutual dialogue and benefit-sharing between provider and consumer.[21] Exchanges are more non-linear, free flowing, and both one-to-many or one-on-one.[5] The spread of information and awareness can occur across numerous channels, such as the blogosphere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and a variety of other platforms. Online communities and social networks allow individuals to easily create content and publicly publish their opinions, experiences, and thoughts and feelings about many topics and products, hyper-accelerating the diffusion of information.[22]
Businesses use e-marketing, or Internet marketing, to reach consumers and market products to them. Methods for e-marketing often involve electronic communication and digital technology. To connect with consumers through e-marketing, a business may send e-mails to new and existing customers. They may also advertise on websites or alter content on their own sites to ensure that their businesses rate high in search engine results. Other advertising mediums, such as television and radio, can prove expensive, so e-marketing methods can be an attractive alternative to businesses that want to spend less money to reach potential clients on a global scale.
The law in some countries considers unwanted email blasts a form of solicitation, just like telemarketing calls or junk mail. In Canada, marketing pro R. Timothy Taylor reminds us, it’s illegal to send commercial electronic messages without the recipient’s permission —  a marketing email that lands in the wrong inbox could mean fines upwards of $1 million. Legality challenges like this are forcing many growing companies to rethink their marketing strategies as their audience goes international.
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.
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.
Because users have different operating systems, web browsers[84] and computer hardware (including mobile devices and different screen sizes), online ads may appear to users differently from how the advertiser intended, or the ads may not display properly at all. A 2012 comScore study revealed that, on average, 31% of ads were not "in-view" when rendered, meaning they never had an opportunity to be seen.[85] Rich media ads create even greater compatibility problems, as some developers may use competing (and exclusive) software to render the ads (see e.g. Comparison of HTML 5 and Flash).
CPA (Cost Per Action or Cost Per Acquisition) or PPP (Pay Per Performance) advertising means the advertiser pays for the number of users who perform a desired activity, such as completing a purchase or filling out a registration form. Performance-based compensation can also incorporate revenue sharing, where publishers earn a percentage of the advertiser's profits made as a result of the ad. Performance-based compensation shifts the risk of failed advertising onto publishers.[62]:4, 16
Digital marketing activity is still growing across the world according to the headline global marketing index. A study published in September 2018, found that global outlays on digital marketing tactics are approaching $100 billion.[40] Digital media continues to rapidly grow; while the marketing budgets are expanding, traditional media is declining (World Economics, 2015).[41] Digital media helps brands reach consumers to engage with their product or service in a personalised way. Five areas, which are outlined as current industry practices that are often ineffective are prioritizing clicks, balancing search and display, understanding mobiles, targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic, and cross-platform measurement (Whiteside, 2016).[42] Why these practices are ineffective and some ways around making these aspects effective are discussed surrounding the following points.

An omni-channel approach not only benefits consumers but also benefits business bottom line: Research suggests that customers spend more than double when purchasing through an omni-channel retailer as opposed to a single-channel retailer, and are often more loyal. This could be due to the ease of purchase and the wider availability of products.[24]
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