One of a small business’s best marketing assets is a healthy email list. While proper management and use of your email file will drive revenue immensely, it is often a challenge to create the email list itself. With inbox clutter on the rise and customers becoming more sensitive toward any unwanted communication, marketers should develop their subscriber lists with relevance and care. 
When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?
First we have our exit intent pop-up, also known as a hover pop-up, which we use to help with our bounce rate. They appear almost exactly a minute after you come onto our site, which studies have shown to be the optimum time for conversion. While these can be annoying, the key to this style of pop-up is to use a lead magnet that offers an unbelievable amount of value. That’s why we offer people the option to sign up to our masterclasses.
If your campaign includes emails to a large number of accounts that are either no longer active or have not been used for a long time, alarm bells start to ring.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.
Back in the early days of email we were more worried about choosing the perfect username than we were about marketing. In fact I distinctly remember being more stressed over forwarding a chain email to five other people, because it’d somehow improve the chances of my high school crush declaring their passionate love for me, than I was about whatever newsletter found its way into my inbox.
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.
This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Different jurisdictions have taken different approaches to privacy issues with advertising. The United States has specific restrictions on online tracking of children in the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA),[109]:16–17 and the FTC has recently expanded its interpretation of COPPA to include requiring ad networks to obtain parental consent before knowingly tracking kids.[112] Otherwise, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission frequently supports industry self-regulation, although increasingly it has been undertaking enforcement actions related to online privacy and security.[113] The FTC has also been pushing for industry consensus about possible Do Not Track legislation.
I’d rather not shift into being an email marketing therapist, but I’m not the first email marketer to have issues about being called a spammer. I, too, have been asked what I do in a social situation and had someone respond, “Oh, so you’re a spammer.” Of course, usually people are kidding when they call you a spammer, but but being labeled a spammer is one of an email marketers' biggest fears.
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.
Generating your own list of email contacts who have opted in to receive content from you doesn't just comply with legal regulation and protect your brand reputation. It also presents you with opportunities to grow this list through genuine relationships with new customers. We've already written a post of clever ways to go about doing this, which you can check out here. But below are the basic best practices that have a very big bang for their buck when it comes to consistently growing an email list.
Find things that encourage people to engage. By tracking the statistics on each of your emails, you'll be able to develop concise reports about what works and what doesn't for your target audience. Take note of the specific days and times for your highest open and conversion rates. Test different tones and subject lines and see what causes your audience to read the blast. Stick to the things that your consumer tends to favor or enjoy and avoid repeating aspects of emails that do poorly according to the stats.
This one really ruffles our feathers because it implies that you are shoving a bunch of spammy emails down your unsuspecting audiences throats. Blast away! In reality, we want email to be strategic, targeted, personalized, and properly segmented. Additionally, we want the content to be simple, direct, to the point, and useful. With this in mind, the word "blast" seems a bit too intense.
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.

Mobile advertising is ad copy delivered through wireless mobile devices such as smartphones, feature phones, or tablet computers. Mobile advertising may take the form of static or rich media display ads, SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) ads, mobile search ads, advertising within mobile websites, or ads within mobile applications or games (such as interstitial ads, "advergaming," or application sponsorship).[24]:23 Industry groups such as the Mobile Marketing Association have attempted to standardize mobile ad unit specifications, similar to the IAB's efforts for general online advertising.[49]
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]

You don’t have to worry about Google or Facebook suddenly changing their algorithms, because once you have someone’s email you have the ability to communicate with them one on one. Even if all of Foundr’s search rankings and social media presence disappeared tomorrow, we’d still be able to promote our brand and our products to the thousands of people on our mailing list.


Just like an ebook, a cheat sheet or guide is a very simple way to capture emails and generate more leads. In fact, if you’re familiar with DigitalMarketer you’ll know that they often promote this lead magnet over others. It’s actually performed so well for them it managed to generate 28,000 new leads for the business in its first month and a half.
A key objective is engaging digital marketing customers and allowing them to interact with the brand through servicing and delivery of digital media. Information is easy to access at a fast rate through the use of digital communications. Users with access to the Internet can use many digital mediums, such as Facebook, YouTube, Forums, and Email etc. Through Digital communications it creates a Multi-communication channel where information can be quickly exchanged around the world by anyone without any regard to whom they are.[28] Social segregation plays no part through social mediums due to lack of face to face communication and information being wide spread instead to a selective audience. This interactive nature allows consumers create conversation in which the targeted audience is able to ask questions about the brand and get familiar with it which traditional forms of Marketing may not offer.[29]
Consider sharing the focus of the email between the call to action you want from your user and offering them something like a discount, early access to a new product, or a free trial period for subscription-based services. Get creative here. Give serious thought to what your customers will find valuable. No one knows their needs better than you and don’t be scared to do some research into what they’d want.
Have a few different buttons on your email template: separate social media buttons that produce pre-written social posts linking to a webpage version of your email, and an "Email to a Friend" button that transfers the email into a compose window so your contacts can instantly forward the message. Just make sure your email has an opt-in button so each new viewer can subscribe to more emails from you if they like what they see.
All text is boring, but too many images, in relation to the amount of text in the email, can actually increase the likelihood your email will get picked up by a spam filter (spammers use this tactic, to hide spammy words from filters). In addition, images draw attention, but you do not want them to draw too much attention, away from important text.  You’ll be in good shape if you enter your text first, then sprinkle images where it’s appropriate.
Keep the email short. If you write an email that's too long, there's a chance that recipients will skim over it or stop reading it at a certain point.[7] This could mean that they miss your call to action, or what you're trying to get across. Try to edit out pieces of information that aren't critical to the overall message. Make messages as short and concise as possible. Avoid over-elaboration or background that can clutter your blast.
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.
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] https://1xqdqy285sk7212bfiejcprr-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/email-marketing-process.png
Digital marketing's development since the 1990s and 2000s has changed the way brands and businesses use technology for marketing.[2] As digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into marketing plans and everyday life,[3] and as people use digital devices instead of visiting physical shops,[4][5] digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent and efficient.
Keep the email short. If you write an email that's too long, there's a chance that recipients will skim over it or stop reading it at a certain point.[7] This could mean that they miss your call to action, or what you're trying to get across. Try to edit out pieces of information that aren't critical to the overall message. Make messages as short and concise as possible. Avoid over-elaboration or background that can clutter your blast. https://c1.sfdcstatic.com/content/dam/web/en_us/www/images/marketing-cloud/hub/The%20Do%27s%20and%20Don%27ts%20of%20Crafting%20Effective%20Email%20Marketing%20Campaigns/dos-donts-email-marketing-1.jpg

List fatigue is also a concern. If you're buying a list from a trade show, keep in mind that the other vendors at the trade show, and even businesses elsewhere who bought the list, are also emailing these recipients. By the time you reach the recipients’ inboxes, those readers are going to be exhausted by the barrage of unsolicited commercial email they've been receiving.


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?
If you create an email blast that asks your contacts to do something (like call you, fill out a form on your website, or take advantage of an offer), make sure you have that high up in the email.  A good rule of  thumb is that your call to action should appear right away, when someone opens your email. If someone has to scroll to find it, it’s in the wrong place. It’s the same philosophy as the old newspaper theory that the stories “above the fold” are those which get the most attention.
GoTo.com (renamed Overture in 2001, and acquired by Yahoo! in 2003) created the first search advertising keyword auction in 1998.[19]:119 Google launched its "AdWords" search advertising program in 2000[20] and introduced quality-based ranking allocation in 2002,[21] which sorts search advertisements by a combination of bid price and searchers' likeliness to click on the ads.[19]:123
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)
There are several web-based programs which send out email blasts and which also help the user to remain in conformity to anti-spam laws. The best and most versatile service is Aweber. It charges a flat rate of under $20 per month and everything is unlimited. For smaller email lists, MailChimp is excellent and one can use it for free if there are fewer than 2000 subscribers on the email list, and one only needs to send out a few blasts each month.
Like any marketing strategy, building an email strategy relies on knowing your audience. That means checking out analytics and social analytics for demographic information. Once you know who your subscribers are, it’s easy to come up with a lead magnet such as an ebook that will encourage them to subscribe. That also makes it easier to decide on the right content for your email. If you can, give subscribers options about how often they hear from you.
Say you’re launching a beta test soon or collaborating with someone on a side project outside your typical newsletter scope. In an installment of the newsletter you usually send, briefly mention the project and provide a link where interested parties can go to sign up for updates about it. This way, those who aren’t interested only had to hear about it once and in a non-invasive way. A user experience win and a win for you, the guy who has two thumbs and a super-engaged email list sub-segment.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
Email marketing has been around for decades, but it is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels available when it’s done well. Email today needs to feel like one-on-one conversations with each audience member, but it also needs to scale. Make sure your strategies are up-to-date so your emails are getting delivered and cutting through the noise.
E-marketing is a process of planning and executing the conception, distribution, promotion, and pricing of products and services in a computerized, networked environment, such as the Internet and the World Wide Web, to facilitate exchanges and satisfy customer demands. It has two distinct advantages over traditional marketing. E-marketing provides customers with more convenience and more competitive prices, and it enables businesses to reduce operational costs. https://dab1nmslvvntp.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/1463308986image05-1024x694.jpg
This is a process described by Seth Godin known as permission marketing. The core concept of this idea is that you never market to someone that doesn’t want it, you first have to ask them for their permission. When someone signs up to your email not only do they become a warm lead but they give you their permission to send them offers and to market to them.
Historically, it has been difficult to measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns because target markets cannot be adequately defined. Email marketing carries the benefit of allowing marketers to identify returns on investment and measure and improve efficiency.[citation needed] Email marketing allows marketers to see feedback from users in real time, and to monitor how effective their campaign is in achieving market penetration, revealing a communication channel's scope. At the same time, however, it also means that the more personal nature of certain advertising methods, such as television advertisements, cannot be captured.
Thanks for the warning re ESPs, spam traps & spam treatments Crystal. That’s a shame. Who puts the Spam trap in there & I wonder what they’re trying to achieve? The clients I have already picked up with this purchased list may save our business. As mentioned, at $250-$500 per lead through our SEO campaign, this lead acquisition rate was unsustainable. In brief, this would not be a business. But at $13.75 per lead through the purchased cold email list, those are metrics which make a profitable business. I wonder why anyone would try to block this efficiency with Spam traps? Thanks for your time to help.
Craig Simpson, a direct marketing consultant, says that he works on hundreds of direct mail campaigns each year and finds the most successful campaigns are those coordinated with other media. For example, if a brand sends a piece of direct mail to a consumer, who then receives an e-mail and retargeted ads as parts of the same campaign, Simpson believes that those campaigns will have the best results. 
Whether you already have a list of subscribers or are starting from scratch, email marketing services can help. All of the services we cover let you add contacts manually using copy and paste or by uploading CSV or Microsoft Excel files. Some integrate with third-party software enabling you to import Gmail and other webmail contacts, Salesforce.com and other customer relationship management (CRM) data, or other software where you might have contacts stored. Depending on the size and location of your list, third-party integration could be key. Verify whether you can export contacts as well (and how easy it is to do so) should you leave the service. Managing users who unsubscribe should also be easy so you're not accidentally contacting anyone who has opted out of your newsletters.
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]
Collaborative Environment: A collaborative environment can be set up between the organization, the technology service provider, and the digital agencies to optimize effort, resource sharing, reusability and communications.[36] Additionally, organizations are inviting their customers to help them better understand how to service them. This source of data is called User Generated Content. Much of this is acquired via company websites where the organization invites people to share ideas that are then evaluated by other users of the site. The most popular ideas are evaluated and implemented in some form. Using this method of acquiring data and developing new products can foster the organizations relationship with their customer as well as spawn ideas that would otherwise be overlooked. UGC is low-cost advertising as it is directly from the consumers and can save advertising costs for the organisation.
The recipient of your email blast is unlikely to commit a lot of time to reading what you send. If you keep the content short, make it easy to scan and easy for them to digest, it will be a much better value for both of you. Aim the content toward providing the reader with enough info to get them interested and then encourage them to follow the links to learn more.
While this is obviously more of a guideline than a hard-fast rule, if nothing else it should show you where your efforts need to be placed when undertaking a direct mail marketing campaign. Too often, business owners will spend an inordinate amount of time on coming up with the flashiest, snazziest, most eye-catching design that they are sure will blow everyone away, and then rush to put together the offer and/or the list of folks to send it to. It’s one of the most common mistakes of a mail marketing campaign.
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.

More recently, companies have sought to merge their advertising messages into editorial content or valuable services. Examples include Red Bull's Red Bull Media House streaming Felix Baumgartner's jump from space online, Coca-Cola's online magazines, and Nike's free applications for performance tracking.[18] Advertisers are also embracing social media[22][23] and mobile advertising; mobile ad spending has grown 90% each year from 2010 to 2013.[24]:13


Thanks for the post, Neil! I have been trying to find good resources for brainstorming what kind of offers our content marketing should have. For some reason, my creativity is completely dried up in this arena. The question “What does your target audience want?” for some reason doesn’t get at the root of the problem for me. Do you have any resources you would recommend for brainstorming that “Tantalizing” content?
Create your mailing. The success of direct mail requires designing a compelling mailer. To do that, you need to understand copywriting. It's not enough to tell people about your business. Instead you need to entice them by speaking to their needs and offering to be the solution to their problems. You are allowed to put text on an envelope, so don't forget to put a message that entices people to open your letter.
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.

Scott Heimes serves as Chief Marketing Officer at SendGrid, where he is responsible for the company's brand strategy, driving demand for its solutions and leading global marketing operations. Scott oversees corporate marketing, demand generation, corporate communications, partnerships and alliances, international expansion and SendGrid’s community development team.


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.
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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