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.
Blast email and other forms of email marketing have grown increasingly popular for businesses, due to the relatively low cost and easy tracking abilities involved. In most cases, individuals must opt-in, or subscribe, to an email list to receive blast email from a particular company. Newsletters, for example, are a common form of email marketing. The company, in turn, must create and manage a large mailing list that identifies all the individuals who have subscribed to the email marketing service. Depending on the size of the company and the amount of recipients, managing this list can be quite daunting. As a result, most companies hire a third-party vendor or use software to manage mailing lists.
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something amazing that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This doesn’t have to cost you anything to create– most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value for free.

Not only was this initial email great, but his response to my answers was even better: Within a few days of responding to the questionnaire, I received a long and detailed personal email from Matt thanking me for filling out the questionnaire and offering a ton of helpful advice and links to resources specifically catered to my answers. I was very impressed by his business acumen, communication skills, and obvious dedication to his readers.
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.
Due to the massive growth of the Internet, most countries have passed legislation to prevent companies from sending unsolicited emails. These laws determine what is and what is not considered acceptable email correspondence, and enforce restrictions on email communications. In the United States and Europe, for example, bulk email must contain an accurate from field and subject line, and the email content must include the sender’s physical address. In addition, a blast email must also offer its recipients the opportunity to unsubscribe from the email list — and such requests must be met within a specified period of time. As a result of these laws, it is very important for companies to maintain an updated list of subscriptions and cancellations at all times, and avoid sending out email that appears to be spam.

Email marketing has always been Permission based, but is silently replaced with its brother; Tease Marketing, continuously building on a brand relationship based on mutual interest. The challenge becomes presenting an – already in itself – appealing and attractive message. But how to benchmark your email marketing efforts to fit that new train of thought?
Set your target audience. Audiences can be split up in a variety of ways including gender, age, geographic location, or buying habits. Before you send your blast, you want to make sure that you can segment people into different lists so you can target your blasts to the right people. Consider what demographic you want to target, and what they will need to fulfill your call-to-action.
As with offline advertising, industry participants have undertaken numerous efforts to self-regulate and develop industry standards or codes of conduct. Several United States advertising industry organizations jointly published Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising based on standards proposed by the FTC in 2009.[109] European ad associations published a similar document in 2011.[110] Primary tenets of both documents include consumer control of data transfer to third parties, data security, and consent for collection of certain health and financial data.[109]:2–4 Neither framework, however, penalizes violators of the codes of conduct.[111]
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?
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.

E-marketing can offer more competitive prices than traditional marketing because e-marketing reduces costs by not having to maintain physical store space and by strategically placing distribution centers throughout the country. Second, because the Internet is available 24/7, e-marketing enables shoppers to search for product/service information and buy goods at their convenience, not just when the store is open. Third, research indicates that the cost of Internet-based promotion is one-fourth of traditional promotion, because it does not incur the costs of paper, printing, handling, and mailing. Fourth, e-marketing enables buyers to custom-build products such as shoes, clothes, computers, and automobiles on the Web, options often not available in stores.
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.
Particular groups of customers can be targeted or even individuals. Offering individual customers special deals on merchandise and/or services on the customer's birthday, for instance, is one example of email marketing personalization. (A restaurant might send an email to customers on their birthday offering 50% off an entree,) Email marketing helps a business develop and maintain a relationship with a customer over time that hopefully results in increased sales and increased customer loyalty. 
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