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.
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.
Online banner advertising began in the early 1990s as page owners sought additional revenue streams to support their content. Commercial online service Prodigy displayed banners at the bottom of the screen to promote Sears products. The first clickable web ad was sold by Global Network Navigator in 1993 to a Silicon Valley law firm.[16] In 1994, web banner advertising became mainstream when HotWired, the online component of Wired Magazine, sold banner ads to AT&T and other companies. The first AT&T ad on HotWired had a 44% click-through rate, and instead of directing clickers to AT&T's website, the ad linked to an online tour of seven of the world's most acclaimed art museums.[17][18]

Augmented reality: Creating a direct mail piece that comes to life and can be manipulated by your prospects and customers is very powerful. You can create a fun user experience without going over your budget when you take the time to plan it out. Look at your idea from your client’s perspective: Is the experience fun and easy to use? (Pokémon Go is a widely recognized and fun example of augmented reality.) How can you create an experience with your direct mail? Our agency crafted an experience by creating an animated cartoon that was launched by scanning the mailer. The cartoon showed people how to use a service and the pitfalls of doing it incorrectly. This campaign was funny and informative at the same time. Whatever you do, don't be boring.


The term originated in the early days of email marketing when sending a mass mailing (read: blasting) was a new idea that contrasted with the more familiar way of using email as two-way correspondence. At the time, the internet was a lawless wasteland didn’t have many regulations, so once the wrong person got ahold of your email address, they could and would spam you with whatever they pleased. It was completely free advertising!
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. 
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