5 reasons why traditional email marketing sux badly:
1. Most of Solo ads and ad swaps deliver freebie seekers who sign up with bogus/secondary emails which means your open rate is around 6%. On top of that these people are not buying anything, most of them are jobless trying to make at least few hundred dollars online.
2. When you are doing adswaps you can't avoid sending your visitors to rather douche offers hence you are losing your subscribers and also open rate is shrinking after each adswap
3. SO... with adswaps you basically burning your list because the amount of new subscribers that open your emails and click is significantly less than the amount of existing subscribers that losing interest in your emails (not opening from then on)
4. If you can deliver 100 clicks max it's that evil threshold that's very hard to go above if you are not buying SOLOs like crazy or have another good source of traffic.
5. Arranging adswaps take quite a bit of your time, some of the people you swap with are very unreliable and sending traffic that almost doesn't even convert into subscribers
The Bottom Line is:
I personally hate spamming people so I'm very careful on choosing the stuff I'm sending to my list, yet it doesn't help much - those people that are being played football with from one list to another losing their faith pretty quickly because they realize that most of "gurus" sending them emails every day are are interested in nothing else but their money.
SO, I'm not getting professional self-satisfaction from doing these things, it hurts my morality, this stuff is not very profitable either!
Conclusion: The only way to do email marketing these days is building a list around your own quality product - a list of BUYERS or at least free trial users that are really interested in your products. Then market them your own products or services and nowise going into SOLOs and AdSwaps evil circuit!
These are just my thoughts from my own experience, feel free to oppose them.