Posts Tagged ‘email’

Renting vs. Buying Email Lists

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

For many businesses, obtaining an email list can be a quick and effective route to reaching a large number of subscribers in very short order.

However, the means by which that list is obtained is of critical importance, and companies that do not tread carefully can find themselves in a world of peril.

List Rental
Generally speaking, renting email lists is a recognized and accepted practice in digital marketing. When you rent a list, the owner of that list will send emails to those subscribers on your behalf. As an advertiser, you never see the email addresses on that list, because the owner of the list does all of the sending. Every time an email is sent to that list’s recipients, you pay a fee.

List Purchase
When you purchase an email list, you take ownership of the actual list. After the purchase is made, you pay no more fees and you can send emails to the list as you please.

While this may sound like a great deal, it is usually anything but. Here’s why:

The value of an email list is only preserved if it is not abused. When you purchase any given list, you’re usually not the first (or the last) person to do so. The individuals on that list may have been spammed hundreds of times by other purchasers. And they generally have not given the list seller permission to allow receipt of marketing emails from third parties (like you).

In the best case scenario, your email campaign will get at abysmal response. At the other end of the spectrum, you could be labeled a spammer and hit with big fines and blacklisting.

Your Best Option
Of course, your best option is almost always to build your own list of subscribers who actively want to receive communications from you. Renting a list often has its place, but can become expensive for ongoing communications, and matching rented lists to your marketing needs is an imprecise science at best.

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