When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!

When Building an Email List, Don’t Buy!Building an email list takes time. We all know this, yet something about the allure of buying emails and trying to “beat the system” captures the attention of many companies. It may seem at first that buying an email list is a great workaround – saving you from having to build a list organically and expend money and effort into lead gen – but at the end of the day, buying lists for sale could be hurting you more than helping you.

If you’re a company that’s built an email list via direct list purchasing, why should you stop doing this – and better yet, what can you do to get that legit list you’re looking for without a lot of legwork?


Building an Email List Organically – Stop Buying!

The minute you buy a list and execute emails to that list, you’re sending spam. Why is this? Well, 100% of the list subscribers you just purchased opted in somewhere else. They never agreed to receive promotions from your particular company.

Any legit email service provider (ESP) is going to ask for your address and company information to comply with CAN-SPAM regulations. Additionally, your ESP should confirm that you built your opt-in organically to decrease the chance of spam. If your list isn’t organic, your ESP may shut down your campaigns and bounce you even after your first list send. If you’re in this situation and you just paid for an email list, you’re now out the new customers AND a way to send your emails. No bueno!

How Can You Build a List Organically?

For starters, you should be prepared to offer great content. A top of the funnel activity such as a blog post, a free offer like a white paper or an instructional video offers opportunities for you to build organic traffic and get customers engaged with you. The free, useful content you offer is bait and will also help you succeed organically – particularly if you use things your customers are searching for as the title of your videos or blog posts. For example, if you’re a financial planner you may use something general such as “what is financial planning?” that has a high search volume as your post or video title.

Once users take the bait, they’ll see an opportunity to download a whitepaper from you. Ask for their email address to get the whitepaper – and voila, you now have their email and can advertise to them again and again without spamming. Create several funnels and opportunities like this based on the different services you provide, or different topically separated content offerings on your site.

Want more info on how to build your list organically? Lead Liaison can help! We’ll assist you in rethinking your funnels, building out new campaigns and measuring them today. Let’s chat!


Purchased Lists

Purchased ListsA while back we encountered a prospect interested in Lead Liaison’s revenue generation software. They told us they send about 10,000 emails per month and they were always buying “purchased lists” (list for sale from list brokers) – it sounded like one of their core strategies. We thought this was a great opportunity to blog on the subject of purchased lists. Are they a good source for outbound marketing? Should you feed your email marketing machine with purchased lists?

Unfortunately, the ROI on purchased lists is very low. There’s a better outbound marketing strategy which calls for using a “house list”. A “house list” is a company’s most valuable asset. It’s their existing contact database! We came across an article from Kevin Bush, Principal & CEO of Rainier Sky Marketing & Public Relations that further expounds on this subject. Here’s what Kevin had to say:

The ROI of Purchased Lists

The average response rate with a purchased prospect list is just 1.38 percent according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and a quality list can cost you $400 to $700 per thousand (CPM) with a minimum purchase of 5,000 addresses.

Sound targeting and segmentation can significantly improve results, but organizations may have to test several list before finding a source that performs well. Having the communications piece professionally designed and written can also improve results, but it too adds to the cost. So, you can imagine the kind of long-term return on investment that direct marketing requires.

A better approach for smaller organizations is to simply do their own direct marketing. It might not be as efficient, but it can still be effective. With a basic data base or, preferably, contact management software a small organization can build its own list with resources they may just find online or at their local library. Coupled with a valuable call to action and personalized follow-up, the DMA reports the response rate on such “house” lists improves more than double up to an average 3.42 percent. – Kevin Bush, Rainier Sky Marketing & Public Relations

Getting the Most out of your House List

For most B2B companies building a house list from resources at their local library is not practical. Although, most businesses put themselves in a position to aggressively build their house list. Trade shows and website inquiries are two solid sources. Once you’ve got a house list in hand turn to revenue generation software to maximize return on this valuable asset.

Revenue generation software includes features such as closed loop email marketing, lead nurturing, list segmentation and lead scoring to help marketers get the most out of their “house lists”. It also includes lead capture techniques to optimize landing pages and trade show lead generation. If you’re interested in a free consultation to understand how we can help you recycle, renew and replenish your existing marketing database without wasting money on purchased lists contact us.

What’s your feedback on purchased lists? We would love to hear it.

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