Should I buy or rent a list? I love this question because it gets to the heart of permission marketing, the concept that I built FulcrumTech on. And, I get this question all the time from people. So, I wrote an article all about it. Then, after reading that article, people still came back saying, but I want to buy a list anyway. So, that was another article. So, here’s the gist of those articles. If you think about it, when you buy a list, you’re buying someone else’s names. You didn’t build the list. Those people didn’t give you permission to email them. They don’t even know who you are.
And, when a list broker claims that the list is fully opted in, nobody even knows what that means? What I CAN tell you is that they most certainly did not give YOU permission to email them. Have YOU ever purposely given someone permission to share your email address so you can get tons of promotional email? If we think about, what do you think will happen when people on some purchased list get an unsolicited email from you? Yup, they’ll probably ignore it, delete it, or, even worse, mark your email as spam. And, when lots of people do that, not only are you left with a terribly performing campaign, but you have now told Gmail, yahoo, and AOL; and all the others that people just don’t want your email. So, what happens? Gmail and others start delivering your emails to the spam folder as a default.
Now, what’s even worse is that the people who might have actually been interested in your emails have a lower likelihood of ever seeing your email. And, you become yet another company with a bad deliverability problem. As dire as this situation sounds, I assure you that the reality is even worse. And, it is NOT uncommon. Don’t think that this won’t happen to you because it will. Take a moment, and let me tell you how this works. Image a bag of apples These are your email subscribers.
These names, these have been converting for you. They are qualified, they’re ripe (haha). And, Gmail, yahoo, and AOL, all the ISPs, when you send, they let them right through the flood gates because this bag of applies, they’re qualified, they’re opted in. Now imagine over here, we have a rotten apple. This is a rented or purchased list. It’s rotten because no one has opted in. Even if they opted into the 3rd party marketer, they haven’t opted in for your emails. They might have spam traps. We don’t even know what we’re getting with this apple. Let’s say we buy this list (drop into bucket of healthy apples). The thing about apples is if you take a rotten apple and put it with delicious fresh apples, slowly all of the fresh apples become rotten.
So, let’s say you emailed to this list. Gmail and others now think you are trying to send a bin of rotten apples, and you no longer get through the flood gates. We’ve seen so many emailers destroy their reputation this way. We can help remediate that problem, but it’s often a slow, expensive path back to success. Now, that’s not to say you DEFINITELY can’t be successful renting or buying a list, as many people do it. But, if you choose to go that route, go into it with your eyes wide open. Rent or buy some samples from several lists and test carefully to see which, if any, deliver results; and the continue only with those that generate results; don’t use the other lists So, here’s the real kicker. Most, if not all, professional email service providers won’t let you upload a purchased list to their system.
That means, you don’t have an easy way to send your emails to a purchased or rented list. That’s a whole other topic. That’s why it’s best to have the list broker send the emails for you. But, be very careful with that. The links you put in your emails can be traced back to you, so your email reputation could still be affected. If you’re feeling like the brick walls are coming down around you, that’s because they will when you start buying or renting lists. So, I get it. You’re in dire need of leads, and buying a list just seems SO quick and easy. But, we all have to build leads over time and the right way. That’s how you build a sustainable business. Get permission. Use lead magnets, use SEO, PPC, social media, and the many other list-building tools to drive people to optin forms on your website.
Give them something of value in return for that email address. You’ll have much greater long-term success. If you’re ready to get more results from your email-marketing, give us a call, drop us a note. Let us know how we can help..