Rules of Buying an Email List.
If you are reading this, You are probably looking to buy an email list for your business to grow sales; this is a common factor all over the world, no matter what industry a company is in. No matter if the economy is doing well or not. The fact is companies always need more sales. There are many ways to achieve sales some more hard work than others. One of the most powerful ways to grow a business is through email marketing. Whilst many businesses have fairly good and accurate list of emails, but there are lot more businesses that need to buy one. There are numerous sources from where you can purchase an email list. Some have a feeling that a brown envelope full of cash is needed. There are many reputable sources from which to get your list. That too without outspending.
Know what you want from an email list and ensuring you get what you pay for. This is essentials when purchasing an email list. The list you are buying is essentially an investment for your business. The process of buying a list is not something that should be just jumped into. There is a shadow of darkness that sits over the email list selling industry and quite rightly so. There are many less than reputable suppliers, but there are many more reputable and trustworthy email list suppliers.
When buying an email list there are some rules and guidelines that you should follow before you buy and when you buy. Here are 16 rules and tips to consider:
Plan your campaign
Before you even consider buying an email list, plan your activity. Anyone can buy a list but if it is not going to be used then it is pointless. Make sure you know exactly what you want to do. Have a plan and some goals. This will help you define the list you need to purchase.
Research the List Supply Company
There are list suppliers and the internet is a powerful tool and you can research the company you wish to buy from. Even compare them with others. It may be worthwhile even looking overseas at suppliers; overseas companies may be able to offer something domestic suppliers cannot. There are many list suppliers, some have been around for many years and others seem to have appeared overnight and will vanish just as fast. Doing your research into the companies will give you confidence. Ensure you are dealing with a company you believe can deliver what you want.
Check you are dealing with a person
Telephone the company you are looking to buy from. Establish if you are calling a company or a call center or even an individual. Phone a few times at different times of the day and even from a different number. There are a number of less reputable companies selling email lists, and you need to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate and reputable supplier. Make sure you are dealing with a real person. Any reliable email list provider will make themselves available to speak to you. Some may even come to visit you or set up an appointment to meet.
Get direct email addresses
Anyone can get info@, admin@ or sales@ – in fact, these can be just pulled off any website. A number of email list providers will tell you they have 100,000 names and email addresses on their list. But they do not tell you that 80,000 of the names have a generic email address associated with them. These email addresses have absolutely no value. Whilst there may be some value in having the name of the person in a particular position. There is essentially no way of contacting or communicating with that contact directly. You may as well just cold call the company concerned and get the details yourself. A reputable email list supplier will have made that cold call, or undertaken some other activity to get the details you want.
Ensure a High Delivery Rate
You are spending money on quality and expect quality. When sending out large numbers of emails your internet connection or email marketing service will be monitored. This is a requirement to prevent spam. When you send out say 100,000 emails. If any of them bounce for any given reason your email campaign and the address associated with it may be flagged. Also, should the number of bounces or un-deliverable emails be too high, the email address may be blacklisted? It is important therefore to ensure any list you purchase has at least a 90% delivery rate. That’s 9 out of 10 emails are correct and valid. This firstly ensures your campaign is delivered as required. But also reduces the risk of your email account or even your domain being blacklisted.
Be wary of “Free Extra emails”
Free extra emails to replace those that bounce is often used as a compensation technique. Its used to look like you are getting more emails for free. This is not a good thing and essentially the emails are not free because you have paid for them. By buying the bounced emails in the first place. More often than not the emails will not correct the fact that more than 10% of emails bounced. Thus the majority of emails sent are now sat in a junk mailbox or simply not delivered. If a company offers this kind of compensation up front it is a sign that the provider is not confident in the list. That has been provided and an alarm bell should begin to ring. It is best to have a money back guarantee rather than an email replacement guarantee. This puts the risk back on the supplier and forces them to ensure as much as possible that the list is 90% or more accurate.
Ensure you get the full name and surname
Having the full contact name is important, just having “Smith” or just “John” or “J Smith” is not good enough. The full name should be supplied Mr, Miss, Mrs and where possible, not Ms along with any further suffix or prefix. If a list is supplied does not have this information you need to be cautious. It is very easy to “crawl” a database or website and pull off an email address. This often does not pull off the name of the person. The name and the surname will also inform you if you are receiving multiple emails from a particular household, rather than just adult females. The full name also allows you to personalize the email being sent. People are more likely to open a personalized email rather than a “Hi Sir” or even “Hi Mr. Smith”. Using a name shows you have made the effort to find their name and is more polite. Without a name and surname, you may as well be blindfolded shooting in the dark. The full name is part of the real value in the list.
Get a phone number for each record
It sounds crazy but having a phone number with each email record is sometimes not available. Getting a phone number for each name on your list serves two purposes. Firstly it allows you to follow up your email with a phone call. If there is a positive response and if the number given is a direct mail this makes it even more valuable. Secondly, the phone number allows you to call a random selection of names before you send your campaign out. Just to double check you have the right details, if after a few calls you find more than 50% of numbers don’t answer or that the details you have on your list are incorrect. Then you need to consider the fact, that the email list you are purchasing may not be what was promised. Even if the phone numbers increased the cost of the email list. It is most certainly a wise investment that can bring an increased return or provide security if the list is not of good standing.
Get what you really want
It is easy to be misled about the content of a purchased list. There is no real way to know if the list is really a list of senior citizens or affluent homeowners. More reputable email list providers will be able to provide reports on your list. Simply more information that can help you verify your list. The further information provided may also assist you in further targeting your campaign.
Define what you want
Don’t just buy a list because it has a lot of names. You as the buyer have every right to ask for what you want. Reputable email list providers have lists of market segments or other categorized lists. That is sold but they can also custom define your list for you and with you. Getting the names and information you want is essential for your campaign to be a success. If a supplier cannot filter their list and sell it only as it is then it may not be a wise investment and it may well be worth walking away from. As you may end up buying a list that is in its majority of little or no use to you.
Understand the value of time
It takes time to compile and maintain an email marketing list. It also takes time to put together an email marketing campaign. This time can be completely wasted by purchasing a bad list. If a list supplier is quick to sell you a list then be wary. Ask when the list was last updated or when it may next be updated. If you have to wait a day or two or even told to call back in a week or two for an update, it is sometimes a sign of a very professional company. Some lists come with an update program and this ensures your list would always be up to date. It is the time and effort put into a list be an email list provider that gives a list its cost and value. Which will ultimately save you time and money in your email marketing efforts?
Quality not quantity
Some email list providers sell a promise of large numbers of accurate emails. But this is a smoke screen. Every email marketer has differing needs and requirements, and just having a list of a million random emails will have little value in the bigger picture of things. It is nearly always worthwhile to cherry pick a smaller quantity of email addresses at a higher cost. Than it is to buy an entire orchard of names at a lower cost per name. It is easier to also work with a smaller number of names say 5,000 or 10,000. Opposed to 50,000 or 100,000 as more attention can be given in a focused campaign and this often leads to far better results. A huge mailshot of 100,000 names may lead to a number of “no response” mails. This can be depressing, but can also lead a person or company to the conclusion that email marketing does not work.
Too cheap is costly
If an email list is being sold for a price that is too good to be true. Then it probably is too good to be true. Buying a list from a less reputable source can be cheaper, but in the long run, it can end up being more costly. The reliability of the list and the returns that it could bring may not even be released. There is a valid reason why quality email lists cost what they do. And that is because they have value and the company providing the list is an expert in compiling the list. The risky cheap list can expose your business potential damage to your company. The 10%+ failure rate may well be over 80% in a cheap list. This will blacklist your domain, and the cost you higher than the cost of a number of high-quality mailing lists.
Get some sample data
Many email list suppliers give sample data. You can ask for this sample data to match your requirements. Rather than the general sample data nearly always supplied. You only need a handful of names, no more than 10 if you are wanting a particularly focused list. A reputable provider will go the extra mile to help you. The sample data is useful and can test many elements of an email list provider. As well as answer a number of points in these rules.
The contract behind the list
A reputable email list will provide a contract when purchasing an email list. This contract essentially highlights the fact that you know what you are buying. The contract will also clarify any refund policies. Watch out for the free emails, and any assurances the supplier can make. Putting their trust in an agreement indicates the provider has trust in the email list they are providing.
Can the list supplier do more than supply the list?
Supply an email list is essentially not difficult. Supplying a quality list that is accurate and valuable is on the other hand considerably more challenging. It’s a specialist service that has a significant value. Many reputable list providers supply more than just a valuable list. They provide other services that can assist your business get more from the list. More form your email marketing efforts. Some companies provide assistance with building or creating the email campaigns itself. Provide tools and solutions that can send out, manage and report on your email campaigns. Many reputable email list providers are also very capable email marketers. They know and understand a number of tips, tricks, and even secrets. They can extract more from your campaign or increase your returns on investment considerably.
Email marketing is something that can generate excellent returns on investment. When undertaken correctly, even more so. There is no point in rushing into an email marketing campaign. The more you plan, the better the results you get.
The email itself is equally as important as the person or people it is being sent to. Taking your time and being methodical on both will increase the chances of a successful and rewarding email campaign. There is never a 100% guarantee that someone will read your email. Even less of a guarantee that an individual will respond and then a lesser guarantee still that a person will buy from your email. However doing things right with a good campaign. Sending to an accurate and well-targeted audience increases the chances of a successful campaign. Never underestimate the value of email marketing. Likewise, never underestimate the value of a buying an email list from a reputable supplier.