Contact decision makers directly
Buying an email list has been given a great deal of negative press over the years. Some say buying a list is like cheating and others can rightfully give buying an email list bad press because they have been duped or just let down.
Buying an email list is not, as many would assume or hope for buying a customer list. It is exactly what it is, a list and once this is understood the quality of the list can be easily ascertained and the returns extracted. Any list of emails, good or bad will have a nugget or two of excellence and the better the list the more nuggets there will surely be.
There are countless articles on the internet telling users not to buy or rent an email list. Articles and blogs full of doom and gloom that make buying a list almost criminal, with results about as successful as the first crossing of the Atlantic by the Titanic. But done deliberately, carefully and sensibly by using reputable sources and through having the right strategy in place a quality email list can be purchased.
The value of the list differs from buyer to buyer and before contemplating buying an email list it is necessary to ascertain what is wanted from the list. Without an idea of what is wanted the list will remain just a list of random names and email addresses. The value and quality of the email list purchased is ultimately defined by the result obtained and knowing what you want allows you to match the criteria you need from with the list you are purchasing.
What makes a high-value list?
There are only a handful of reasons and the real value is defined by the buyer.
Does this have the people or companies I want?
Knowing your Target audience whether it is a person, company or industry is vital. A list becomes of value when it has your target audience contained within it. Many email lists contain the email addresses of decision makers but if you are targeting decision makers in Marketing and the list you are buying contains a majority of Financial or Human Resource decision makers then it is of little value to you. However, if the list has those nuggets you need i.e the email address of a high priority contact or contacts that are not on any other list the value of these alone may warrant the purchase of the list.
It really boils down to knowing who it is you are targeting this can only happen through planning.
Is the list current?
People change roles and move around, in some industries or companies this may happen more frequently than others. Ensuring your list is up to date and current increases its value. Because there is a higher chance of the person on the list being in the position the list states they are. Many lists are often up to a year out of date and some unscrupulous buyers don’t inform buyers of this. But endeavor to sell the list and squeeze the last drop of value out it as possible.
The price of the list can be a good indicator of how up to date it is. But the best way to check is to ask for some sample data. Check this using social media or just some research. If the list brings up information that corroborates what the seller says then the list is likely to be up to date. If the research shows a higher than anticipated number of people not in the role specified. Even at a different location, the list is likely to be less up to date.
Buying an email list is a process and if you follow a rigid process, any list you purchase will have the value in it that you want to extract. Ensuring the list is current must form part of your process.
Does the list have too many indirect email addresses?
A lot of lists contain generic or indirect email addresses. Even the email address of an assistant to the person listed. It is very easy for the list to contain thousands of email addresses. But marrying them up and ensuring they are the right person and/or not just a general mailbox email is vital.
The value of the list lies in direct communication with the individual. The PA’s email address can actually reduce the value of the list.
The best way to ensure accuracy and quality is in your planning and purchasing strategy. It is vital to ask the right questions and asking how many Sales@ or other@ addresses the list has is key. It is very easy for a reputable supplier to inform you of how many direct emails there are. The number of emails for an assistant there are, instead of the direct email address of the person. Knowing this releases tremendous value. And allows the buyer to ascertain if the email list is truly worth the price being asked for. You can ask for the list to be provided without the sale@ or info@ email addresses. You may pay a little more per email address. But the list does become more valuable as you have quality rather than quantity.
Does the list have valuable other information?
There is always something extra that can add value to any buyer and the email list sellers know this. Some providers give a number of email addresses for free, this is good but if the emails have no value to you then they add little or no value to the list. Going back to how you are going to work your campaign with the list is where value can be extracted from the list and it is here that added information such as direct phone numbers, private email addresses and of course mobile phone numbers create added value. Don’t be afraid to ask for this, it may add and little extra cost but it may be justified in the value it releases.
Once you understand and know what makes an email list valuable for you, you then need to ask “what makes a reputable email list provider?”
What makes a reputable high-end email list provider?
The reputation ultimately depends on the end result. Even the most reputable email list provider can be of little value to a buyer of an email list. If the planning is not there and the end result or objective is not up to the mark.
Here are some tips on how to find a reputable provider:
How long has the list provider been trading?
Experience matters in the email list industry. If a company has been trading for some time then they are generally more reputable. With experience comes trust and these companies will have references that you can follow up with to vet them.
Are they biased?
The most reputable company in any business respects their competition. And the email list industry is no different. When buying an email list the more reputable companies will know you are shopping around. They will even know where their strengths and weaknesses are. If they claim they are the only ones who can help you. Don’t speak well of their competition, you should deal with them cautiously.
Do they know what lists perform best and why?
The more reputable email list providers will know which of their lists works and why. This again goes back to the amount of time they have been trading and their experience. This also shows they know what is on their lists.
Can they help you in your campaign?
The best email list providers will assist you with your campaign. They not only understand their lists but they understand email marketing. This advice adds value to the list.
How cheap are they?
Reputable companies don’t sell lists for $15 or $29, few even sell for $100. The price you pay determines the quality of the list and ultimately the reputation of the supplier. A good list costs time and money to build and maintain.
Do they know the spam laws and other legislation?
Above all the seller of an email list needs to make you fully aware of spam and other legislation around email marketing. Email list suppliers know the risks. Even understand the perception for being somewhat shady. Thus they go to great efforts to protect themselves and their customers.
In conclusion, a high-value list is obtained through careful planning. Knowing what you want and then asking the right questions. Selecting who to buy your email list from is also of vital importance. Asking the right questions and doing a little bit of background research will make all the difference.
Essentially the value of the email list is defined by the user. What they want to and ultimately do get out of it with their campaign.