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Email list rental vs buying third party lists

Have you ever thought about how good it would be if you could simply buy a list of client e-mail addresses in a click?

I hope you haven’t, because it is not worth it.
Unless you meant renting the list – email list rental is a pretty common practice.

The difference between the two (list rental and list buying) is huge. When it comes to email marketing and renting an e-mail list, you don’t get a copy of the list. In short, you never get to see the addresses – the owner does the sending for you. By renting a list you could be a featured business or sponsor of the renters next newsletter to their clients.

When buying an e-mail list, you get the addresses, and that is utterly bad. Not to mention the bad PR you will get if you send to people you don’t know. Not to mention the hundred reasons, among which legal trouble could or could not be the most serious. The worst part of bought e-mail lists is that they don’t work, especially if your business doesn’t sell penis pills… or something like that.

Although a buying third party list sounds like a great idea – you often only invest up to $500 for an e-mail list with millions of e-mail addresses -, sending spam spells a death sentence for business. Out of the millions of addresses which the seller acquired somehow, there will surely be spam complaints which can mean legal trouble. Furthermore, your brand will get severely damaged if you send unsolicited e-mail. Just don’t do it.

These lists do not work because they are overused; they don’t have a permission (how on earth would a 1m large list have permission from all the users?); they don’t have quality; and lastly, in case if you still have doubt about it, sending to third party lists is ogre-ish email marketing.

It is different with e-mail list rentals, though.
The price is the first indicator that they are more likely to work; depending on the nature of your emails, an email list rental costs an average of about $130 for 1,000 impressions according to LPI. Business is business, and the price is fair if you know how to make the most out of email list rental. You know how difficult is to acquire those 1,000 subscribers, but do you also want to be part of another brand who you are simply sponsoring.

Should you consider buying lists? – NO, just avoid buying any e-mail lists, doesn’t matter how good the offer sounds.

Build your own reliable and highly profitable lists by adding Web SignUp form to your website, run a promotional campaign in the store or ask for feedback and capture their email addresses this way best.

Email list rental vs buying third party lists
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  • Hey Janis. Great post! – It’s funny how little information is out in the marketing place about email list rentals. It seems most people confuse email list rental with buying an email list, which as you pointed out in your post is clearly not the same. While I agree with your comment that email list rental is pretty common, I’d suggest it’s common practice for marketers that use form of media for lead generation and sales. I’ve found most marketers have very little if any knowledge of renting email lists. I’m hoping to change this with a new book I’ve written that will be published focusing on email list rental in addition to a couple episode on my podcast about list rental. Great to connect with a fellow email marketer.

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