Chasing leads can be very time consuming - that's where buying leads can seem very attractive, but probably one of the biggest minefields in marketing is where and how to
purchase email lists.
List rental vs. list buying
There's an important distinction to be made between buying a list and renting one - and it will impact on price. When you rent a list, you never get to see the email addresses - the list owner mails out on your behalf and you'll be charged each time you do so. When you purchase a list, you receive all the details.
Pssst. wanna buy a cheap list?
Just about every day I get unsolicited emails offering email lists of all types and demographics, sometimes millions of addresses - and as cheap as chips. If you get unsolicited offers and the company or individual offering them doesn't have a demonstrated history of list brokering, don't waste your money; because many of the email addresses will not be in the demographics claimed, many will be dead addresses and there's likely to be quite a few spam trap addresses among them.
What's a spam trap?
Unscrupulous parties touting themselves as being "list brokers" usually use automated means to collect email addresses. Either they
purchase them from spammers or they use harvesting programs to scan sites for email addresses then dump them in a database.
Reputable list brokers
While there's many good list *rental* services around, companies that will sell you details are very few and far between.
Using purchased lists.
It's always wise to check local laws regarding unsolicited commercial email before forking out for a list and using it. If you're in the USA, consult the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 which basically:
Special care and expectations
Because you'll be approaching people and businesses that may have never heard from you before, give careful thought to your campaign as you may only get one shot. It's a lot more challenging to sell to someone who doesn't know your company and products and they are far more likely to opt out of any communication you send.
In the interests of transparency and disclosure, please note that the owner of Taming the Beast.net often receives goods and services mentioned in reviews for free, or may receive payments or affiliate commissions for advertising or referring others to merchants of products and services reviewed.
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