E-mail Marketing: The Importance of Growing Your OWN List

Mon, 11/01/2010

For those that work with me, it’s a no brainer answer when they are asked if I like to work with rented or purchased lists. For those that don’t, I dislike it very much. And that is putting it very nicely.


Because. I know, that answer does not work with my six year old and it doesn’t work for you. And I am more than willing to elaborate. Soap box, please.

I have worked with several clients that have used purchased or rented lists. The one thing I can conclude without even researching is that those lists tend to have higher deliverability issues than when working with an organically grown list. And when I am countered to provide the statistical data, it’s not difficult to provide. There are higher bounce rates, lower open rates and significantly more dismal click rates.

I usually get asked, at this point, why do you think this is happening? Well, there are several reasons. List companies fill a niche. You need lists, they try to collaborate with partners and provide you with lists that would mimic those you have grown yourself. And there are several list providers that do a good job and use better practices in garnering the data and creating their databases that produce the lists we need. However, these list companies do not contact your readers as you would.

Now, let’s look at the clients that successfully grow their lists and have exceptional email campaigns. They capture the opt in. They give them choices on what they can receive and when. And they deliver as expected.

When people opt in to sources that list companies use, they are usually plied with an incentive or trying to get through an online purchase. And we have all been there. Who bothers to read all the fine print in the terms and agreement? You want that app, or the latest gadget, or those shoes now. You could care less that your email is going to be used by a company in the future to contact you with an offer to buy a similar item. And yes, it is our consumer responsibility to read these things and not cave into them, but it is the haste that the list companies grow their lists with. Not the best of practices used, however, it is legal.

So that’s all I am going to say. For now. I think it’s a good primer before I launch into more reasons why I dislike using rented lists. Do I understand why they exist? Yes. That doesn’t mean I have to like it. And it doesn’t mean I am not going to try to convince you to think like me. Stay tuned.

Cathy Fonk
Director, Online Marketing


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