how to rent an email list

Uncovering the art of how to rent an email list can ignite your lead generation and sales literally overnight.

Email marketing is a “must do” tactic in any winning marketing strategy.

But what if you don’t have a customer or lead email database to email?

What if you’re just starting a new business, and have never had any email list?

Or what if you just want to expand your email marketing audience fast without waiting for your website to generate new leads for you?

Even if you never heard of renting an email list and you’re just getting started in your business building an email list, you definitely landed in the right place.

  1. Knowing what it is to rent an email list. The short and simple is, renting email list is just what it sounds like. You go to a third party who has lots of email addresses, and you pay them to use some portion of the email database to send your marketing emails. It is just like renting a car where you go to a third party, the car renting agency, and pay to use one of their assets – a car – for some specific period of time. When you rent an email list, you typically do it for a one time shot – you get to send the list of emails just one email.

    There can be many variations of this, of course. There certainly exist many places that will send more than one email. Regardless, the owner of the list gets paid by you to send an email on your behalf or on the behalf of your company. You or your company have the responsibility to provide the email design, text, headline, and call to action.

    You will never see any of the names or emails, unless they opt in to your email list when reading the email sent on your behalf.

    Most email brokers where you go to rent an email list provide you a data card with information about the demographics of the marketing segment receiving the emails.

  2. The basic process of renting an email list. The process having an email broker mail for you is fairly simple:
    1. You and the list owner make an agreement of how many people will receive your email.
    2. You and the email list owner agree to a send date for your email.
    3. You create the email design or creative, and write your email subject line and text to provide to the email list owner.
    4. Test against the suppression list created by your broker (see below in #4.d.)
    5. The email list owner sends on the date you agreed from his own server and email database.
  3. How to choose an email broker. Naturally, you want to find an email list owner who really has the right target audience for your promotion. The broker or list owner normally provides a data card describing the numbers and the demographics. However, this should just be the start of what you look at. You want to find an email list owner or broker who is pretty close to transparent.

    Look at what the various list owners show you. If you find one not willing to provide you what the others do, this should raise alarms in your mind. Most email list brokers will tell you what brands they have mailed for in the past. This is a good indicator of the trust of the broker from others.

    Don’t expect them to give you names and addresses on their lists. They won’t and shouldn’t. But the quality brokers will provide brands they have mailed for.

  4. Weeding out the good lists from the bad. You definitely want to know if the email list you’re about to rent is junk or gold. A junk list can have many extremely bad effects. One of the worst effects can be giving your company brand a bad name. Use these four steps to help you confirm your list is not junk:
    1. Verify how the email list was created. Any reputable email broker will have no problem telling you how they built their email database. Some may even be willing to show you a sampling of their lead capture landing pages or give you a screenshot of one. You want a broker whose opt in process makes it clear a person is having their email captured.
    2. Check the list sender IP address for blacklisting. Ask the email broker for the IP or IPs he sends emails from. Most people don’t know to ask for this, and it won’t be on the data cards, so ask. Then check their IP with a tool like SPAM Cop. If they won’t give you their IP, ask them to send you a sample email from their server. You can then use the email header to get the IP address of the server.
    3. Confirm if the list broker switches IP addresses. A high volume, reputable list broker will have abuse complaints. It can’t be avoided when doing email marketing in high volumes. So an alarm would be for the broker to tell you no complaints exist. A broker or email marketing company that switches IP addresses frequently is alarming.

      Those that do frequent IP changes likely make claims they have no complaints. However, a large volume emailer won’t need to switch IP addresses for a handful of complaints. So a good broker will have some email abuse complaints, but will use the same IP address consistently without being blacklisted.

    4. Verify CAN-SPAM compliance. Simply put, your sender in the U.S.A. must follow the CAN-SPAM rules. This includes:
      1. Having a running suppression list file to remove inaccurate data from the email file. Ask your email broker about this.
      2. Include an option to both unsubscribe and never email again.
  5. Design your email when renting an email list. Most important to remember when sending to a rented email list is this is a cold audience relevant to your offers an brand if this is the first time you used a particular broker’s email segment. Therefore, you must create a very compelling lead generation offer. Include a short introduction. This can be done in many ways such as using testimonials, including your brand logo, and other social proof.
  6. Measure your results when you rent an email list. Many ways exist to measure results. The most important is to grow your own list from the rented email list. You should be sending your leads to your own opt in page when they click the call to action link in your email. Other metrics that may be tracked include:
    1. Your opt in rate – how many people from the mailing opt into your list on your lead page
    2. Your opt out rate – how many people opt out as a result of receiving your email
    3. Open rate – how many people open the email.
    4. The click-through rate – How many people click one of your call to action links in your email
    5. Hard bounces – an email delivered to an incorrect email or an email address that does not exist
    6. Soft bounces – when your email arrives to a valid email address, but cannot be accepted. One reason for this might be because the recipient’s mailbox is over the storage limits.

Wrapping it all Up…

Many marketers never rent a list solely because they fear the unknown. If you follow the guidelines here, and use the other references, you can confidently choose and email broker because now you do know how to rent an email list to get conversions and leads.

The final tid-bits include; making sure you send to a segment that matches your product. If you must get a smaller list to rent to be more focuses, then do so. Email readers do hate getting irrelevant content of any kind, even from their friends.

Don’t be afraid to ask the email broker how old his contacts might be on his list. You want the broker with the most recent activity, not the oldest.

These tips and guidelines should keep you confident in choosing your email list source when your seek to rent an email list.

Do you have other concerns about renting email lists? Let me know in the comments below.

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