How and why to buy an email list for your business

How and why to buy an email list for your business

The trend these days is that if you have a business, whether it be a small boutique brick and mortar in an affluent area or a digital storefront selling dog diapers, you have to have a social media presence. While this is crucial for a well-rounded portfolio, many still neglect to incorporate email marketing into their business strategy. Before you scoff and say, “Email was so five years ago,” consider that building an email list could be good for your business.

The money is in the list

In the online marketing arena, an accepted value for an email list is $1 per month per subscriber. As such, if your business had 10,000 subscribers, it would be worth $10,000 per month, right? This, of course, is an oversimplification of value since many factors determine what the true value is. For example, if you have 10,000 subscribers but provide them with no value, you may make $0 from that list. However, if you have an engaged audience, here are three thresholds to factor in when considering the list’s value.

  1. Open rates.

    This is the number of subscribers that open your email to read. Sadly, many emails never see the light of day or grab the recipient’s attention. However, engaged subscribers are eager to read what you send. If your open rate is above 10%, you’re in good shape. If your open rate is 35-40%, you’re an email marketing rock star!

  2. Click-through rate.

    This is the number of email subscribers that have opened your email, enjoyed the content, and clicked through to your landing page (or sales page). If you have a click-through rate of at least 5%, again, you’re doing well!

  3. Conversion rate.

    An average conversion rate is about 2% across the board. This sounds small, but it really plays into the whole “casting a wide net” idiom. The idea with your subscribers is that some will never buy from you, but will enjoy the free content and move on. Others will ALWAYS buy from you. So, cast those nets, my friends.

Now that we have a basic idea of factors in determining the value of an email list, let us go a step further and explain best practices when purchasing your list.

When buying, proceed with caution

  1. Go for quality over quantity.

    Some email list vendors will promise to deliver thousands of emails to you – but that list could be riddled with bad emails, repeat emails with the same recipient, or emails created just to fill a list. If the cost of the list you’re shopping for seems like a bargain – it might just be too good to be true.

  2. Get the full details.

    When you’re looking to purchase an email list, ask the seller for the full contact name of each person. This will eliminate fake email addresses (hopefully,) and give you the option to personalize your email blasts when you send them out.

  3. Be wary of purchasing online.

    Whenever dealing with large purchases involving your business or company, (including email lists) try and speak with an actual human seller. Ask ANY questions that you’re confused about, get the details on guarantees, and get the name of someone that you can reference if you need to call back. Email lists can be largely beneficial, but it’s best to work with a reputable seller that employs people that you can speak with about your purchase. Email lists that you can ONLY buy online could be a masked scam.

  4. Negotiate.

    Talk terms early on the with email list seller. Usually, you can end up paying only for the emails that end up being somewhat successful. Track open rate and conversions, and go back to your seller after you’ve sent out emails for eight weeks or so. The seller will have a better idea of what’s working and you’ll be able to negotiate what you should actually be paying for.

When it comes down to it, not having an email list may leave a lot of money on the table for your business. Remember this when building out a well-rounded online portfolio.


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