Questions to Ask an Email List Broker
Email marketing can be an effective and inexpensive way to get your message across to a large audience, as long as you have a good quality list of e-mail addresses. Some businesses use their own lists, which they have built up over many months or even years. But if your organization doesn't have a list, or the time to build one, here are some of the important questions you must ask an email list broker if you are considering buying or renting email addresses for your marketing campaign.
Questions about their business:
- How long have they been in business? There are lots of reputable brokers in this industry, and there are also those that aren't quite as good. While the latter don't tend to stay in business for too long, you should always make sure you're working with an established, professional broker.
- Do they have any references? The brokers who provide the best service should have plenty of testimonials, and shouldn't mind providing you with references you can check out.
- Do they comply with the CAN-SPAM Act? The CAN-Spam Act is legislation that governs the use of email addresses for marketing purposes. As well as making sure you're able to use the email addresses for your campaign, compliance also provides you with some reassurance that the e-mail addresses are all genuine.
- Do their lists comply with your ESP? Some Email Service Providers won't allow you to use purchased email lists, so depending on how you plan to mail out your marketing campaign, you might need to find a broker who can provide an appropriate list for your ESP.
- Does email marketing success depend on industry? Before you embark on a major email marketing campaign that could cost your business serious time and money, it helps to explore exactly how a successful email advertising strategy works. You may be surprised to hear that some industries have better email open rates than others, like:
- Religion - 48.6%
- Photo/video - 48.1%
- Manufacturing - 48.1%
- Non-profit - 46.7%
- Government - 48.5%
Questions about their lists:
- Where does the data come from? Email lists either use compiled data or response data. Compiled data is where the list contains addresses that have been taken from other data sources without the knowledge of the recipient. Response data is where the recipient has opted to receive marketing information. Response data is generally better for your campaign, and the additional information collected when recipients "opt in" also helps to verify the addresses are genuine.
- How often is the data updated? People can change their email address quite easily, so you want to know when the list was last updated, and how did they verify the information. The best lists are updated regularly and verified by phone surveys, but other techniques are also used.
- How is the list delivered? Check how the data will be delivered, and make sure that it's in a form that will be compatible and easy to integrate with your email software.
- What are the rental terms? Most brokers will provide lists that you are only able to mail to once, although some will allow you to send more than one e-mail, so you need to understand exactly what you can do with the list your renting.
- What selection criteria are available? The more filters you can use to make your email list as targeted as possible, the better response you're likely to get. These filters are often called "selects" and leading e-mail brokers offer up to 300 different selects to make sure you get a list that is as targeted as possible.
- When was the list last used? Old, out of date lists are unlikely to deliver a successful campaign, and the same applies to those that have been over used recently.
- Open/click through rates? Most email list brokers should be able to give you an idea of the expected open and click through rates of each list, either from previous campaigns or tests they have run. Open rates of 10-20% aren't uncommon for double opt in lists, which can also deliver click through rates of about 3%.
Choosing a good email list broker
As well as being able to provide you with the best email list for your campaign, a good email list broker will also offer advice and assistance to make sure your campaign is as successful as possible; after all, then you'll probably want to do it again. This might be advice about subject lines, landing pages, or how to split test your mail out, but you're likely to find the best brokers do more than just provide you with the list.
In addition to specialist email list providers, many of the leading direct mail list brokers also provide email addresses; so whatever you're looking to market, you should have no difficulty getting the best list for your campaign, as long as you ask the right questions.Ready to Compare Mailing List Brokers Price Quotes?