In an age when internet etiquette is king — and marketing engagement success or failure is measured in fractions of seconds — it’s no surprise that there are still companies who struggle with their email campaigns. The potential to “scare off” a customer after a perceived slight is real, and even companies with the best of intentions can find themselves having alienated someone in the process of trying to create a customer.
So when a typical decision maker hears about renting an email list, they’re immediately — and perhaps justifiably — turned off. They imagine sending bulk messages out to people who signed up for some completely different message: an orthodontist’s office sending “cold call” style marketing material to a list collected by plumbing supply houses, for example. Intuitively, the results would seem obvious: immediate failure, permanent relegation to a customer’s spam folder, and irreparable damage to the brand in general.
Truly, there is nothing good that can come from sending a poorly targeted message in general; the key to understanding why renting an email list can actually be wildly successful is realizing that your rented list doesn’t have to be untargeted. In fact, with the right marketing partner, your rented email list has the potential to deliver better results than your existing list — and create customers from potential pools you might otherwise have missed.
Like everything else in business, it’s usually a matter of working with a vendor who knows what they’re doing — and when renting an email list, you’ve got to ensure your source has done its homework.
Size matters. In this case, we’re not talking about the size of the company you’re going to rent from itself, but rather the size of its verified, valid, and deliverable email list. You’re not going to use every name they’ve got, of course, but rather a geographically and demographically specific portion that fits your company’s goals; that means you must begin with a large enough set to whittle down and fulfill your needs. Pro tip: if an email list “landlord” tells you they’ve got a set of email addresses that works for every business at every level, don’t walk, run away and find a provider that can offer multiple well-targeted versions of potential lists that are good matches with your campaign, product or service.
Customize your campaign. When you prepare a message for a new set of potential customers, whatever you were doing with your existing ones isn’t going to work. Your email needs to be carefully crafted to convey your message to the particular demographics you’re targeting — and come from the standpoint of speaking to the reasons these particular people opted-in to the list you’re renting. This is not a project for the inexperienced; ensure you’re working with a marketing partner who has a solid understanding of how to capture these customers in this new environment.
Shop around. There’s no substitute for sitting down and investing the time to research the company you’re about to entrust with your brand. There are shady characters everywhere, and internet marketing seems to attract its fair share of them. Look for companies who specialize in email marketing in general, and who offer email list rental as just one part of their suite of services. And try to find a provider who has been around for a while and has had measurable success. Past performance is, as they say, no guarantee of future results — but a company with wins under its belt will be able to point to them and explain why their methods will work for you as well.