Why is it so hard to buy an email list?If you want to purchase a list to mail out a postcard, it’s a relatively simple process to find a vendor, specify demographics and purchase a mailing list. You pay the going rate for each address, do a quick mail merge and wait for a response.

But if you’ve tried to purchase a list of email addresses, you’ve probably found that it doesn’t work the same way. Most third party email marketing tools ban the use of purchased email lists altogether. Or maybe you were able to send an email to your purchased list, only to find that a large portion of the recipients flagged the email as spam.

If purchasing a mailing list works so well for print mail, why doesn’t it work for email? The short answer is that email marketing is most effective when your mailing list is permission based. That means that everyone on the list has said it’s okay for you to contact them, and they know they can unsubscribe anytime. A permission based email list is better than any list that you can buy, because the recipients are already interested in your company and want to hear from you.

If you don’t already have an email list, one option is to partner with a related business that has a quality mailing list, and “rent” their list – which means the list owner will relay your message to their subscribers.

The best solution, however, is to create your own permission based mailing list by inviting your customers and prospects to subscribe to your mailings. It may take some time to develop, but the reward will be a valuable asset for your business that is much more valuable and effective than a purchased list.

Read more on the Vision Design blog:  Tips on building a quality email list!

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