You can have a highly targeted, well-crafted email marketing campaign, but you won’t get the results you’re after if you don’t have the right list of people to send it to.
Success with email marketing starts with having the right list. Here are five things to ask and look out for to ensure you purchase a quality lead list with clean data.
Ask what their delivery rate is and hold them to it
Many companies advertise their delivery rate as a way to entice customers. You shouldn’t just take their word for it – ask them if everyone sees the same delivery rate or if it varies depending on how many leads you buy or what kind.
If you find that the delivery rate they quoted isn’t accurate after you’ve emailed the list a few times, don’t accept free leads or an extra month of membership from them. This is like taking free food from a restaurant where you just got food poisoning – why would you expect a set of free leads to be better quality when their initial batch didn’t live up to expectations?
See if they will give you the leads’ contact information in a file
Some companies will give you a CSV or spreadsheet file with contact information, while others require you to log in to a proprietary database to access the information. Neither of these access types is necessarily better than the other – if they have a proprietary database, they may have a very accurate set of data that they want to protect. If they don’t give you a file to keep, ask them to at least tell you why.
Ask them how they source and clean their data
Talk to your potential email list vendor where they get their data from. They might not be willing to tell you the exact source, but they should be willing to describe it a bit. Also, see how they clean their data – a good email list vendor will have a process for constantly verifying existing data and updating their records when they become outdated.
Don’t accept lists with web-based email addresses
If your email vendor shows you a sample list containing email addresses with domains like AOL.com, gmail.com, or yahoo.com, you should think carefully before giving them your business. Web-based domains often indicate a personal email account, and sending to a personal email address can get you ignored or, worse: marked as a spammer. Your email list should only include professional email addresses hosted on a company domain.
Request samples, wait 30 days, then request more samples.
This step may not work for you if you are in a rush to find quality email marketing lists, but if you have some time, it’s a great way to test the accuracy of data from the vendor you are considering. By waiting a month and then requesting another sample, you can determine whether all of their records match their claimed delivery rate. If they send you the same samples after 30 days or are unwilling to provide a new set of samples, it could signify that their general database does not match the accuracy of their sample leads.
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