Building An Email List – Should You Rent Names?

When you are just getting started online and your list is made up of 7 people, two of whom are your siblings, it’s really tempting to rent an email list or buy a CD that the seller says is packed full of the email addresses of eager customers.

While this may be effective if you do it right, there are some pitfalls you want to watch out for if you plan to rent or buy instead of build your business email list.

Would Your Sell Your Responsive List?

First of all, ask yourself a question. If you had a really great list of 10,000 people who were ready and eager to buy your products and services, would you really consider it good business practice to sell that list to your competitors instead of market to it yourself?

Nope, not if you have a serious online business, you wouldn’t.

At the most, you might mail your list about affiliate products, or do some joint ventures, but you’ll choose them carefully. After all, your list of subscribers and customers is your business’ greatest asset.

So, who are these businesses who are willing to sell you their email lists, and just how did they get those email addresses anyway?

As you might expect, there are legitimate companies whose whole business model is to put up pages to attract subscribers whose email addresses they then sell to thousands of other business builders. There are also online services that exchange something of value in return for a subscriber agreeing to receive email from other businesses.

And then there are those unscrupulous people who just scrape email addresses off of the internet and sell them (if you send email to this type of list, it is spam, pure and simple).

So if you plan to buy or rent an email list, practice the ‘buyer beware’ principle and do your due diligence first. Find out how they created the list, what interests the subscribers have, and whether you can email the list one time, or several. Do they give you the names to mail, or do you send them your email offer and they mail it out to their list for you, and you only receive the email addresses of those who take you up on your offer and opt in to your list? Be very sure that you are not spamming.

The Power of Building Your Own List

While the lure of easy list-building can be enticing, you’ll want to strongly consider building your own business email list. Set up your opt-in page and autoresponder, create a valuable free gift for your new subscribers, and then send people to that opt-in page. You can write articles, Tweet, create a Squidoo page, blog, or even buy ads or use Pay Per Click advertising to get traffic, to name just a few means of list-building.

It may be appear to be a slower way to build your list (but you may be pleasantly surprised), but when people do opt in to your list, you will know that they really want to receive what you have to offer. And you will have built a real business email list that you can nurture and grow, just like your business.

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