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How to screen an email list provider

Throwback Article
How to screen an email list provider

Rent a list, blast it out, and watch the money roll in. Right?

Yep, happens all the time. And about as often as it snows in Las Vegas. Remember this: The majority of your click-through and acquisition success starts with one component. 

List quality. 

Contrary to popular belief, it's not "a numbers game." It's absolutely critical to understand this or you'll spend too much per acquisition or throw money out the window. 

Let me explain... 

You could craft the most compelling offer, with the most intriguing headline, include the most urgent of urgency tactics, and still fail miserably. 

How? 

Your campaign will bomb if the message is delivered to the wrong audience or a bad list. Or worse, you could be labeled a spammer if it's sent to those unwilling to receive it. Ouch! 

Anyway, that'll never happen because you're too smart (and have read this article.) Before I share a few tips on screening vendors, let me clarify a few things. 

1. Invest in traffic building only after maximizing home page effectiveness, landing page conversion rates, and/or website effectiveness. Remember, a stellar message sent to the right audience will still fail unless the page effectively converts visitors into leads or customers

2. I have not found an ideal vendor. I too am looking for a good one. So if you find one, drop me a line at rcostello@WebSiteProfitDoctor.com

On with preparing for the interrogation... 

List Creation
How was the list created? Opt-in? Double opt-in? (Meaning, subscribers were required to confirm their initial subscription.) What did recipients opt-in to? Did they agree to receive announcements and ads? Did they know it? Sneaky privacy policies help no one. 

List Relevance
Are recipients in some way, shape, or form interested in your product or service? If you're selling cell phone accessories, make sure recipients are interested in new technology gadgets or have recently purchased a cell phone. Relevancy is critical. 

List Quality
How many subsequent bounces before they remove an outdated email address? Will you be charged for bounced emails? How will you know? Just because a vendor boasts 50,000 email addresses, doesn't mean they're all valid. 

List Usage
How old is the list? How often are new addresses added? How many times and with what frequency have recipients already been contacted? What type of advertisers delivered to this list in the past? Were they similar to your business? How will this affect your message? There's nothing worse than a used-and-abused list. 

Campaign Reports
Do they have any delivery guarantee? Or any proof you won't be labeled a spammer? Here's a dumb question: How will you know if your message was actually delivered? It never hurts to ask. Also, find out if they offer reports to track open rates and click-throughs? Ask to see a few reports run against your target list or at the very least, something comparable. 

Vendor Flexibility
What kind of control will they give you? For example, are they willing to deliver smaller units until you've tested the headline, message and call to action independently? Will they wait until you're confident the high-volume blast will produce a high click-through rate and post-click acquisition? If you're testing two lists, will they filter out duplicates or redundancies? Will they allow multi-contact campaigns? 

When you think about it, there's just so much to ask. I'm sure there are many good vendors out there, but there are many frauds. Happy shopping, be careful, and don't forget to tell me if you find a keeper. 

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The Website Profit Doctors are a Chicago Area Website Help Company who can transform your “information only” website into a profitable customer acquisition tool.

Primary website help services
include: Website Improvements, Website Redesigns & Makeovers, Custom Website Development, Responsive Website Development, Google AdWords Advertising, Bing Ads Advertising, Google Analytics Set Up, Strategic Planning & Coaching, Competitive Intelligence & Research, Purchase Process Assessments, Lead Capture Assessments, Website Maintenance & Support Packages.

Primary website help products include: Small Business eCommerce Website, Small Business Blog Website, Small Business Website.

Blog information and opinions herein reflect the most accurate information at the time of publication and are subject to change. Readers are free to forward this article in its entirety, but may not sell, barter or leverage it for commercial profit or gain.

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Announcements

Announcement_Website Profit Doctors launch its new company website Website Profit Doctors launch its new company website

Our new fully responsive, multi-device compatible website is here.

Archives >

Customer Breakthroughs

Breakthrough_Google AdWords Management helps save company $500,000 in 1 year Google AdWords Management helps save company $500,000 in 1 year
After 1 year of routine campaign management, spending only 4 - 5 hours per month, we improved all metrics (average position, click through rate, cost per lead, and click conversion rate).

Archives >