Insights from Thousands of Email List Rental Campaigns

July 13, 2012

Perhaps due to its somewhat checkered past, email list rental has not been talked about much in recent years in the media, at conferences, or among direct marketers. But some data companies have been hard at work to dramatically evolve email list rental and it has become a well-kept secret weapon for thousands of B2C and B2B direct marketers and media buyers. They rely on targeted email advertising as a reputable way to get messages in front of precisely targeted audiences who have opted-in to receive highly relevant content. Our recent study of over 3,000 enriched email list rental campaigns revealed some interesting insights:

1) Delivering timely messages to a very specific audience that is hard to cost-effectively reach through other tactics is the top reason that marketers use enriched email list rental. As such, email list rental is a strong complement to the entire traditional marketing mix.

2) Top performers run many separate campaigns: over 90% of companies run more than 3 campaigns a year and the top performers run dozens or hundreds of list rental email campaigns each year to test different offers and market segments.

3) Most industries successfully use email list rental. Both B2B and B2C marketers are heavy users of targeted email advertising. Top industries, as measured by their share of the total number of campaigns run annually, include:  real estate (16%), travel and tourism (14%), retail (14%), financial services (10%), entertainment (8%), telco (7%), consumer packaged goods (7%), automotive (6%), and healthcare and wellness (6%). Other top sectors include: education, nonprofit, publishing, restaurants, government, and political.

4) A top quality email rental list yields double the results. List renters need to beware: the difference between conventional email list rental and enriched email list rental is significant: opt-in permission integrity, list freshness, guaranteed email delivery, and comprehensive consumer data that enables precise targeting are the key elements that separate high-integrity lists from spammy email address lists.

5) Email marketing best practices yield another doubling of results. Marketers that test and optimize all aspects of their campaigns have compelling and focused offers, great creative, and effective landing pages. The results speak for themselves: best-in-class marketers enjoy 20-25% open rates, 3-5% click rates, and solid conversion metrics for a greater return on investment.

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