Email Address Lists
You decided to start an electronic newsletter or
run a marketing campaign. But you do not have any addresses.
Where to get them?
Purchasing Email Address Lists
First, you need to know how the addresses on the list
were collected. Every list seller will tell you that this
is a double opt-in list. In reality, people on the list
may be obtained in a number of ways, which hardly can
be called double opt-in.
People may have subscribed to receive information
from some specific company. They had no idea that this company
is going to sell the list to you. They don't know anything
about you, and when you send them email, they will treat
it as a spam.
The company that builds the opt-in list may have
used affiliates who supplied addresses of people who had
never subscribed for anything. The company may honestly
believe that they opted in and even require a proof - such
as IP address or browser information of the subscriber, but
this may be easily faked by unscrupulous affiliates.
Addresses may be re-sold several times, so that
the origin of the recipient is really unknown.
You can get an opt-in lists that have been heavily
marketed to in the past to the point where response rate is
Some companies may sell addresses of people who
opted out and therefore are not useful for the company.
It is worth mentioning that many addresses on
the list you acquire may happen to be undeliverable.
Addresses may be harvested from Web sites or
tricked out of mail servers.
In a worst case scenario, addresses on the list
may be computer generated.
The worst problem is that there is no way for you to
find out how the addresses were acquired. If you look at
the spam in your mailbox, you can see that many spammers
truly believe that you volunteered to receive their emails.
This is because the list that they have acquired was sold
to them as double opt-in.
Second, you need a targeted list. It is absolutely
pointless to send your emails to people who have no interest
in your products or services. Moreover, it is dangerous, because
people who receive untargeted advertising may report you as
Email lists are usually segmented into broad categories, such
as "Business" or "Hobby". The IP addresses used during subscription
process may be used to reveal geographical territory. This is
a very broad categorization, and if you use these lists, most
of the emails will go to uninterested audience.
Finally, you would be interested in sending your emails to
people who are not constantly pounded with endless advertising.
If they receive fifty, or may be hundred emails a day, your
message is likely to be lost in the flow and remain unnoticed.
If the list is sold to many advertisers, the people who are
on the list are receiving many emails.
Before you buy a list, you may ask for a small sample to
test how your email message is performing. Beware, that, for
the test purposes, you may be given addresses of much
In short, purchasing lists is not the best method
of acquisition, because you're getting unreliable, untargeted
and heavily marketed prospects.
Harvesting Addresses from the Web
You can use software programs to surf the Web and extract
email addresses from newsgroups or Web sites. Such software
programs usually prompt you to enter few keywords, then start
searching from the main search engines and spread over the Web
sites. Fast extractors can get you several thousand addresses
Main problem with such method is that the recipients
have not asked for your emails and many of them are likely
to treat you as a spammer - send complaints to your ISP etc.
These people are heavily spammed by everyone who uses web
extractors to harvest their emails. Those of them who could,
removed their addresses from the Web pages.
Keyword search does not necessarily bring you targeted
prospects. For example, if you sell widgets and then search
for websites that mention widgets, you're more likely to
get addresses of your competitors rather than customers.
Most of the addresses will be totally irrelevant. Just go
to Google and search
for your keywords to see how irrelevant the results could be.
Thus, Web harvesting should not be used because the
addresses that you extract are untargeted and heavily
Building your own database
You may have some addresses already - your customers,
people who were interested in your products. This is a
good place to start from. It is much easier to deal with
people who are already interested in your business and
If you have a website, then you have a constant flow of
visitors. Some of them may be interested in your services,
but not ready to buy yet - give them an opportunity to leave
you their email addresses. Create a simple newsletter and send
them news about your products or services, occasional
offers etc. Put a small subscription form on a side bar of
your web site requesting their name, address, or may be
other information. You will not believe how high your response
rate could be.
This method is slow, but it will build
you high quality list:
Very reliable because you know
where every address came from.
Highly targeted because these
people are interested in you.
Extremely fresh because only you
send to this list.
Take a look at AY Mail which will let
you run your newsletter seamlessly. Well, you could say that
all these talks about newsletter is to tell you about AY Mail.
Not so, AY Mail is just a software, it would work equally well
with purchased or harvested lists. We advocate newsletters because
this is what we believe in and we know that it works.
If you're interested in what we have to say, use the
subscription form on the side bar, and we'll bring you more