It's easy to buy email lists for cheap, but the list quality is generally on par with the price. Most list services either sell oversaturated, outdated email lists that have been spammed to death, or auto-generated, web-scraped lists with low deliverability rates. Finding quality list vendors is no easy task. But it is possible to find quality lists for less. Here, we'll show you what to look for when buying email list services to ensure you're receiving a highly targeted, quality list for your money.
When to start
Don't wait until you're fresh out of leads to start digging for more. All too often, marketers put off sourcing new leads until they've exhausted their current one, leading them to search out a new list in a frenzy. The best time to start planning for your next contact list is right around the time you've gained enough insight through proper A/B testing from your campaigns to understand your target market(s). This way, you can refine your list appropriately to ensure that your next list is made up of qualified leads.
What to avoid
When you search for email lists, you'll yield hundreds of results warning you not to buy email lists at all, and hundreds more enticing you to buy into their list services. You can learn a lot from articles warning you to stay away from list purchasing. Not because you should avoid buying lists, but because of the experiences these messengers have had with list buying that have motivated them to shield others from making the same mistake. Here's a collective list of things to avoid when buying lists - inspired by the many list purchasers out there who have opted out of purchasing lists altogether:
Avoid auto-generated, web-scraped, non-verified lists
The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is intended to protect against this, but is not a guarantee to protect you against purchasing these lists. Purchasing web-scraped, unmined lists not only hurts your wallet, but can impact your reputation and campaign restrictions on credible platforms. Things like spam traps and honeypots are used to pinpoint unqualified use of mailing lists that can impact your business.
How do you weed out non-verified lists? Check customer reviews for complaints about high bounce rates, both hard and soft. Hard bounces represent undeliverables: inactive or fake email addresses derived from auto-generated list building. Soft bounces represent mail that has been filtered to spam. Contact the list service provider and ask how often the lists are scrubbed, or verified for deliverability.
Avoid companies that only allow for one-time data usage.
Considering it can take up to 7-8 touches before a lead turns into a prospect, this isn't worth your time or money. Similar to weeding out auto-generated email list services, you should keep an eye out for companies that ask you to pay more to email a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time.You should also contact the list service provider and ask them how their contacts can be used.
Avoid premade, general industry lists
Quality list services often provide premade industry lists that provide respectable results. However, the more targeted your lead lists are, the higher your conversion potential. If you are new to the list building game, and unsure of how your target market(s) will perform, a quality pre-made lead list may be right for you. But overtime, you'll want to refine and customize your lists based on how your previous email campaigns have performed.
What to look for
Part of knowing what to look for is knowing what to avoid. Once you've weeded out the poor quality list services, you'll want to focus on finding list services that meet the following criteria:
Look for list services that use actual people to source and review contact information. This is also a sign that the list service provides credible, non-auto-generated data.
In other words, no hidden fees, and no unlisted restrictions. Finding the lowest price data service should not be your top priority when selecting a list service provider. This doesn't mean it should cost an arm and a leg to get a quality list. However, pricing should be advertised clearly, along with data usage. Don't fall into the trap of buying lists with restricted use. Double check with the list service provider on pricing and restrictions before purchasing a list, and if they don't have a number available to call- move on.
Customizable list building
The average open rate for a good email campaign is around 20-25%, with an average click through rate of 2-4%. With those numbers, you'll want to increase your chances of conversions as much as possible. But instead of 'spamming into the void' by mass emailing general prospects, you should target your lists and segment them as much as you can to personalize your campaigns and ultimately, increase conversions. To do this, you'll want to find a list service that provides a customizable list building tool so you can filter data by persona profiles, or by specific challenges of the buyer. But how can you be sure it's sourcing credible contacts?
Sample lists provided
A quality list service should have nothing to hide. They should promote the quality of their data by offering customer reviews or sample lists to you to decide if the quality of data is worth your follow through on the purchase.
Where to find it
Bookyourdata.com provides human-verified business lists, trusted by Fortune 50 companies. Customers take advantage of the advanced list building tool that pulls from 100 million contacts across all major industries, to segment lists by job title and more. Customers rest assured they will receive high quality data due to the 95%+ deliverability guarantee. To learn more about Bookyourdata's list services and our price-match guarantee, reach out to us below