Ask Haley: Purchasing an email list

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Q: Where is the best place to buy an email list?

A: Great question!

As the Director of Marketing Education here at Haley Marketing, I speak with hundreds of staffing company owners and executives on an annual basis. One of the questions I frequently get asked is “Do you know of a good place to buy email lists?”

If you’ve ever done any direct marketing in your career, you’ve probably purchased a prospect list at one time or another. And what kind of results did you get? More often than not, purchased lists provide low quality prospects. The people don’t know you, aren’t qualified, and are not actively interested in purchasing your services. And that’s assuming the contact information is even accurate!

Email lists are worse…MUCH worse. The quick answer of “Where is the best place to buy an email list?” is NO WHERE!I can’t stress this strongly enough–DO NOT BUY EMAIL LISTS! Here’s the problem with purchased email lists–they do not work. I’m sure there are exceptions, but most often, email lists are filled with people who did not opt-in to receive email from you, are not interested in email from you, and will not respond to email from you.

One of our newsletter clients has admitted that when he first started trying to do his own email newsletter a few years ago, he had purchased 40,000 generic marketing email leads. He believed that pushing his message out far and wide would resonate with that needle in the haystack. Well, of all those people, only a paltry two people inquired about his services. This method didn’t work for him, and it most likely will not for you. Period.

So what will work? Email marketing is most effective when you send relevant information to people who want to receive your email.  It works when you build a permission based email list.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can build a true permission based email list–and get in front of potential clients–without paying for a list.

One of the best ways to build an email list is through the use of “inbound marketing.” This is where you help yourself “get found” by people already interested in your services (or something else you have to offer).

Inbound marketing uses Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, blogging, online PR and other Internet marketing tools to draw people to specific pages on your website. These pages will offer people something of value in exchange for providing their contact information–and that’s when you ask them to opt-in to your email list.

At Haley Marketing, we’ve been using Inbound Marketing for years, and it produces more than 500 inbound leads a year–without spending a dollar on advertising!

But inbound marketing is not the only way to build a high quality email list. If you want to know more about building a great email list, and how you can use email marketing in your staffing firm, watch the recording of our Lunch with Haley webinar Email Marketing for Staffing Firms.

And if that’s not enough, call me! I’ll be happy to share even more ideas!

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