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How Much Does it Cost to Buy an Email List?

When it comes to digital marketing, or any marketing really, your goal is maximizing your return on investment (ROI). Without conversions, your efforts – and your cash – are wasted. But you also need to spend your marketing dollars wisely. That’s where email campaigns, and their excellent ROI, enter the picture. If you don’t have a customer contact list yet, don’t worry. You can buy or rent an email list. Follow these best practices to help ensure you don’t hurt your business or pay too much – or too little – for your contact list.

How to Buy an Email List

Buying an email list can be tricky. No matter what you’re spending it on, your goal with every business dollar you spend is maximizing its value. That’s why it might be tempting to get thousands of email addresses for a few hundred dollars. However, if half of your emails are undeliverable, that’s much less of a bargain.

Another concern is how your broker came by these email addresses. If they used questionable methods, you could earn the dreaded spammer label and harm your business.

It’s much better to rent email addresses, since these brokers offer legitimate contact information from willing participants. You can also get highly-targeted lists, and segmentation increases open rates significantly. Why market your brick-and-mortar business to people in other states, or share your home improvement tips with apartment dwellers?

How Much Does an Email List Cost?

The price of an email list varies according to the type of list you need, whether it’s B2B or B2C, and any features you choose. For example, you may choose to create your own email campaign. Or, you may have the email broker design, send, and track the campaign.

Expect to pay at least $0.20 for each email address, although costs can go much higher – up to around $0.75 each – for highly segmented lists.

  • The cost for 1,000 consumer email addresses averages between $200 and $300.
  • B2B costs are slightly higher, with 1,000 B2B email addresses averaging between $300 and $1,000.
  • Most marketers look for 3,000 to 5,000 contacts, which costs between $600 and $2,500 on average, depending on whether it’s B2B or B2C.
  • Email campaign costs start at around $1,000 for distribution to 10,000 contacts
  • Design, distribution, and management costs around $1,500 for 10,000 contacts

Pros and Cons of Buying vs. Renting an Email List

There are benefits to buying an email list instead of renting it. Over time, you will save money on a list you own, since you can reuse it. And, you have more control as the owner, since it’s up to you how often you send emails, as well as who receives your messages.

The main cons to buying are quality and being labeled a spammer. Most brokers selling email addresses aren’t vetting them. You’re much more likely to find old and outdated contact information on these lists. And, if your emails go directly to the spam folder, they won’t get opened even if the address is good.

If you decide to purchase your list, ask the seller how they obtain permission and vet the emails.

Email Marketing Best Practices

If you follow best practice advice, you can enjoy terrific results with your email campaign. It’s a marketing tactic that gets a lot of grief, but the numbers tell the real story: it works. And, with such a low price tag, it’s a cost-effective option.

Get the greatest return on your investment by following a few simple guidelines:

  • Don’t flood your audience with emails. Unless you’re sending daily deals to a highly-segmented list of customers (think people carrying and regularly using loyalty cards), two or three times per month is the ideal email frequency.
  • Personalize emails, signing them with either your name or an employee’s name.
  • Send early in the week – Mondays and Tuesdays are best – and avoid Fridays and the weekend.
  • Use the data that lets you see open and click-through rates to run A/B tests and determine which types of emails and subject lines get the best response.
  • Segment your list to increase your open rate
  • Give your readers an unsubscribe option and then follow through on their request if they choose to opt out. It’s the law.

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