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How to research for email marketing lists in the Baltics?

I’m sure that some of our blog readers have their own email lists – whether they’re a client base, newsletter list etc. Owning an email list has great value. Now you’ve got people to whom you can communicate direct, personalised messages. For example we at altex have a newsletter list.

But owning a list doesn’t always make sense. You might want to target a message to certain people only once. This is where the so called “3rd party lists” come into play.

3rd party lists are lists which can be used for campaigning by 3rd party companies. Let’s take Spindo Club as an example.

Spindo is an email list owned by altex. More than 75,000 people in the Baltics have opted in to receive offers both from altex and other companies who’d like to reach those people.

Relevancy is the key – without segmentation the list would become useless quite fast (and prove to be too expensive for companies). Luckily, we’ve asked from those 75,000 people who they are – their age, gender, location, job info, interests and even whether they own a driving license or not.

That way companies can find their potential clients easily through Spindo and not waste their time and money on catching the wrong people’s attention (people who don’t belong to their target group).

But altex has also got a relationship with some other 26 optin lists in the Baltics. They are quite different from each other and also bring different results for different type of companies / products / services. So it’s important to know which list to use when.

If you’re the type of person who likes to do a bit of research beforehand by yourself (agency services might seem quite expensive at first glimpse) then here are three essential questions that you should ask from a list broker or email marketing agency:

Where did the recipients give the permissions to receive offers?

List owner should be able to prove that all the recipients have given their permission to receive promotional messages from 3rd party companies.

So, always ask for a written guarantee that all emails are opted in and ask the list owner to show where/how did they do that (i.e. which web page did they sign up at and what terms and conditions did they agree to?).

What are the previous results of campaigns?

Please note that before you go digging into results make sure you know the relevant metrics.

  • Open rate shows how many people opened the email. It’s calculated from sent emails (e.g. 100 emails sent, 34 opens – it’s 34% open rate). Note that open counts as “open” only if the pictures are downloaded (or if the links get clicked on in some cases) – there’s no other way of knowing whether the email got opened or not.
  • Click through rate (CTR) shows how many people clicked on the links in email. It’s also calculated from sent emails (e.g. 100 emails sent, 12 clicks – it’s 12% click rate). Always ask whether the click through rate is calculated from the emails sent or not – some lists tend to calculate it from opens instead.

These numbers can be unique or non-unique. Usually they’re not unique which means that some people opened email several times (or clicked several times on links).

What segmentation options are there?

Can the list be segmented by age, sex or interests or even by income? The usual rule is that segmenting (such as targeting men/women separately for example) is more expensive but also brings better results because you can tailor your message better to different niche audiences.

Agency or no agency?

Dealing with list owners direct can have its advantages –in some cases you might get a better price.

The truth of course is a bit more complex than that – agencies send out large amounts of email each year and therefore can also get greater discounts which then will be shared with the client. Not to mention the experience that agency staff have over the years dealing with different types of products, services and industries.

An independent email marketing agency knows how each list performs and which type of campaigns / messages are likely to succeed.

Altex has created and delivered more than 100 email marketing campaigns over the past year. In addition we have priority and privileged access to many email lists, above average discounts and “insider knowledge” about list performance and mechanics 😉

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Priit Kallas

Owning a list makes sense if it conatins your prospects and clients. When buying/renting a list one of the top priorities should be converting it to your list so you don’t need to pay for it any more.

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