The purchase of marketing list data can be a quick and easy way to boost business, reach a new audience or even nurture a new tranche of loyal followers.

There are dozens of blogs and articles online that warn against the use of purchased lists. However, the fact remains; for every one of these blogs there are hundreds of businesses that use these lists effectively and successfully as a way to speak to new prospects. In the process they even generate some sales (shock, horror!).

This is where the difficulty starts… You’ve taken the decision that you would like to purchase a list. Now, which list? Which list owner? Which silver-tongued salesman to buy from?

Two of the three fundamental areas to consider when specifying your data criteria have previously been covered by my colleagues. Tony has written advice surrounding ‘Sizing for Success’ and Gareth about ‘Selecting data by Geography’. The third area is selecting your target audience and if you don’t know your own target industries and contact type I’m afraid I can’t help!

We’ll therefore take as read that you have approached you’re friendly, trustworthy and knowledgeable list broker and they have sourced for you some shiny new data!

At Databroker Towers we offer advice on and see hundreds of campaigns on a monthly basis – I would therefore like to think we know a thing or two about email marketing! This brings me to the crux of this article… How do you make email marketing a success?

The answer to this is simple…

Choose a broadcasting system wisely?

Make sure your system is compatible with the data you intend to use. Simple eh?  Well maybe not. Purchased lists are often prohibited for use by some of the major email broadcasting platforms. The platforms are either not built or not willing to support this type of data. Try Googling “*PLATFORM NAME*” and “purchased data” and have a look through their T’s & C’s. It will take 5 minutes now but could save a significant headache later!

What’s your big idea?

This should be the foundation for your campaign. Make sure what you communicate is relevant to your audience and shout about the issue of theirs you solve.

Incentivise the action.

Your ultimate goal with any email is to make the reader take action. You decide what you’d like this action to be so make sure it is as clear and as frictionless as possible. Directing a reader to a landing page is good if you want to ‘data-capture’ and obtain those pesky 1st party opt-ins. The landing page doesn’t just have to be an enquiry form, a white paper, webinar, resource or competition all work well for different objectives – be creative!

What’s all this about?

With any email going from the point of recipient to reader is the hardest step. Ask yourself the question, why should I open this email? The subject line of an email is the largest influencing factor for getting sales/ conversions out of the bottom of the funnel. In raw terms; the more fuel you can put in at the top (opens) the more traction you get at the bottom (clicks). A simple subject line split test will identify what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t forget to track…

This links back into the email broadcasting platform you choose. The better platforms out there will allow you to trace, track and monitor everything – make good use of this. If you have 5 links in an email and 2 are never clicked you should probably ditch these sections. Your readers don’t respond well to it and they’re probably costing you conversions – less is definitely more.

Encourage Signups

For anyone who knows of the upcoming GDPR no explanation is necessary for this one… For anyone not I’d give this article your close attention!

Plan to follow up

Often overlooked but staunch email marketers is the value of a follow up telephone call or at very least a follow up email. Recent studies have shown us that direct marketers could boost our campaign conversion rate by up to 150% by simply following up. By far the easiest conversions are the ‘teetering customers’ who thought about your offering and then did nothing about it. In 2014 92% of all online shoppers used a digital coupon on at least one of their purchases. Worth a try as a follow up isn’t it?


Email marketing will never convert at the same rate as your own organically grown lists will. Realistic expectations are therefore key. Don’t miss out through, email marketing using purchased lists is a quick and easy way to reach out to new customers. When done well you might just be surprised by how good the results can be.

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