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Email database marketing: Why we rent rather than sell

Any email marketer knows that a considerable portion of the success of any email marketing campaign depends on the quality of the email database. For this reason, clean, well-managed email databases are now in high demand, with businesses both big and small looking to gain access to one. Many businesses seek an already compiled email database - either to kick start their new business or to grow their own database. This often leads businesses to consider the option of either buying or renting an email database, however the former is almost never a good idea.
Digital Fire specialises in email data rental - that means we do not sell our lists to the public. The databases owned by us have been built up over years through proper opt-in processes. This means that every single person on our email databases have expressly given their permission to be marketed to. Compiling such a database takes time and expertise and because of our dedication to building a database that benefits both our clients and our subscribers - our lists are highly responsive.

By renting out a database rather than selling it, responsible email marketing companies such as Digital Fire stay in control of the email data list. By doing this we can actively manage our databases and ensure that we comply with the regulations set out by the Consumer Protection Act. Managing the database means that we consistently deal with unsubscribes, avoid over exposure by restricting the number of times each recipient can be contacted (frequency capping) and regularly clean out the database. Doing these things ensures happy subscribers, which means better response rates for our clients.

The dark underbelly of email list buying in South Africa

Buying en email list may seem like a convenient solution, but the practice is mired in controversy. This is mainly due to irresponsible list compilers who sell bulk email lists that comprise of bad or useless data, usually scraped off some random websites. These dubious lists are often offered to buyers at cheap prices - an indication of the low quality of the data.

In a press release published on their website, the Internet Service Providers' Association of South Africa (ISPA) has noted that a handful of email address database sellers are playing a major role in the torrent of spam in South Africa. Often, legitimate businesses fall prey to this practice of buying email databases from shady list-sellers, unaware of the damage that using these lists could do to their brands.

Using email data rental to build your own list

So, if buying an email database is generally a very bad idea, how can companies expand through email marketing? Renting a database means that a company only has access to that data for a limited period - after that, the list cannot continue to drive sales. For this reason, email data rental companies offer clients the option of growing their own database through the campaign. By sending recipients of email campaigns to microsites in which they can enter their details - the client gets to build a database of their own to which they can then send campaigns in the future.

18 Sep 2012 10:22

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