Summary: We often get the question "where can we buy or rent legitimate opt-in mailing lists?" Well, the short answer is: you can't. That is because, and this is very important, you can't transfer permission.
Originally posted 2008-07-01 07:04:26.
We often get the question “where can we buy or rent legitimate opt-in mailing lists?”
Well, the short answer is: you can’t.
That is because, and this is very important, you can’t transfer permission.
Saying that it is possible to transfer the permission to send someone email – they opt-in with me, I sell the list to you, so they have opted in with you – is like saying you can transfer permission to punch someone in the nose. If I tell you that it’s ok for you to punch me in the nose, you can’t let that guy over there take a swing at me. It’s just not ok.
“Ah,” you say, “but what about if you agree to my transferring that punch in the nose to someone else?”
Here’s the thing – yes, it is true that many “opt-in” lists are built with the recipients who have been added to the list checking a box saying “it is ok for third-party partners to send me email.”
I would go so far as to say that some truly double opt-in or confirmed opt-in lists have been built with the recipients checking “I want email from third-party partners.”
And maybe they even read that part.
And maybe it wasn’t even pre-checked and they affirmatively checked it.
But we all know that the odds of that are very slim.
But let’s, for the sake of argument, assume that you have the opportunity to buy or rent a fully 100% confirmed or double opt-in mailing list, where each and every person affirmatively checked a box that said “it’s ok to sell or rent my email address to someone else.”
And you are the someone else.
Now, you send an email to the 100,000 people on that mailing list.
Do they have any idea who you are?
Do they recognize your email?
Did they ask you to send them email?
Do they think that your email is spam?
Do they report your email as spam?
Does this make your email deliverability go down at all the places where you care about getting into the inbox?
Is it worth it?