Alan Spurgeon

eMail Marketing Lists

Considering buying an eMail list to boost your in-house database? It’s a common route taken by online marketers, but it needs careful thought….

email marketing serviceeMail Databases are considered a quick route to successful . There is no work involved in building the list. It can be bought in and setup in next to no time. So why not go out and buy a ready made list?


Here at Hedgehog Digital we have been working with eMail Marketing for ten years now. In a relatively new market, that’s a lot of dog years! A common service requested of our eMail Marketing department is to buy in a list on behalf of our clients and build a campaign around it. However, things are not that simple and we advise our clients to think very carefully about their objectives and what they can expect from a ‘bought in list’.

Types of eMail data lists

There are different sorts of lists which you can buy and some of them are not worth the effort of setting up and sending, let alone the cost of buying the eMail database.

The best eMail lists are without doubt the ones that you develop and nurture in house. These are lists grown from people that have requested to be communicated with. However, it is commonplace at Hedgehog to be asked for a list that a client can send to, perhaps because they do not have the time to build their own database, or the inclination to.


eMail lists vary considerably in cost. We have known eMail lists exchange hands for £1,000 per thousand names. Whilst this is rare, it tends to be because the list is very niche, reactive and well looked after.

The next rung of the eMail list ladder, is the proven and responsive list generated by buying habits. These lists can be purchased around the £500 per thousand mark. Although these lists have proven buying trends, be wary of the fact that unless what you are selling is related to their area of interest, the recipients are still unlikely to interact in volume with your message.

On the cheap end of the scale, £100-£250 per thousand addresses, you will find the bargain bucket eMail lists. These could be generated by surveys, or offers, but in our experience, you are unlikely to achieve a return on your investment with them. These recipients are likely to have exchanged their email address for a personal gain, like a freebie, or document, even a competition entry.

In summary, be cautious about paying out for eMail lists, and consider whether or not it may be worth investing in developing your own list – wouldn’t that be a more valuable asset to your business?

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