The perils of rented/bought lists

On LinkedIn’s Digital Marketing group, Karen Whitaker asked:

Can anyone recommend some inexpensive mailing software that offers full reporting (opens, clicks, forwards, soft and hard bounces, replies etc) that does allow purchased lists to be used?

Karen, if — and I repeat, IF — you can conclusively verify that the purchased lists are compiled using double opt-in with full disclosure you may — MAY — be able to convince a full service mail deployment provider to work with you. These would include ThinData ( ) or Cheetah Mail ( ).

Most self-service providers like MailChimp, Constant Contact and Vertical Response won’t work with purchased lists because most of those lists are not compiled according to the legal and ethical guidelines for our industry.

Self-serve providers don’t have a business model that allows them to work one-on-one to identify the rare exceptions to the rule, whereas the higher-cost full-service providers do.

All of which should be a caution against using bought or rented lists — they’re mostly crap.

As an alternative, I often recommend partnering with list owners — publishers, companies in adjacent verticals — and having them send messages to their fully qualified lists introducing you to their community. That way you’re doing true permission-based relationship marketing.