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Where Do I Get My Email Lists?

By Karen Fegarty
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2004

"Where do I get my email lists?" A popular cry from nearly all of our customers. You have decided embark on an email campaign, but you need targeted addresses to contact. What do you do?

Do not buy lists? You perhaps have seen these? You know the ones, "Buy 10 million addresses for only $149". Using these lists will only have you labeled as a Spammer. These addresses are suspect, in fact, over 70% are bogus or duplicated, and the rest certainly have not asked to receive "your" message. Furthermore, software or ISP's are not made to handle the load of that many email address, much less the "in error" returns?

You could "rent" email lists from submission services, but these can be costly, usually 20 to 30 cents per email.

What do you do? Use these next 8 ideas to get the ideas flowing and build your own targeted list. Emails of customers who want to receive your message; potential customers that you can communicate with over and over.

1. Your Website - ask people to signup for your newsletter, guest book, ezine, contest. Don't forget to put this on every page. A free tool like EzlistZ ( can make this easy for you.

2. Direct Mail - Send out postcards to potential clients. On these ask people to not only visit your site, but sign up to receive valuable information, products etc. Companies like Web Card can help you with this. (

3. Telemarketing - Use telemarketing agents to contact your potential customers. Have them ask for email addresses. Give them a reason to do so. Perhaps a contest, coupons, free trial, information.

4. Use Brokers - Ask brokers or other sites with heavy traffic to post a signup for your information or service. Most will charge between 10 - 15 cents per email, but these are yours to keep.

5. Door-to-Door - One of our tourism customers found this quite effective - they hired students to go door to door asking for email addresses in return for information that they might be interested in.

6. Online Contest - Online contests are often a very effective way of getting email addresses. Make the email address a requirement of entry. There are a number of companies that will manage all aspects of your online contest. One is Raffle (

7. Bricks and Mortar - For those of you with physical stores, don't forget to ask for email addresses at every turn. Ask at checkout, send surveys, run contests etc.

8. Your Communication Material - Don't just put your URL on your communications. Ask people to go to your site and signup. Put this on business cards, order forms, survey forms and signature files.

There are many more techniques that will help you build your lists; hopefully these will get your ideas flowing. Although building a qualified list will take time, in the end this is the best, most cost effective and profitable route to take.

About the Author
Karen Fegarty is with MailWorkZ. MailWorkZ, ( is a leading producer of emarketing products and tools. Karen can be reached at