Panel Speaker Questions Value of International E-Mail Lists

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NEW YORK -- While there are plenty of international e-mail lists on the market, there are few buyer names available and not much evidence of successful usage of such lists, according to one longtime international list professional.

The comments were part of a round-table discussion on international e-mail lists here yesterday at the 15th Annual Publisher's Multinational Direct Conference held at The New York Helmsley Hotel.

"I'm not high on e-mail lists," said Florence Leighton, senior vice president at Direct Media International, a division of Greenwich, CT-based list brokerage and management firm Direct Media Inc. "In the e-mail sector it's a little thin on the ground and we're all learning."

Most international e-mail names out there are simply registrants and many are probably not opted in for third-party e-mail, she added.

What's more, many of the international e-mail files cannot be segmented, and it is impossible to know whether the people on the file speak English.

Leighton did say that some of the business-to-business controlled circulation files at least have titles selectable. She said Internet Technology files have the most segmentation options right now.

Even so, there is not enough history to get an idea of how these files might perform for offers that are not free.

"If you're looking for money, it's not going to come from an e-mail campaign," Leighton said.

Furthermore, she said that despite what some may say, the costs involved are considerable. With an average base rate at $300 per thousand and transmission fees anywhere from $25/M to $100/M, that is a good deal of money for a campaign that is not likely to yield great response.

However, Leighton expects that as e-mail marketing evolves, marketers will have better international files to choose from.

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