Worldata: E-mail lists continue CPM slide

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Worldata's 2007 List Price Index shows continued decreases in e-mail list prices, both business to business and business to consumer. Controlled-circulation business magazine list prices continue to rise while consumer magazines edged upward.

Worldata's quarterly index compares list prices for the given 12-month period. The index tracks price fluctuations by cost per thousand for lists in various categories and has become a barometer of the list industry.

"This year's winter list price index suggests e-mail pricing continues to decrease," said Ray Tesi, senior vice president of Worldata, Boca Raton, FL. "This reflects both the growth in the number of e-mail lists available and the issues surrounding the continued growth rate of spam within the inbox."

The lists evaluated are grouped into categories such as consumer book buyers, newsletters and business merchandise buyers.

"[The findings suggest that] list professionals need to help adjust the pricing to reflect the drop in performance within the e-mail channel," Mr. Tesi said. "To maintain the CPMs at an inflated rate only hurts the overall channel."

Overall, price per thousand (PPM) averages for January 2007 remain steady versus a year ago. Specific categories saw high increases or decreases.

Click here for graph.

"Newsletter pricing also decreased a significant amount, which may be a result of fewer active names being added to the various newsletter files, which is causing publishers to sell more master file names, which incorporate trials, expires and cancels as well," Mr. Tesi said.

Permission-based e-mail BTC had the largest price decrease of the period, falling $7/M. The lower pricing in the BTC e-mail category indicates that the number of BTC e-mail lists available for rental is also continuing to rise, forcing CPMs downward.

BTB e-mail lists fell $4/M but remained the most expensive list category, at $273/M.

The donors category retained the lowest overall pricing at $82/M, though that is an increase of $3/M over last year.

The largest price increases occurred with attendees/members and with databases/master files, both rising $5/M.

The heaviest percentage increase occurred in the attendees/members category, which rose 4.35 percent. This was followed by a 3.82 percent increase in databases/master files category. BTC e-mail had the largest percentage decrease, at 4.19 percent.

Click here for graph.

"Marketers need to push for the best CPMs possible for the various lists they plan on using," Mr. Tesi said. "They have the upper hand in the price negotiation now. And performance is hurting because of the spam issues, so marketers must focus on the most cost productive files that yield the best return on investment."

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