Summer List Price Index shows e-mail faltering, others stable

Worldata’s Summer List Price Index shows that list prices, for the most part, are leveling out after alarming drops over the past few quarters. While still much lower than last Summer’s prices, this Summer’s are largely holding steady compared to last quarter.

“We’ve seen a precipitous drop in prices over the last few quarters, and this quarter everything seems to have stabilized so perhaps we have found a bottom in terms of list rental pricing,” said Jay Schwedelson, corporate VP of Worldata.

In spite of the general stability in the list market, e-mail list prices continue to be hit hard: consumer e-mail prices continued a multi-quarter downward spiral, showing the largest price decrease ($50/M) from last year. Permission-based e-mail b-to-b lists posted the second-largest price decrease, with a drop of $11/M year over year. Even permission-based international e-mail — a high-priced category, at $404/M — showed a slight, $3/M decrease from last quarter, in spite of holding steady throughout most of the past year.

“We believe that consumer e-mail has really dropped significantly because consumer e-mails have had a very hard time generating strong response rates,” Schwedelson said. “There’s been a huge flood of new data sources that have come on to the market, and a lot of the e-mail sources are coming in at much lower prices than the source that predated them.” He added that he was surprised b-to-b e-mail lists hadn’t dropped more.  

On the other side of the spectrum, newsletters saw the biggest gains, posting a $7/M increase from last Summer for an average price of $170/M. Public sector also showed some gains, with Summer 2009 average prices rising $4/M to $174/M. Donors, too, saw prices rise (by $1/M), but remain the lowest-priced category, at an average list price of $84/M. Somewhere in the middle was the Attendees/Members category, which held steady at $128/M.

Schwedelson said he expects these last two to become more valued as the economy continues to drive down event attendance and charitable giving.  

“Those people that are still attending events are that much more qualified, so we expect those names to become of greater value,” he explained. “The same thing can be said of donors on the consumer side because more people have less money, and nonprofits are having a harder time generating contributions. Those that continue to donate are going to be more sought-after because it’s a self-selecting universe of very active donors and perhaps affluent individuals.”

Schwedelson also said he anticipates more prospecting from marketers, now that list prices are stabilizing.

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