One of the great benefits of e-mail list rental marketing has to do with four simple letters: from. Unlike its older, much more expensive cousin, direct mail, e-mail can afford the advertiser the luxury of reaching prospects with a greeting from the respective list owner. Even if only through the use of the simple “From line” – the end user can immediately recognize the sender of the e-mail and thus greatly increase the likelihood of opening and then reading the e-mail.
Other forms of media offer similar types of implied endorsement – such as package insert programs, content-integrated magazine advertising, radio personality sponsored ads, etc. However, e-mail uniquely offers a one-to-one marketing vehicle that can be executed swiftly, void of off-line production lead time, and comparatively low cost. There are generally three types of e-mail list rental programs available today.
Integrated, co-branded e-mail. In this example, the list owner communicates directly with the list and integrates the partner or sponsor message into their content. This can be the most valuable form of e-mail advertising. However, it can be very expensive (dependent upon the real estate provided), time intensive (custom-negotiation between both parties – advertiser and list owner) and typically limited to a handful of list owners within any respective market or industry.
Wrapped or subtly co-branded e-mail. Here, the list owner is present in the From line and in many cases provides a lead-in for the advertiser (typically ranging from several words up to a paragraph or two of text). This is often the most ideal form of e-mail list rental marketing from an ROI perspective. The advertiser is introduced to the prospective audience as a partner and enjoys the implied endorsement. Even if the list owner grants the advertiser 100% of the e-mail body and merely populates the From line – the advertiser is riding along within an e-mail delivery from an entity that the recipient trusts and has a relationship with.
Third party e-mail. Unlike the examples above, third party e-mail list rental does not involve a message from a specific list owner to their customer list with a message from a partner advertiser. Rather, the advertiser is renting access to a database of e-mail addresses and becomes the “sender” of the e-mail. The advertiser owns the FROM line, the corresponding subject line and e-mail body. Absent of the endorsement benefit, third party e-mail list rental typically allows for database selectivity – often unavailable by individual list owners.
When evaluating e-mail list rental options, it is extremely important to consider implied endorsement benefits. In many cases, list owners are willing to add or customize their introduction greeting creative if asked by the advertiser. And, since many owners of e-mail lists are still in “beta” mode – they are willing to consider multiple options that will improve their advertiser’s ROI – leading to continuation rental income.