Should You Rent/Sell Your E-mail List?

e-mail list

If you’ve been following my advice on these pages, then you probably have been busy working to build yourself an e-mail list. If you haven’t done so, please do consider building one as soon as possible since this is likely to be the surest way for you to make money from your website. Now, assuming that you do have a list, the question of whether or not to sell or rent your list to someone else will inevitably turn up. Here’s what you need to know:

Renting an E-Mail List

There are several ways to create a mailing list for your business. The very best way to go about doing so is to build one from scratch, by getting people to sign up at your website for your newsletter or other free product. However, it is also possible to take a shortcut, where you find someone else who happens to have already done the hard work of building the list and simply rent the list from them.

How This Works

The way it works is that you would pay for the right to send out a certain number of e-mails to the person’s list so that you can try to recruit these people as your own customers. This is a popular way of doing things because it means that you can find someone else who sells products similar to your own and thus build an instant customer base from their customers.

If You Have Your Own List

Now, if you happen to have your own e-mail list and are interested in selling it and or renting it to others, then there are a number of considerations to think about before you agree to do so:

Your List is an Asset

Your e-mail list, which you worked hard to build is an asset. If you overload your potential customers with lots of junk e-mails, including from people who rent the list from you, then you run the risk of turning off your customers and getting them to walk away from your e-mail list altogether. Thus you should think of your e-mail list as an asset, to be used carefully and sparingly.

How Will You Get Paid?

Another big consideration when you consider renting or selling your list to someone else is how you will be paid. There are two basic options here. The simplest is to offer a specific number of times that someone can send out e-mails to your mailing list (you would use your own e-mail server so that you aren’t handing over your list permanently to someone else) in exchange for a set fee.

However, it’s also possible to make money as a JV (joint venture). In essence this means that you actually endorse the product that the person wants to sell to your e-mail list and you take a percentage of the sales. This potentially can be a more lucrative option, though you do need to be careful to vet the products so that you don’t end up endorsing something that you will later regret endorsing.

Rent or Sell

Finally, you need to decide whether to rent or sell your list. In essence, the difference is that when you rent the list, you are granting someone else the right to send out an e-mail one time or a specific number of times to your list. When you sell the list, you are granting them unlimited permission. Personally, I suggest renting rather than selling.

List Brokers

It’s also useful to mention here that there are a number of companies called list brokers who will happily arrange to rent your list on your behalf in exchange for a percentage of what you earn. Think of it as being kind of like a real estate agent for mailing lists. The good part is that you are able to potentially make more money (since they have more clients interested). The bad news of course is that you need to give them a share of the pie.