Measurable Email Marketing – email lists

Email Marketing Prospecting – Email Lists

McCarthy & King Marketing is a Massachusetts direct response marketing agency helping companies create and develop email marketing campaigns for lead generation prospecting.  On this page, we focus on email lists you can rent or buy.

Renting email lists

Just as with direct mail, the email list is the single most important part of your email marketing campaign.[break][break]It’s just common sense, isn’t it?  If you’re not reaching the right people, nothing else matters. [break][break]But finding the right people – the right email list – is not that easy.  Not if you want to do it right.[break][break]You can always order a list and hope for the best.  Or you can follow the process outlined below.

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To discuss a campaign or get a quote, call Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643.


Start with a customer profile

Before you start looking for email lists, paint a picture of the people you’re trying to reach.  In other words, develop a customer profile.

A customer profile is a formalized way to describe your best customer.

This is done with demographic and behavioral characteristics.

Demographic characteristics

When targeting other businesses, your demographic characteristics will include industry (or SIC code), company size (by sales volume or number of employees), decision-maker (by job title or function) and location (by zip code).

Demographics for individuals (consumers) will include age, income, gender, family size, owner of pets, car ownership, home ownership and much more.

Demographic characteristics provide a good snapshot of your target audience but they dont’ tell you anything of interests, preferences or experiences.  For that you need to look at behavorial characteristics.

Behavorial characteristics

All of us – both at work and in our personal lives – demonstrate our interest in certain things by our actions.

We join clubs, subscribe to magazines, buy certain products, donate to favorite charities, attend conferences and trade shows, and belong to our choice of political parties.

These actions demonstrate our behavorial characteristics.


Compiled Lists vs. Response Lists

Once you have completed your customer profile, you can start to explore list possibilities.

If you target audience is best decscribed through demographic characteristics, it may be best to search Compiled Lists.  Just as the name suggests, these are lists that have been “compiled” from various public directories and other sources.

But if you’ve identified important behavioral characteristics, you may want to look at the Response Lists.  Response Lists are subscriber lists, membership lists, customer lists, donor lists and voter registrations lists that you can access to reach your target audience.

Response Lists are generally considered better than Compiled Lists – and as a result, are more expensive.

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How email lists work

Email list owners are very protective of their lists.

Unlike direct mail lists that are delivered to you or a mail house, most email list companies never release their lists.  Instead, you send them your creative and they will deploy the email for you.

This is a good practice for list renters because it protects them from any spam reports that might occur.  The list owner is responsible maintaining spam-free lists.

Not only that, but if you had a list, how would you mail it?  Almost all of email service providers prohibit the use of third-party lists when building your list.


Get started or learn more

So what’s your next step?  If you’re close to making a move, we’d love to talk.  Call Bob McCarthy at 508-473-8643 or send him an email at

If you’re not there yet, let’s stay in touch.  Please join our mailing list and get all of our updates and articles.

Of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call.