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The Traffic Avalanche: How To Buy Access to Someone Else’s Email List

I manage $300,000+ in monthly media spend for websites like Survival Life, DIY Ready and MakeUp Tutorials.

Roughly 1/3 of that spend goes to dedicated email drops like this one promoting an offer at Survival Life…

Dedicated Email Drop Example

These email drops send an avalanche of traffic to a low-dollar “Tripwire” style offer or a Lead Magnet squeeze page.

You can see the spikes of traffic we get when we drop these emails…

dedicated-email-drops-img3

Yep… email drops can send blasts of traffic to your website all at once.  (Make sure your server is ready ;))

This is a fantastic website traffic strategy to add to add to your arsenal if you’re using (or are unable to use) an ad network with a reputation for banning accounts or disapproving ads.

Before we get started let’s clear up a few questions you might have.

Dedicated Email Drops: The Basics

Q:  Why would someone sell me their email list?

A:  Great question.  And the answer is they aren’t selling you their email list.  They are selling you ACCESS to their email list.  They will send the email on your behalf and (ideally) will endorse you and your offer in that email.

Notice how Newsmax endorses Survival Life in this email to their list…

Dedicated Email Drops

You won’t receive the actual email addresses.  You give them money, they send an email to their list.

Q: How much does a dedicated email drop cost?

A: It depends on the list.  I’ve spent as little as $5 and as much as $40,000 on a single email drop.

Email drops are quoted on a Cost Per Thousand (CPM) basis and usually fall between $6 and $20 per thousand email addresses.

Q: Where do I find these email lists?

A: I’m glad you asked.  That’s what the rest of this article is about.  🙂

How to Find an Email List to Rent

I’ve found that doing the research myself is more effective than using a list broker.

It takes some elbow grease but, in the end, I end up with more clicks for less cost.

That said, you could use a service like…

… to find email lists and contact a broker that will consult with you.

But, if you want to do the research yourself and contact the list owner directly, I use three tools.

The first two tools are free browser plug-ins for Chrome…

Let’s say I want to find lists in the health and fitness space.

I go to Google and type in ‘health and fitness blog’ and find a blog called ‘Greatist’…

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I visit the site and check the top navigation and footer navigation looking to see if they advertise…

Nothing in the top navigation but when I get to the footer, I find it…

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They have a number of advertising options including Newsletter Sponsorship which may or may not mean they’ll allow a dedicated email.  It’s definitely worth reaching out to get the details…

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I could reach out to Greatist and be done with it — but I’m going to take it a step further.

I click on the Google Similar Pages or Similar Sites extension in Chrome and find a number of sites like this one that allow me to explore further and find more potential places to buy email drops.

I see a site that looks promising in Google Similar Pages called ‘ideafit.com’…

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And good news when I visit their site, I find another possible dedicated email opportunity…

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I reach out to Idea Fit and and repeat the process until I’ve reached out to 5 to 10 possible lists.

But, when I want to do some serious research…

… I turn to a paid tool like What Runs Where.

Ok, so What Runs Where isn’t cheap but the data in there can be very useful if you are doing a lot of media buying.

That said, What Runs Where is an optional tool — you can get this done with the free browser plug-ins above.

Let’s repeat the process above using this paid tool.

I go to Google and type in ‘health and fitness blog’ and find a blog called ‘Greatist’…

ded-emails-img7

I visit the site and check the top navigation and footer navigation looking to see if they advertise…

Nothing in the top navigation but when I get to the footer, I find it…

ded-emails-img8a

They have a number of advertising options including Newsletter Sponsorship which may or may not mean they’ll allow a dedicated email.  It’s definitely worth reaching out to them to get the details…

ded-emails-img9

I could reach out to Greatist and be done with it — but I’m going to take it a step further.

I go to What Runs Where and put greatist.com into the “By advertiser” tab…

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I then select “Category Publishers” in the left navigation and find other publishers like trails.com…

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Perhaps I should be advertising with trails.com too.

I head over to trails.com and find their advertising information…

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I contact trails.com and then repeat the process until I have a good list of potential publishers.

What Runs Where makes this process very simple.  They show me exactly where my competitors are buying advertising and media.

Ok, now that I’m finding some advertising options, it’s time to get organized.

How to Make a Dedicated Email Plan

As I’m finding possible vendors to buy email drops from, I add them to a spreadsheet that I call my Dedicated Email Planner.

It’s looks like this…

dedicated-email-drops-img1

[NOTE TO DM LAB MEMBERS:  There is a downloadable version of the Dedicated Email Planner (and a video showing you how to use it) in the Traffic Avalanche Execution Plan that can be accessed here if you are a member of Digital Marketer Lab.  This spreadsheet will automate the metrics calculations I will detail below]

The full list of columns in the Dedicated Email Planner are (in order):

  • List Name
  • URL
  • Contact Name
  • Email
  • List Cost
  • # of Subscribers
  • Open Rate (Estimated)
  • Click-Through Rate (Estimated)
  • Cost Per Click (Estimated)
  • Landing Page Conversion Rate (Estimated)
  • Cost Per Lead/ Cost Per Acquisition (Estimated)

The first four columns of The Dedicated Email Planner will keep you organized as you do your research.

The rest of the columns will help you decide if you should buy access to an email list based on the most important metric…

  • Cost Per Lead (CPL)
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

You’ll calculate the former if you’re sending clicks to a Lead Magnet opt-in and the latter if you’re sending clicks to a sales page.

Ok, now it’s time for a bit of simple math…

Dedicated Email Drops: Calculating the Metrics

Don’t worry, this really is simple math.

But doing these calculations is important because it will help you choose the right list to rent for your email drop.

We start by getting the…

  • List Cost
  • # of Subscribers
  • Open Rate
  • and Click-Through Rate

… from the vendor so we can calculate the Cost Per Click.

For example, an email list of…

  • 100,000 subscribers…
  • that costs $1,500 to rent ($15 CPM)…
  • with an estimated 15% Open Rate…
  • and an estimated 16% Click-Through Rate

… will yield an estimated 2,400 clicks to your offer or Lead Magnet opt-in page.

$1,500 clicks / 2,400 clicks = $.62 Cost Per Click

$.62 clicks… not too shabby.

Let’s assume you are sending clicks to a Lead Magnet offer that is converting at 40%.

2,400 clicks * 40% opt-in rate = 960 Leads

From there you’ll estimate the cost per lead (CPL)…

$1,500 List Cost / 960 Leads = $1.56 Cost Per Lead (CPL)

And there you have it.  Run that same set of calculations on all the prospective email list vendors in your Dedicated Email Planner.

It’s a great feeling to find an email list that can send an avalanche of traffic for the right price.

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