purchased_email_list1.jpgIt’s always important to ensure your email list is adding value to your business, but it’s especially critical when you pay for an email list. If you don’t, you run the risk of investing in a marketing asset that doesn’t bring you a sufficient return.

Not sure if you’re getting the most out of a purchased email list you’ve recently bought? If you have seen one or more of the below signs, there’s a chance that you need to re-examine your list and make sure it’s right for your needs.

1) Low open and click-through rates (CTR)

While it can be hard to set an acceptable number for open and click-through rates, you should generally be aiming for an open rate between 5% and 15% and a CTR between 0.5% to 1%. If your numbers are lower than these two benchmarks, it could be a sign that your list isn’t working.

2) People tell you your emails are going into their junk folder

Have people been missing your emails more often than usual because they are showing up in spam folders? It’s possible that some recipients have been marking your email correspondence as spam, which is a sign that the people you are sending emails to are not a good target audience for your offering.

3) Your list has web-based addresses on it

Sending to domains like AOL.com, Yahoo.com or even Gmail.com is risky, because these are usually personal addresses. People usually don’t want to receive commercial correspondence at an email address that they use only to keep in touch with friends and family. If you notice that a list you’ve bought has an excessive amount of these addresses in it, ask your vendor to explain why.

4) Your website traffic is flat

One of the main goals of any email campaign is to boost website traffic. If you’ve been including a link to your website in your email correspondence for a while yet you haven’t noticed any kind of spike in traffic, it’s a sign that your list might not be performing as well as it could be.

5) Landing page conversion rates are unsatisfactory

Many email campaigns are designed to funnel visitors to a landing page to get them to perform a specific conversion action: sign up for a mailing list, become a fan on social media, etc. If you’ve isolated traffic from your landing page and have noticed that you aren’t converting well even after launching an email campaign, it may be a problem with your list. According to WordStream, you should be aiming for a conversion rate of at least 5% – the top 10% of marketers convert at nearly 11.5%.

Bonus warning sign: your vendor isn’t transparent about list performance

An email list vendor who is confident in their offering will have no problem giving you insight into the historical performance of their lists. This includes metrics like opt-ins, opt-outs, CTR, bounce rates, and so on. If your vendor doesn’t give you this report or tries to send a PDF with rudimentary information, the list they are trying to sell you may not perform well.

Even if you have experienced more than one of the signs on this list, it doesn’t definitively mean that your list is underperforming. To truly know whether or not your list is working, you must actively manage it and closely monitor the performance of the campaign you launch with it.

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