The Two Extremes of Email Marketing


A lot of businesses have completely the wrong end of the stick when it comes to email marketing.

They think email marketing means buying a list of names and blasting out promotions.

As this recent study by SoftwareAdvice shows, that type of email marketing just doesn’t work. B2B marketers rated email marketing to a bought or rented list as the third worst channel in terms of quality of leads.

It’s little wonder that many people think email marketing isn’t effective.

But look up at the top of the chart. The very best channel in terms of quality (and also #3 in terms of quantity): Email marketing to a “house list”.

In other words, emailing people who’ve given you permission to contact them. People who’ve opted in and appreciate what you’re sending.

And if you look at the lowest cost per lead. That’s email marketing to a house list too.

So why is it that so many people pour money into bought lists and get such a low ROI?

Two reasons I think.

Firstly, building a house list takes time. You have to get traffic to your site. You have to offer something of value to incentivise signups. You have to continue to deliver value over time to build your relationship with them.

Much easier to just buy a list. Well, apart from the fact it doesn’t work.

And secondly, no one makes money from a house list apart from you. So no one’s going to try to sell you on how great it is. Far more money to be made by vendors selling a quick fix.

But if you want to consistently generate high quality leads, building a rock solid house email list is the way to go.

About the Author

  • Ian Brodie

    Ian Brodie is the author of Email Persuasion, the Amazon #1 bestseller that shows business owners and professionals how to use email marketing to captivate and engage their audience, build authority and generate more sales. He was recently named as one of the "Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales" by Top Sales World magazine, and one of the "Top 25 Global Influencers in Sales and Sales and Sales Management" by OpenView Labs. picked him as one of their "Social Business Dream Team" and named his website as one of the "Resources of the Decade" for Professional Services Marketing.


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