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How much is a list of email addresses worth?




10:55 am on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

We held a competitition to give away a free product a few weeks ago.

An online retailer (unrelated) now sells this product for 50. We have offered to sell our list of email addresses (approximately 1500).

Any idea how much this data is worth?

I was thinking 10p/name. Is that reasonable?


12:03 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

>have offered to sell our list of email addresses

njlowrie, did you have a written statement of privacy policy available when you collected those email addresses? Did you inform those who signed up that their email addresses would be available for sale or distribution to others, or did your privacy statement declare that their addresses would not be sold or distributed? Did you get their permission to sell or distribute the email addresses?

>Any idea how much this data is worth?

I do not know what the exact legal precedents are geographically, or what state or country is involved, but it could turn out to be a very costly proposition for you to distrubute the addresses if you have not received specific permission to sell or further distribute people's email addresses.

Of course, we're not legal experts here, but some states have very stringent laws related to what's called "permission marketing," as well as those by numerous web hosts who will cancel subscriber accounts of those who send out unsolicited email.

We cannot advise you on the worth, but we can certainly advise you to check with your local authorities regarding the regulations concerning sending unlsolicited email to those who have not given specific permission to do so.


12:22 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

In line with what Marcia has said - if the list is going to be used for spam then consider it a liability.


12:26 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

Participants in the competition were asked if they would mind having their details passed onto third parties. The 1500 only includes those who allow us to do so.

Legalities aside, how much is such a list worth?


1:45 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

In the off-line world, cost-per-contact varies wildly with a number of factors, ie how "clean" the record is (how long since it was confirmed) and what other details you get (phone number, job title, address, company size, company activity)

The more specific, and detailed a record is, the more it costs. For good, clean data, you can pay as much as 1/record. If you are just selling an e-mail address, 10p/name is probably fair if that's all the information you are selling. Have you checked the addresses to ensure they actually work?

cyril kearney

2:22 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Any list that is truly an "opt-in" list can be valuable. By "opt-in" I mean that the user has had an option to accept or decline further advertising.

Gernerally the best are of email addresses that bought something within the last 30 days. Usually ten thousand names are the minimum to be handled by a list broker.

A good list of current buyer can be rented five or six times a month. Ten to fifty dollars a thousand (before broker's fees) for a single use is possible for a good quality list.

Smaller lists that are targeted to decision makers can to be rented too. So a list of 1500 CIO's of larger companies might be rentable also. Here the source might be a newsletter. More often than not ads would be sold in the newsletter but occassionally the list might be rented to an advertiser.

In Direct Mail this is called working the back-end and some direct mail campaigns make as much profit on the mailing list as they do on the sales. Again only current buyer's addresses are rented.


2:47 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

Any idea where I can find such brokers?


6:22 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

>where I can find such brokers?

They'd be found at a search engine by looking under list brokers.


6:43 pm on Sep 24, 2001 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member macguru is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Once I listened to one of my friends, I lost the little confidence in all opt in lists. He got SPAM from hell since he opted in from a very reputable company. It not only what the company is stating in written in privacy stuff, it's how much control this company haves on "partners".

He just happended to check the opt in case when doing an adress change. Since then, it is a flood of very low level SPAM he receives on a corporate e-mail. Very embarassing.

We suspect one of theyre partners to leak stuff to nameless and greased sphincters. Still have to gather enought tracks.

To answer, opt-in list are decreasing in value, so do results from them.

cyril kearney

3:31 am on Sep 25, 2001 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One of the functions to discuss with a list broker is to have your list 'seeded'. EMail addresses are added to a rented list that will point directly to whoever rented the list if he uses it more than once or if it is stolen.

List renters are required to post a bond on very valuable lists. The renter can be held liable for any misuse.

List that originate as current buyers of a site through a broker are generally better guarded. The represent a portion of the customer list of a company.


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