Mail List Service Business

Overview Of Business Model
The key to running a successful mail list service is attaining and growing a number of targeted mail lists that you can make available to clients to increase the value and responsiveness of each direct e-mail campaign.

You gather income from the renting of the list based on how targeted and how big it is. You have choices in this business as to how involved you are in your clients’ marketing campaigns. You can rent the list and let them provide you with the communication they want sent out, or you can work with the client to develop the marketing message, deliver the personalized messages to the list, and provide tracking reports on the results. You can work with long-term clients to do A/B and other testing to increase the effectiveness of the campaigns. It depends on how much time you would like to commit to the business.

You can also develop a mail list online related to a particular topic. With this mail list you should not rent the list but certainly could accept advertising or sponsorship dollars. With opt-in mail lists, people join because they are interested in the topic of the mail list and are interested in receiving information related to that topic. Many of these opt-in mail lists are quite comprehensive— many have over 500,000 names on their list.

Skills Needed
Knowledge of online advertising techniques and e-mail capture is an asset to run this type of business. You will need experience in sorting, cleansing, and building lists using a database of some kind. You will need basic Web publishing skills to update your Web site and competent organizational skills.

Cost To Start This Business
You will have to pay for the design, development, and hosting of your Web site. If you do not own a computer, this obviously will have to be purchased. The database software to manage your lists, whether it is stored on a server or on your desktop, will be a necessary start-up expense. Estimated cost is $3,500 to $5,500 to start.

Number Of Employees Needed To Start
The number of employees needed to run this type of business is one dedicated individual, and you can start this venture from home while keeping your regular full-time job.

International Potential
This business has strong international potential, since targeted mailing is an important part of the marketing strategy for many businesses in all countries.

Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
The database and administration software you purchase to administer the mail lists should be researched and suitable to your level of operation. You should be available by phone for prospective and current clients to contact you. Concentrate on associating yourself with online marketing resource Web sites and remain current within your market when it comes to the effectiveness of your lists and pricing. The mail list services business is competitive.


Online Marketing Techniques

  • Develop a comprehensive link strategy. Get links to your site from appropriate Web sites, Web rings, directories, and related cybermalls.
  • Participate in newsgroups and discussion forums related to online advertising or the industries that your mail lists target.
  • Develop a sponsored listings campaign to bid on appropriate keyword phrases with the popular search engines.
  • Consider providing a reduction in fee when you include your click-able logo at the bottom of each of your clients’ outbound messages.
  • Launch a strategic banner advertising campaign on Web sites frequented by your target market.

Additional Income
You could generate additional income for your mail list by providing data mining reports and effectiveness tests on your lists and others. This additional service would add value to your online business.

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