Can I add email to a mailing list?

The question that we get asked a lot is: “Can I add email to a mailing list?

The answer is: Yes, and No. How’s that for straightforward? Just kidding! Let me explain.

Here’s the reason. There isn’t an email vendor who has every single person’s email address on a list. Over the years, our list brokers have narrowed down the good email vendors from the… well, let’s just say from the guys who sell email addresses out of the trunk of their cars. And the really good ones tend to specialize in certain things. For example, some may have people who have opted in for more information about cars, and other may be interested in home decorating. You get the idea.

The more specialized the list, the less likely it is that the vendor will give out the actual email addresses.

In reality, there are three things we can do:

1. We send out your html email message to your targeted group through our opt-in email vendor, and we give you a tracking report that shows how many people opened the email, clicked on the links and which links they clicked on.

2. You give us your list of customers and prospects, and we see how many opt-in emails we have that match your list. We will need names and full mailing addresses in order to do the match. Then our vendor sends out what is called a Permission Pass, where they send an email to your list and say, “Dear [name], Such-and-such business would like to send you an email.”

You are later given your list back with the relevant matching email addresses.

3. There are times when we can sell you a list of names, mailing addresses and email addresses. Please note that this is not cheap. We are not the kind of firm that sells a million names for $99. This type of list is obviously very sensitive and it depends on several factors, such as the type of business you are in and your offer. These lists, by the way, all have a time and date stamp when the person opted in as well as their IP address. It is your responsibility to follow all the rules of Can-Spam. If you need to learn these rules, we can show you where to find more information.

So, now you can see why we answer the way we do when someone asks, “Can I add email to a mailing list?” It’s complicated!