Purchased Lists and ESPs
One thing almost every ESP delivery person has dealt with, at one time or another, is a customer complaining about being unable to send to a purchased list. Inevitably, the customer will say “But other-ESP lets us send to purchased lists, why won’t you?” I’ve heard this over and over from many different colleagues.
Of course, the customer is almost always leaving other-ESP because of poor delivery. They think changing ESPs will improve their delivery. The problem is delivery is often poor because the ESP lets customers send to purchased lists. Purchased lists usually perform poorly because many list sellers are not very conscientious about permission.
What ESPs don’t allow purchased lists?
ExactTarget / Salesforce Marketing Cloud
These are the big ESPs that drive the market and they don’t allow purchased lists. There’s a reason for this. ESPs that allow purchased lists don’t have great delivery. Their customers send a lot of unwanted and unsolicited email and it taints all the mail coming from their space. I’ve done work for a couple ESPs that that had all their client mail, even the permission stuff, going to bulk at places like Yahoo! and Gmail.
Purchased lists drive delivery problems.
What’s more, the ESP reps know when customers say other-esp lets us send to purchased list it may not be true. I’ve heard at least 3 or 4 of the above ESPs listed as allowing purchased lists. But they don’t. Sure, some customers can, and probably do, get away with purchasing lists and mail them off the ESP. But if they get caught they’re either disconnected or they’re told to stop sending to the purchased list.
Many ESPs prohibit the use of purchased address lists and for good reasons.
Note: if you’d like your ESP added to this list, please contact me (email or in the comments) with a link to your published no purchased lists policy and I’ll add you here.