Email List Rental – A Newbie Friendly Overview

I don’t blame anybody for being interested in email list rental. The appeal of buying or renting an email address from another marketer is totally obvious. If you’ve ever spent months fiddling around with WordPress so that your website looks “just right”, or built backlinks to your backlinks in order for a few people to see a squeeze page, you know that getting your offer in front of the right traffic can be a pain.

Life’s too short to put up with that mess, if there’s an alternative. And there is – driving tons of traffic with an email list rental means getting yourself – and most importantly your offer – in front of an audience that’s already more likely to read, subscribe, and buy from you. Who the hell wouldn’t want those kinds of results?

Well, it’s not as easy as it looks – ask the people who’ve lost their shirts trying to buy or rent email lists. I know plenty of intelligent people who’ve gotten toasted trying to take this shortcut, and it’s soured them on email list rental all together.

That’s why so many people say that email list rental is so full of scams… that “going natural” is the only way to do it. But things have been improving over the last 2 or 3 years. It’s much easier to find ethical email list rental that works. But there are a few things you should know before plunking down your dollars.

This guide is intended to be newbie friendly, but at the same time, we’re assuming that you’ve made your squeeze page and you’re looking to promote it.

The EXTREME Basics Of Email List Rental…

"But things have been improving over the last 2 or 3 years."

“But things have been improving over the last 2 or 3 years.”

You want a high quality free offer an a squeeze page that offers to give it to visitors in exchange for their email address. Then you’re going to rent a list – this is called a “solo ad” in the marketing world. You’re not buying unlimited rights to someone else’s email list. You’ll write a short email explaining your free offer and encouraging people to go grab it, and the list owner (sometimes called a “vendor”) will send it out to his subscribers, who have opted in to get messages from him.

So, where are you going to find this guy?

Get Feedback From Others!

Spend a little time on message boards or specialized list-building sites like Safe Swaps. Spend a little time looking at their statistics and feedback. One of the biggest mistakes people make with email list rental (or any other fact of business) is that the get TOO excited and rush into a situation with fistful of dollars waving about.

Go slowly. Comparison shop. Read feedback. Treat your purchases the same way you would in the real world instead of going into fantasy land and dreaming about your coming windfall.

Now, the major problem with feedback is that everybody doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about. There are plenty of newbies who will give a great review to a crappy service because they don’t know any better.

If you aren’t in a tight circle of people who can inform each other about the shady people, you’re going to run a bit of a risk.

Want to mitigate the risks of email list rental? Talk to the vendor.

Talk To Them.

Once you’ve got a handful of people that sound good on paper… spend a little time chatting them up.

Don’t worry about whether they’ve got a once in a lifetime deal that’s going to expire in ten minutes. The right person is WAY more important than the right dollar amount. Once you’re renting a responsive list, you can hit them with more offers and invest more money in them to scale up your success. So take your time.

It’s critical to know the kind of list they’ve got, how they made it, and the interests of the subscribers. Hopefully their interests aren’t “everything” – focused lists are usually the way to go.

And if somebody denies your offer because they don’t think it would be a good fit for them… well, that’s a sign they’re the right kind of guy. Save their name and come back to them later if you make something that’s up their alley.

There’s nothing stopping them from telling you a tale. So you’ve got to put on your due diligence hat and do a little research on who they are and what they do.

It’s not pretty, but it’s a lot more comfortable than the one marked “dunce”.

Generally, if you Google their names and their offers, you’ll find out how they drive traffic to their offers. The best people to rent an email list from are people who have sold a product themselves. That guarantees that at least a portion of the people on their mailing list understand value and have paid for a thing or two.

And yes, that’s setting the bar high. Anyway, let’s move on.

Timeframe Of Delivery?

You should also ask about the delivery of these clicks. Ask whether they’ll use the swipe you’ve prepared. Make sure that they don’t change it too much, or make it “blind copy”, transforming your offer into pure hype so that more people click on it. This doesn’t do anything but make people feel lied to.

You should also talk about *when* the clicks will be delivered. Don’t make any assumptions, because popular list vendors might be booked for a week or more in advance. Timeliness isn’t all important, but it’s important that everyone’s got the same expectations going in.

Try Them Out Yourself!

Try to sign on to any email list you plan on renting. You’ll be shocked at some of the abuse that marketers heap on their subscribers, especially in the internet marketing niche. You might purchase a solo ad only to find that your link is hidden, buried under intro links, PS links, and other junk.

And to make things even worse, your offer will only have a few hours to sink in, because they’ll send off 5 or 6 or 7 blasts a day. Obviously, you need to stand out. And everybody isn’t going to help you achieve that goal.

The only way you can know for sure is by signing on and getting a week or so of offers.

Check For Fakes?

Don’t just give the list vendor a direct link to your page. Get them to agree to use a tracking link through a service like or adtrackz gold. That way you can verify that the agreed to amount of clicks were delivered.

You can also verify stuff like the range of IP addresses, the countries your visitors come from, and the times that they visit your website.

Don’t Leave Money On The Table!

Now, unfortunately the process of statistical tracking isn’t always cut and dried. That’s because the same offer might convert more for some lists than others. But you have a general idea of the effectiveness of your advertisement before you plop down hundreds of dollars on a promotion!

Use Google Analytics and test your headlines, color choices, your offer’s art, and the overall look of the page. There isn’t a one size fits all solution, and sometimes ugly looking websites will convert the best.

You need a complete sales funnel that doesn’t leave money on the table. If someone signs up to your email list, immediately hit them with a cool AND really useful offer that’s related to the high-quality freebie you just gave them.

You should also give them one or two other offers in the days after getting your freebie. Basically, give yourself the best chance possible to recoup the costs of your email list rental.


  1. Hi Micah,

    This is one of the best explanations of what you need to do before throwing money at solo adverts.

    Next time I see this topic being discussed at the warrior forum I’ll try to remember and throw this link into the thread.

    Andrew Stark recently posted…The Power Of TenMy Profile

    1. Author

      Thanks so much for dropping a comment. I usually tell people that its better to do sloppy work than nothing at all, but buying solos is absolutely an area where you should take your time.

      I’m hoping in the future to make something talking about pricing OTO stuff in your funnel. Every aspect of it (the funnel for solos) has some interesting quirks that are worth thinking about.

      Thanks for stopping by – I bet most people interested in building a quality list would be better suited reading your site and memorizing it. 😉

  2. Hold on, an email list that I don’t have to make myself? Is it niche specific and how effective are these rental lists? I am very interested now and this might turn out to be exactly what I have been looking for since I got started online.

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