18 million email addresses ... what would you do?

37 replies
A client of mine owns a website that has organically built up 18 million email addresses over the past 8-10 years. There is lat long for each and we know what 'cause' each person has supported so there is some psychographic data there too.

How would you make money from this data?
#addresses #email #million
  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Give them what they want.

    I don't fully understand everything included in the second portion of what you're stating, so that's the best I have for now.

    Tom
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      organically built up 18 million email addresses over the past 8-10 years
      organically? As in "opt in" or as in "scraped"??? Should I guess?
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    If these 18 million haven't had recent contact from the website owner and indeed regular contact then many may no longer exist or forgotten about the site. Many may mark you as spam if you suddenly contact them. Are these 18 million in a autoresponder already?
    More questions than answers I'm afraid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
    I never - and I put strong emphasis on NEVER - send email to anyone who hasn't directly opted into my list. That's the only safe way. Years ago I bought or was given email lists guaranteed to convert, yada yada yada. I was blacklisted and spammed back and got into a hole I couldn't dig out of for a long time.

    If an address does not come from an opt-in form that YOU have control of, walk away. Now.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      There is no way of knowing the stats exactly, but it's been estimated that the average person gets a new email every 5 months.

      What would I do?

      Delete the list off my computer and begin building a list around a single niche topic by offering great value. I would then nurture the list and build the prospects desire to hear from me. It's how great businesses are built.

      Forget making money from 18 million names. Better yet, think of it as 18 million people you are soon going to alienate and offend.

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author owenlee
    If they are my opt in, i would surely be promoting something to them.

    But what makes me puzzle is that, does your client knows what to do with them? If not why build the list in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Addams
    Key question: Opt-In?

    If they opted in, you'd be foolish to delete the list; especially if it's taken a decade to build.

    More information is required.

    Tom
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  • Profile picture of the author ArticlePrince
    Send out an email asking what they need help with, provide the help. Do that 3-4 more times, then worry about making money with it.
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    if we use the 10 years as a benchmark, that is 5000 "opt-ins" per day

    And I am supposed to believe that??

    al
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      First post and he is asking how to monetize 18 MILLION emails.

      This guy is up to no good.
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  • Profile picture of the author TopTier Profits
    Well, first thing I'd do would be to CLEAN the list.

    If it's 10 years old, you are going to have tons of emails which are dead, no longer in use etc.

    Clean it before you even contemplate mailing it.

    Out of those 18 million emails, after you've cleaned and verified the data, you'll probably be left with only a fraction of actual mailable data.
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  • Profile picture of the author seoboyz01
    Were these emails built up as a result of product sales? And, have emails or newsletters been sent out regularly to this list? If so, then it could be seen as an active list. Once you have all the inactives cleaned off the list, you will just continue to maintain it by sending out emails regularly. I would not suggest trying to market to this list if it's long dead.
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  • the best way to leverage these e-mails without spamming is to run a re-targeting marketing campaign using the psychographic data and show facebook/twitter ads depending on their chosen charity with relevant lead generation articles on the site for each.

    no spam, yes m'am
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaolinsteve
    Originally Posted by flowspark View Post

    A client of mine owns a website that has organically built up 18 million email addresses over the past 8-10 years. There is lat long for each and we know what 'cause' each person has supported so there is some psychographic data there too.

    How would you make money from this data?
    I find that highly unlikely that client would have built that big of a list over 8-10 years and has not even thought of how to monetize it.

    Even if they did opt-in by choice (not scraped), why should they rely on you to help them if you're even asking the question?
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  • Profile picture of the author ninosem
    Hard to say, you need to give more informations..
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  • Profile picture of the author edusegzy1
    hopefully my email address is not among those 18 million. That is a lot of email addresses
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  • Profile picture of the author fxstay
    how the owner host emails ? i mean do they use any email subscription service ? or use own server ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Phil Wilkinson
    It sounds like the people on the list have joined for different offers or subjects, so this is one idea:

    1) Break down those offers or subjects into separate categories

    2) Have the person that owns this list create a training course on each the various categories; obviously one at a time.

    3) Email each segment (category) of that list, notifying them of a webinar the Expert (the list owner) is presenting on that subject.
    Your part in this is simply to ask him a series of predetermined questions. No pressure.

    4) Hold the webinar (1hour), cover three to four of the main points of interest on the particular subject, and then OFFER them a full-scale training course, conducted by the owner (of that list), because he is an expert on those subjects. At least, that is how those on that list perceive him, or why would they be on his list?

    The training course could sell for $97 to $197. Clearly, this part is very flexible.

    5) Expand on that by offering one-on-one coaching from the Expert, at a price starting at $497.

    6) As time allows, repeat the process for each segment/category.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tim_Carter
    Here is how to learn a good lesson. Get a bulk mailer, load them in and email them from your desktop. Then watch what happens.

    Just kidding. Don't do that. But you could guess what would happen. With the anti spam laws the way they are, I would only email my own properly gathered leads.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    18M does seem a tad bit far fetched.

    That's like 1.8 million leads per day.

    If they were opt in, the owner of the list would most likely be the best person if he or she actually generated them on their own.

    The list would only be effective with that particular niche that they opted in to.

    Most of them would be useless if the owner didn't develop and cultivate the list properly over the years building a relationship.

    This whole thing doesn't even sound right.

    Your client would be a multi millionaire even if he or she was a complete dummy with a list that size
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  • Profile picture of the author flowspark
    Thanks all for the responses. Yes I know it sounds a bit fishy but needing to be a little vague so as to not reveal my source. To answer some of your questions:

    - Yes, it is 18 million
    - Yes, 100% are opt in. 100% organic.
    - Each person filled in a form to state that they are supporting a cause. Animal rights stuff, political stuff,i like this, i don't like that etc etc. It goes wide and deep.
    - Some are definitely old, for sure, but it grows at around 200,000 a month, so some are recent.

    I am hearing that emails can be sold to some of the ad networks for custom audience advertising on FB and will get up to $8 CPM. This was one idea I had. Any others?

    Thanks @Phil W for genuine suggestions. Breaking down the emails into category will require some investment, and that is where the problem lies at the minute.
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    • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
      Originally Posted by flowspark View Post

      - Yes, it is 18 million
      - Yes, 100% are opt in. 100% organic.
      - Each person filled in a form to state that they are supporting a cause. Animal rights stuff, political stuff,i like this, i don't like that etc etc. It goes wide and deep.
      - Some are definitely old, for sure, but it grows at around 200,000 a month, so some are recent.
      That description plus your 8-10 year time frame narrows it down to ChipIn and Pledgie. But ChipIn went offline in 2013, leaving Pledgie.

      What's my grand prize?
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      • Send a survey to your list, and ask them what they want out of you. Some older ones that might not be used anymore can be spotted and are pretty obvious when you see them. any email addresses with @aol or @hotmail or @rocketmail, have a high chance of being dead email addresses. People rarely use those anymore
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        • And if your list still grows by 200,000 a month, i probably would have split my list up at some point, that way you can focus most of your time and energy on your recent opt-ins, since you're more likely to know what they want. And with that old list of 18 million you could filter through, see how many active optins you still have by how many respond to your survey and move on from there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by flowspark View Post

      I am hearing that emails can be sold to some of the ad networks for custom audience advertising on FB and will get up to $8 CPM. This was one idea I had. Any others?

      Flowspark,

      There are several points that some of us who have been in IM for a long time are trying to help you with - but you're not listening.

      It's why we're here on the forum and trying to assist when people post threads like yours. You're asking for suggestions and we're trying to give you our best thoughts on those questions you have.

      1- "Old and cold" leads (email addresses) are almost never responsive to offers, especially if they are not highly targeted to that offer.

      2- Scraped leads are not only not responsive, but they will turn many prospects and hosting providers against you at the peril of your business reputation and your email accounts.

      3- A large list like yours is never targeted to one market. By that, I mean that there were probably many, many different incentives for opt-in and those incentives are not the same. That matters because you have a large list of prospects that all expect different things. Your list can't be homogeneous (in terms of when they opted in, what they are looking for, what their incentive was to join, etc.) Trying to market to folks with widely varied interests rarely does anything but waste your advertising dollars.

      4- It is very easy to buy huge lists of email addresses online but extremely difficult to build the same size and legitimate opt-in lists. Typically, the difference is these million + lists of email addresses are scraped from the Internet without regard for market interest and then sold over and over again to unsuspecting and naive folks who think they will make money off them. "If only one in 10,000 buys my offer I will be a millionaire!" Experienced marketers will tell you it just never works like that.

      5- I am pretty confident I could go online right now, find a bunch of email lists for sale (3M here, 5M there, etc), purchase them for a couple of hundred dollars and have a larger "list" than you have. So why don't I do that? Exactly for the reasons mentioned above.

      You're telling posters to be "positive" . . . and what you're really saying is "tell me what I want to hear." Tell me how to make money with this list.

      In reality, what you do with the list is your business. You asked for suggestions and we are trying to help you steer clear of, at best, a huge waste of time and resources . . . and, at worst, a plan that will hurt your reputation, turn a lot of people against you, and get you in hot water with your account servicers.

      Good luck to you,

      Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author flowspark
      Originally Posted by JaniG View Post

      throw it in the trash and build my own email list. that's what i would do.
      Well that is super positive of you.
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      • Profile picture of the author Joel Young
        Originally Posted by flowspark View Post

        Well that is super positive of you.
        But he's right.
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  • Profile picture of the author newbieleoling
    Filter the list first.

    Send email with niche topic squeeze page. Maybe one for mmo niche, one weight lose niche and etc.

    This filter all the inactive and active subscribers and at the same time you get to group them to their interest. From there start building relationship and send offer to them. And you can sell as solo ads too. Should be very good money
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  • Profile picture of the author tdanz
    Hire a list management company like Leadiance. They are reliable for data protection and will send your list the best converting offers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carlos Stratton
    18,000,000 email addresses? Is that website Mashable.com or Forbes.com?
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    That's almost the population of New York or Florida!

    Go ahead and hit submit...what could go wrong?
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  • Profile picture of the author nivan
    I dont think it will work out
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    • Profile picture of the author RyanJohnson1
      clean the data and have it verified first. if the oldest partial is 10years old.
      i wouldnt be surprised if those 18 million addresses get chopped down to about 3 million or so names at that point its a little more manageable and you genuinely have more options, but until you do that first there is no real point going on to talk about the rest of it
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      • Profile picture of the author flowspark
        Originally Posted by RyanJohnson1 View Post

        clean the data and have it verified first. if the oldest partial is 10years old.
        i wouldnt be surprised if those 18 million addresses get chopped down to about 3 million or so names at that point its a little more manageable and you genuinely have more options, but until you do that first there is no real point going on to talk about the rest of it
        Agreed Ryan. And will just see what happens with the rest. Thanks Steve B, and all for comments. I am listening and not dismissive of anything, but I do think writing it off is a little uncreative. I'm pretty certain we can do some niche category stuff and hopefully some FB custom audience stuff.

        @dubdubdubnot ... sorry, not pledgie
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        • Profile picture of the author vip
          Flowspark,

          You have a mixture of advice here .. some good some not so good.

          Yes, it's old, however if it was optin, it's worth the effort in trying to resurrect a certain %.
          And these numbers are not unreasonable, however it sounds more like a coregistration generated lead to me.

          You'll need a team with a mailing platform that can properly engage this list.

          It shouldn't be treated like a good optin list for now though. It's too old.

          However, it's got some potential for sure, especially if the list has been emailed over these past few years.

          Most of it won't convert, but you can possibly resurrect a % that'll make it all worth it.

          Mark
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