In the article "Signs that an E-mail Deal Smells", Ken Magill shares a couple of warning signs that should make you wary of an e-mail list renting deal. Here they are:
- The sales person is pitching you from a Gmail account or has an e-mail address that doesn’t contain a version of his or her company’s name. Why would an executive from a legitimate vendor not have a company e-mail address?
- The vendor will not send messages on your behalf to the list they’re selling/renting. It’s an indication their servers may be blacklisted as sources of spam and they can’t get their e-mail into recipients’ inboxes.
- The prospecting pitch contains no physical address, or if it does, the address turns out to be a rented mailbox or a mail-forwarding service. A suite number that is too high to be an actual office address is an indication the rep is operating out of a rented mailbox. Also, it’s fairly easy to do a Google search on an address. If it’s a P.O. box, the box-rental company will appear in the results. In larger cities, Google Maps will return a photo of the address. Take a look at the neighborhood. Does it look like a place out of which a major data seller would operate?
- The company wants full payment up front. Anyone who has ever dealt with a contractor knows never to pay 100% up front. If things go bad you have no recourse. Half down is appropriate.
- The company’s Web site offers no identifiable details about its executive team, such as where they went to school or where they have worked.