Anatomy of an E-mail Data Card
By Hallie Mummert
Reading a data card for an e-mail address list is much easier than deciphering hieroglyphics, especially if you're familiar with data cards for postal address lists. Rather than reinvent the wheel, list managers use the same template for both list types to provide a uniform research tool for list brokers and marketers.
While the format may be familiar, you can't put your brain on auto-pilot when perusing potential e-mail list test options. Some irregularities exist that require your attention. Here is an analysis of the typical e-mail list data card to provide you with some research pointers.
Most lists will provide one count for the entire file, since individual breakouts aren't as prevalent with e-mail files as they are with postal lists. For those e-mail lists that do feature a breakout, the segments are usually domestic, Canadian or international.
Generally, compiled files that are based only on registries tend to offer more volume. E-mail lists that are composed of subscribers to a print vehicle or buyers of a product or service are usually smaller.
A base CPM is the norm, with rates running between $85/M and $375/M or more. Some marketers offer tier pricing for fund-raisers and non-affinity offers; these discounts might be as much as $20/M off the base price.
If tier pricing is not offered on an e-mail list data card, it can't hurt to ask anyway. Some list owners may be agreeable to negotiating a reasonable discount to help you make the list work for your product or service.
One interesting aspect of e-mail list pricing is the transmission fee. Some list owners/managers include the fee in the base CPM; others charge a separate transmission fee on a CPM basis. Generally, data cards for e-mail lists post the transmission CPM along with the base rate details—but this is not standard. You may find this pricing under the terms and conditions section or in the addressing section.