Are appended lists really purchased lists?
Earlier today I asked a couple of questions on Twitter:
- “How does one go about transferring permission?”
- “Why do marketers buy ‘opt-in’ lists?”
The first question did not get many answers. The consensus of those who took the time to respond was that permission might be transferred in an assets purchase. Beyond that, it would appear that people who follow my Twitter feed don’t think that permission is transferable.
The second question got a bit more discussion. Answers ranged from the serious (”
Because purchased lists fit the model that pre-Internet marketing used? I.e., opt-out — cold call — direct marketing?”) to the inane (“competitive drive to waste more money and accrue more blacklistings than the competition…”).
As I was considering the answers given, a new question formed itself in my mind: When discussing permission in messaging what is the difference between an appended list and a purchased list?
I suppose the most easily noticed difference between them is randomness. What is often referenced when discussing a “purchased list” is a list of names and/or addresses that have no prior connection a company. In theory, when an appended list is created, the names on the list have some form of connection to the company and then an append company is hired to try to get addresses matched to those names. But, is this not a form of buying addresses?
I cannot, however, disregard the fact at my fingertips: Appended lists drive complaints at almost the same levels as purchased lists. Appended lists gather the same type of complaints about lack of prior permission that purchased lists gather.
In fact, from an operational standpoint, I cannot tell much difference between them. So, dear reader, do you consider appended lists to be a form of purchased lists? Why or why not?