Snipermail Sites Generate Names For Opt-In Email Lists
For Snipermail.com, the content isn't very rich and the company isn't getting rich selling banners, although it sells a few. Instead, the company uses its sites to collect names, which it sells as opt-in email lists to major advertisers.
The Boca Raton, FL company, less than two years old, owns 70 websites and uses all of them to generate names for opt-in email lists that number in the millions. One site, E-lectricity.com, has 3.7 million names. It was used recently by the Ford Motor Co. to sell Harley Davidson pick up trucks. The list worked wonders and the trucks sold out.
E-lectricity.com is a search engine site, but most of the Snipermail sites are sweepstakes sites, including Travelsweeps.com and Monstersweeps.com. Visitors flock to the sites to sign up for the sweeps. What they are really doing is registering to receive opt-in email, although sweeps prizes are actually given out.
To acquire names for its lists, Snipermail engages in a process called double verification. Users enter their names and email addresses the first time they visit a site, then receive an email from Snipermail that provides a hyperlink to return to the site to win prizes. Once they do, they fill out a questionnaire that provides additional personal information, including age, income, occupation and hobbies. The information enables Snipermail to create highly targeted lists. "If someone from Petworld wants females who make over $20,000 and own pets, we can do it," says Jeff Richman, Snipermail's owner.
Snipermail sells its lists to advertisers, often through list brokers like Venture Direct, the New York firm that manages the E-lectricity.com list. Venture Direct charges $225/m to rent the list.
While other companies may be able to sell the lists, they can't send email to them. That would be spamming, according to Richman. "They rent the list, but we do the blasting from here," he says, noting that Snipermail sends advertisers' email to its own lists.
Snipermail also sells its own lists, but uses traditional list brokers because "they bring in a lot of business," Richman says, "and it gives us time to create more data."
Snipermail's lists have been used by major companies, including Ford, AT&T and Sprint.
Snipermail generates names for its lists by buying databases from other sites, which send email to their names directing them to Snipermail sites. Snipermail can't buy the names and send email to them, because that would also be spamming, Richman says.
Richman claims he doesn't have much competition because some of the companies in the business don't own their own data and "end up renting it from companies like us." Individual sites and portals often sell their own lists. "But there are few opt-in email companies like us with many sites that own all the data."
And Snipermail owns lots of data. Its 70 sites have anywhere from 500,000 to five million names each. Richman says the company sends from 7 to 30 million emails a month.