List Rental Prices Down, Use of International Lists Rises

October 9, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Data-driven | Email | Personalization

Prices of list rentals are declining across the board and – for the first time ever – show a downward trend in every B2C and B2B category tracked, according to Worldata’s Fall 2008 List Price Index.


Permission-based email B2B, while still the highest-priced category, shows the largest price decrease from last year. The second-largest price decrease occurred in permission-based email B2C lists, which also saw the largest percent decrease from 2007.

International Lists
US-based companies are increasingly using international B2B email lists to grow out-of-country market share. For the first time, Worldata released this pricing data, which shows a Q4 increase in the use of international lists for direct marketing. This shift is driving the price of international B2B permission-based email to an average of $420/M, significantly higher than domestic list pricing, according to Worldata.

Channel Usage
There is strong usage in technology, small/medium business, and HR channels of the B2B category, as B2B marketers take advantage of attractive pricing.

For the fourth consecutive quarter, Worldata also released its cost-per-lead data findings. The categories tracked include cost-per-lead consumer and B2B programs and white-paper syndication programs:

  • Cost-per-lead consumer programs averaged $1.15 per lead, a 4.17% decrease from last quarter.
  • Cost-per-lead B2B programs averaged $4.80 per lead, a 2.4% decrease from last quarter.
  • White paper syndication cost-per-lead programs showed an average of $12.50 per download, a 3.85% decrease.

The comparison of lists in the fall 2008 Index with the Fall 2007 Index reveals significant variations in both individual categories and media types.

Overall, PPM averages for October 2008 decreased from October 2007. However, specific groups within categories demonstrated more significant declines:

  • Permission-based email B2B is the highest priced category, with an October 2008 straight average price of $293/M, a decrease of $12/M from last year.


  • Public sector and newsletters are both the second-highest-priced categories, with October 2008 straight average prices of $174/M and $165/M respectively. Public sector decreased $1/M from last year and newsletters decreased $10/M.

In terms of precise dollar amount that the average price for each category has changed within the specified 12-month period:

  • The largest price decrease occurred in the permission-based email B2B, which dropped $12/M from the previous year. The second largest price decrease occurred in the permission-based email B2C lists, which dropped $11/M from the previous year.


  • The lowest price decreases occurred with attendees/members, consumer book buyers and public sector, each dropping $1/M from last year.

In terms of straight average percent dollar change:

  • Permission-based email B2C reflects the largest percent decrease at 6.83%.
  • There was a 5.71% decrease in newsletters.
  • The lowest percentage decrease occurred in the public-sector category with a 0.57% decrease.
  • There was a 0.76% decrease in the attendees/members category.

It is likely this downward trend in list prices will continue for the next quarter or two, until the US economy is stabilized, Worldata said.

About the data: The Index, which is reported quarterly and provides a comparison of list prices during any given 12-month period, tracks price fluctuations as cost per thousand (CPM) for lists in various categories. The most recent Index reflects price variations from October 2007 to October 2008. The lists evaluated are grouped into categories, such as consumer book buyers, newsletters and business merchandise buyers. Information such as average price, lowest list price, highest list price and exact dollarcChange are reported.

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