Purchasing Lists For The Freelance Illustrator

by ryan

Purchasing Lists/Contacts For The Freelance Illustrator & Artist


There’s a lot of commotion about the idea of purchasing lists and whether it’s ethical or if it works or not for Freelance Illustrators and Artists.

While I haven’t used a purchased lists in a long time, I can share with you my experiences using them when I first started freelancing as an Illustrator. There are people who detest the idea of purchasing lists and for valid reasons but I feel it’s a important topic to be educated about and it can be an effective self-promotion tool if not abused.

Here are a list of pros and cons and your top questions about Mailings lists answered:

Purchasing Mailing Lists For The Freelance Illustrator & Artist

1. What is a list and how can I use it for my Freelance Business?

A list is collection of contacts that you can build on your own or purchase from a company/agency that specializes in collecting contacts. When you purchase a list, you get access to a database of contacts. After filtering the list to contacts relevant to your industry, you can send out self promotional materials to your list and start building relationships with potential clients.

2. What are the pros of purchasing a mailing list?

It’s a good way to get in touch with potential clients especially for illustrators and artists who are just starting out and don’t have any contacts to begin with.

It’s easier and more efficient than searching through magazines for individual contacts.
It can lead to great opportunities and jobs.

3. What are the cons of purchasing a mailing list?

Can be costly. A yearly subscription can cost about $500 to $1000.
Using a purchased list to blast out emails is Impersonal. If a client is on a mailing list, most likely you are not the only one they are receiving mail from so don’t expect everyone to open your email and expect a low response rate (about 1% is common).

When sending out large amounts of email, expect some negativity- When you reach out to a large audience, there will always be some people who don’t appreciate the emails. Be sure you give them the option to opt out. Also, try not take it personal, clients get over hundreds of email a day so it can get annoying for them.

4. Where can I purchase a list?

There are several places you could buy lists from. Look for companies that update their database frequently and have lists that are specific to your industry. For example, if you are an illustrator, you may want to look for buyers in Editorial, advertising, In-house and etc..

Here are the some places that offer lists that I’m more familiar with:

5. How often should I send out emails?

Do an email promo when you have new work to show but no more than once a month.

6. How often should I send out mailers/postcards?

This depends on your budget. It’s a bit more pricier to send out mailers/postcards because of postage but 1 to 4 times a year is a good number.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any further questions or comments about purchasing a list for your freelance business, be sure to leave them below in the comment section.

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