List Rental: Great for Print, but not Email
Reputable email service providers don't let you use rented lists.
If you're using an email service provider, in all likelihood its terms of service prohibit sending to rented or purchased lists. If you are considering using one that does, you should reconsider. ESPs that allow you to send to rented or purchased email lists suffer from poor deliverability. Since the machine's IP address is shared across all customers, one customer's ill-gotten email list can poison the deliverability of all of their customers for whom they send mail. You don't want your mailing reputation to be blackened by the spammers who've also used this service.
Most email lists available for rental aren't of high quality.
You are likely to find the quality of the email list you rent will be poor. By being available for rent, the email addresses it contains have already complained about mail they've received from others who have accessed it. Email addresses that might have once had value have since been the subject of frequent spamming.
Your email deliverability and IP reputation will be harmed.
There are organizations dedicated to combatting email SPAM. They set up traps called honeypots, which are planted email addresses that, when harvested, identify the sender as a spammer. SPAM traps can be created as well to identify spammy activity using old and no longer valid email addresses. These old addresses turn into SPAM traps that stops that, instead of returning the hard bounce notice, accepts the message and reports the sender as a spammer.
If you rent a list, you have no way of knowing how often those email addresses have been emailed, whether they have been seeded to flag you as a spammer, or where they came from. Do you want to risk your email deliverability and the reputation of your IP address and your company? It can take you years to get your Sender Score up and rebuild your IP's sender reputation. the long-term consequences can be significant.
Print Lists Don't Suffer from the Same Stigmatization
For decades, renting lists has been a standard practice for use in direct mail. There is an entire industry dedicated to obtaining, preparing and renting lists from magazines, marketers, non-profit organizations and many other sources. We in fact source highly-targeted lists for our customers as a standard part of our direct response solutions.
Rented Lists for Direct Mail Is a Great Lead Acquisition Strategy
Many organizations, in the course of their business, compile lists. Think of magazine and newspaper subscriptions, credit agencies, etc. There are thousands of lists available for rental, i.e. permission to use, typically for one mailing only. Each list has its own supported set of filters (known as "selects" in the list business) to choose a subset of the list.
We Can Acquire a Combination of Lists with a Highly Refined List Select Strategy on Your Behalf
Business selects include location, type of business, yellow pages headings, major industry groups, professional categories (e.g. doctor, lawyer), Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, business size, number of employees, credit rating, annual revenue/sales, location type, phone and fax numbers, key executives/decision makers based on title selects, selects based on specific roles (e.g. marketing, finance, etc.).
Consumer selects include location (e.g. province or state, metropolitan area, city, county, postal or zip codes, area codes, distance from starting point), number/ages (adults), number/age range (children), household income, net worth ranking, homeowners/home value, number of credit cards, renters, address, phone number, one or all contact(s) per address, mail order history, mail order categories, vehicles: number, year, type and model, ethnicity guess, based on last name, new move-ins and newlyweds.