SalesForce has recently introduced JigSaw (a list provider) and integrated it into SF’s offerings, right beside integration with the various eMail Marketing companies (like Constant Contact and Vertical Response). Jigsaw was recently purchased by Salesforce for a mere USD$142 million. This InformationWeek article gives a nice overview.

You must ask yourself, how do eMail marketing companies view the contacts that come from these lists? Afterall, when you boil it down, it is still a 3rd party, bought list, and most reputable eMail marketing companies are very specific in saying that they do not want you to use bought lists. So, I asked around. Here are the responses I received:

Salesforce. My first chat session with them revealed some rather interesting stonewalling. First, I was told that most of the eMail marketing companies didn’t like Jigsaw and then I was cut off while formulating my next question. This could certainly have been a technical glitch, so I tried again. My second chat session moments later was a little more lengthly, but boiled down to the fact that if I was sending out an eMailing through these companies using Jigsaw contacts, it “should work.” Then was told that the companies would definitely accept the mailing using Jigsaw contacts.

Jigsaw. The rep at Jigsaw was very nice and tried very hard to answer my questions, but finally said I had to ask the eMail marketing companies themselves. So, I contacted some of the top ones either on the phone or via their chat and here is what each one told me.

Constant Contact. According to Constant Contact, you cannot send out any mailings using 3rd party lists. This includes Jigsaw lists as far as they are concerned.

Vertical Response. “VerticalResponse permits use of directly opted in mailing lists only. The use of purchased, rented, harvested or other 3rd party lists is prohibited,” according to their customer service and their Terms of Service agreement.

Mail Chimp. With Mail Chimp, their customer service said that if the contacts from the Jigsaw list specifically give you permission (they opt in), then it is OK, but otherwise, no.

iContact. You cannot use 3rd party lists at all.

Exact Target. When asked if I could send out a mailing using contacts, they said, “Unfortunately no. We require a direct opt in.”

Emma. No 3rd party contacts are allowed. They must specifically opt-in.

The rest of the reputable eMail marketing companies are likely going to tell you the same thing. They make this rule for two reasons, which are closely related: deliverability and fear of being labeled as SPAM.

Deliverability is the percentage of eMails that actually get delivered. If your eMail does not physically arrive in the recipient’s inbox, you can’t even begin the conversation with them. There are many factors that affect deliverability. The most important being clean, up-to-date lists, relevance, and sender reputation (Econsultancy “Email Marketing Census 2011” [2011]).  The higher the deliverability rate, the better your list, and the less likely the receiving server is going to block your messages, label them as SPAM and subsequently blacklist your domain.

So, there you have it. It is very nice to have this great list from Jigsaw integrated right into your account, and there are certainly some good uses for it. But be very aware that you are likely violating your agreement with your eMail marketing company by sending to that list through their service.