I am always amazed, that even in tough economic times, people insist on keeping up with the Joneses. That means buying the latest in fashion, state-of-the-art flat screens, innovative hybrid cars, or whatever latest and greatest tempting product is on the market. Some people simply have to have it all. They tend to have the attitude of “go big or go home.” But at the end of the day, what do you have? Probably just a bunch of stuff that has little meaning. Is that what you’ve been doing with your email database? Are you having a “go big or go home” moment where you believe you need to have thousands of email addresses in your database? If so, you may be missing the boat – namely, your target market. If we relate it back to “keeping up with the Joneses’” list above, most likely they didn’t need those latest, greatest goodies. However, I would argue that the innovative hybrid car was probably a good purchase. The same should hold true for your email marketing campaigns, when you collect and search for leads with email addresses. Buying a list with thousands of names probably isn’t the smartest use of your resources. First of all, these names may not want to be on your list and you risk being blackballed because of SPAM laws. But also, how do you know you’re targeting the right customers for your business? You could be putting a lot of effort into a list that has little ROI. Instead, create targeted email campaigns that help you develop quality leads. Offer real solutions to these quality leads. By giving them useful and relevant information, you’ll have a much more successful return.