>Maybe this has been asked before, but I didn't see it in recent >months. Has anyone tried direct e-mail to promote their business >and websites? I'm not talking about spamming names from a newsgroup, > but rather spending money on a good, pre-screened list.
I have been spammed MANY times by persons who thought they were "spending money on a good pre-screened list". Some of those persons lost their accounts, and none of them will ever sell anything to me. Any list you can BUY is probably not as "clean" as the seller wants you to think. Some of them think that if your email address appears in a newsgroup about widgets, you will be receptive to ads about widgets, and sell the list as "widget-loving people to send ads to". They fail to realize that you might hate widgets and be in a flame-war with widget lovers. Or that your post might have been crossposted to alt.widgets from alt.gizmos.
Check with Yahoo for mailing lists ... postmasterdirect.com is one site that collects email addresses from persons who are interested in a certain subject enough to want email about it. None of the legitimate list brokers sell their lists - you send them the ad, they send to the list from their servers. They charge .15-.35/message for this. Or check at listbot.com about buying ad space at the bottom of their messages (If you have a general interest site). Everyone knows that the ads pay for the service, so they tend to look at them more kindly than they would a spam.