Tempted to Buy an Email List? 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

Don't buy an email list

Doesn’t it sound nice that you could have thousands of new contacts added to your email list – within just one day? All you have to do is buy your email list. Just a little piece of advice before you do: DON’T DO IT (please note that I even wrote that in capital letters just to portray how important that advice is).

No matter how tempting it sounds to have a large email list without all the work and just with the swipe of a credit card, it’s bound to negatively affect your email marketing. Still tempted to try it?

I hereby take on the challenge to convince you not to turn to third party vendors; here are 4 reasons not to buy an email list.

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1. “Who are you?”

That’s what your recipients will ask you when they see your email. As the recipients never opted-in to receive your emails (there’s no such thing as a “purchased opt-in list”), they have absolutely no relationship to you. The number one rule in marketing is to know your subscribers, how else are you able to provide value to them? Instead, the unknown contacts on the opt-out list are most likely to send you straight to the spam folder and you are left with poor marketing performance, bad rates and a spam-mark.

2. Poor Quality

Even if you do everything right when creating and sending legit emails; all that work doesn’t matter if the list is of poor quality. You have no idea where these purchased contacts come from and the list might as well contain incomplete information and outdated components. Furthermore, other email marketers might have purchased the same list as you, meaning that the contacts’ inboxes are getting plagued by emails they never opted-in to receive in the first place. The aftereffect? Irritated subscribers and a bounce rate shooting through the roof.

3. Bad Deliverability

There are a number of factors that contributes to your sender reputation; an inconsistent volume of sent emails (one day you’re at 5 contacts, next day you have 10 000. Suspicious much?), too many unknown contacts, the number of spam complaints etc. As you might notice, a purchased list with a large volume of unknown email addresses is very much likely to activate these determining factors. Your low sender score has your IP address look like a cyber criminal which means that email providers put your emails through some serious email filtering.  If (or more like “when,” if you go through with this purchase) you then get blacklisted, it results in you being blocked from sending any emails at all. So much for trying to get your message across to a large mass, huh?

4. ESP Trouble

Perhaps you’re thinking about, or maybe you already are, using an email service provider (ESP) to streamline your marketing efforts. Go ahead, but you will soon see that many of them do not allow lists purchased from a third party. For example, eMarketeer are listed on the dnswl.org, meaning that it is expected to only send high-quality emails. ESP’s provide a service to you and will not risk their business ending up on a blacklist because of shady contact lists. So what happens? The ESP blocks you from using their servers and you can’t send any emails.

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So, a bought email list = email marketing failure. But how do we turn that failure into a marketing success?

The golden ticket is to have subscribers voluntarily give you their email addresses. The first step is to add an opt-in box to your website and be clear on why they should sign up for your emails. What’s in it for them? Next step, start creating stellar content and eventually you will see a growing email list. Because that’s the other thing, create high-quality content to make sure that the subscribers can’t resist opening your emails and stay away from the unsubscribe link. High open rates sound better than high bounce rates, am I right?

Of course, there are more tips and tricks you could try to grow your email list – read about them here.

Also, here you’ll find more information on the right way to send bulk emails, presented by Spamhaus.

With hopes of having convinced you to stay away from those “poor quality – spam danger  – email lists,” get going with your own unique one!

What’s your best tip on building an email list?

As Digital Marketing Manager, Josefine oversees strategies, production and processes for all content marketing efforts, including social media, email and blog. She also introduced videos into their content marketing strategy, in which she shares her best tips on different marketing topics.

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