Why you shouldn’t buy an email list

Why you shouldn’t buy an email list
June 9, 2016 Madeleine Helme

You want to send your marketing emails out to as many people as possible so that you can generate more leads, drive more engagement and make more sales. The problem is that collecting emails from people takes a lot of time and effort. So, why not just buy a whole bunch of email addresses from the internet? Well, this blog is going to tell you why you definitely shouldn’t be doing this, and why permission-based emails are the way to go.

It can be tempting to save time spent building your email list the honest way by buying thousands of email addresses in a single click, but a number of problems arise from this. Here are some of the key reasons why you should not buy email addresses.

They didn’t opt in

The people and businesses you are sending your emails to didn’t opt in to receive them. This will greatly reduce the effectiveness of your campaigns. These people aren’t necessarily interested in your brand and might not have even heard of you. When you receive an email from an unknown brand, do you respond well to it, or is it really annoying? Our response is usually to delete, unsubscribe or mark as spam. This leads to fewer opens and clicks for these emails, and a higher unsubscribe rate.

Some lists may say that they are opt-in only addresses, but this means they have opted in to receive the list providers’ emails. Or, they might have ticked a box (or failed to untick a box) agreeing to receive emails from selected partners. Even so, they do not know your business and are not expecting to receive an email from you, so are likely to react in the same way. This “opt-in” status is essentially a technicality.

Anyone can buy them

If you can buy this list of email addresses online, that means that pretty much anyone can. This means that the people behind this email address receive a great deal of spam. So, they are probably used to ignoring emails that they receive from unknown senders. The quality of the email addresses on a bought list is greatly diminished. Many people even have an email address dedicated to spam; one that they use to sign up for things online, but never check because they don’t receive anything of value.

They’re unreliable

Another problem with the quality of email addresses from a bought list is that you don’t know how up-to-date they are. Email addresses may no longer be in use due to people moving jobs. Or, the information you acquire from these lists may be inaccurate or incomplete. The result is that you waste your money on acquiring email addresses that won’t actually receive your emails.

Unhappy email providers

With all of the above issues comes a greater chance that your recipients will mark your emails as spam. If this happens on several occasions, the email provider that you use to send emails isn’t going to be happy. Many email providers have rules in place that will result in your account being blocked if you are identified as a spammer. This could even amount to a fine or legal issues. Even if the content you send isn’t spam, sending your emails to people whose addresses you haven’t acquired yourself puts you at a greater risk of being labelled as a spammer.

So, you should save yourself a lot of risk and hassle, and improve the deliverability and effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns by avoiding bought email lists. It is worth taking the time to acquire them through honest means. If you need some tips on how to build a genuine, quality email list, here are five ways you can collect email addresses.

After working in marketing for two years I decided to become a freelance writer. In my spare time I enjoy watching films and television and keeping fit through going to the gym and practising taekwondo.