Why You Should Never Buy an Email Marketing List

Jun 23, 2021 | Blog, Web Services

You already know just how important it is to grow your email list. After all, having a solid audience is one of the most essential facets of increasing brand recognition and consistently improving sales.

However, many entrepreneurs and business owners give up on building a legitimate email marketing list before reaching success. Why?

Growing a list takes time, and many simply don’t have the patience. Often, to circumvent this issue, some even opt to purchase or rent an outside list instead of building their own.

And that’s where we pop our heads in to caution you. Here are five key reasons why you should never buy an email marketing list.

1. It’s Against GDPR

If there’s even the slightest chance that one of the subscribers you purchase is located in Europe, you should not buy or rent an email list. This is because many countries have different laws, and emailing people in other countries must comply with their regulations.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is very specific because users must opt in before receiving email campaign messages.

If you’re using a paid list, those subscribers haven’t specifically opted-in to messages from you. Thus, you could be opening yourself up to potential lawsuits, fines, and more.

2. It Diminishes Trust

The overall goal of marketing an email list is to turn subscribers into paying customers. However, if you purchase a list from a vendor, you run the risk of alienating your target audience. Why?

When people opt into your list, they have a vested interest in your products or services. However, if they didn’t explicitly subscribe to your list, there’s a good chance they have zero interest in your brand.

Let’s be real here. Even if an email is well-written and seems like it is from a reputable source, it still comes across as “spammy” if you didn’t sign up for it. So it’s always better to stick with a small list of leads you’ve developed yourself who know your brand and build trust from there.

3. Some ESPs Don’t Allow It

Another important note about paid or rented marketing lists is that most reputable email service providers don’t allow sending messages to those who didn’t opt-in.

This is a good thing. To keep the amount of spam down, most email service providers have firm rules concerning the practice. It doesn’t take much to get fined, your account closed, or worse, if you violate your agreement.

In the end, this protects both consumers and businesses from an abundance of unwanted messaging.

4. Rented and Purchased Email Lists Don’t Have the Best Response Rates

Let’s face it. The quality email lists aren’t usually for sale. If a list is for sale, there’s probably a good reason for it. And be assured, other companies are using that very same list!

Either it is an old list with a pretty high bounce rate, or the subscribers aren’t responsive. The result is that you’ve spent good money on access to a questionable list for very little or no response.

5. It Can Harm Your IP Reputation

Email providers are stringent when it comes to the sending of junk messages. So how do they track this?

When someone reports a message as spam, the IP address of the sender is noted. After enough reports, inboxes automatically filter new messages from the same person into the junk folder.

If that happens enough times, it can kill your open rates and harm your overall email marketing efforts. And that is something that you can’t easily recover from.

Wrap Up: Why You Shouldn’t Buy an Email Marketing List

While it might be tempting to rent or purchase an email list to send out mass emails to a wider audience, it’s never a good idea. The risks of fines or harming your reputation are never worth it. In addition, these lists generally aren’t the best to begin with and rarely get more than a mediocre response.

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