Buy Email List – Why Shouldn’t Do It?

septiembre 26, 2022
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septiembre 26, 2022 Olga Vooijs

Are you having a hard time generating leads for your business?  Do you have an email list, but it’s not growing as fast as you’d like?  Are you tempted to cut corners and take a shortcut and consider buying an email list instead? 

Well, stop right there. You might see buying email lists now like an amazing idea, but it’s actually not.  We get it, building your email list requires so much time and of course, you want to grow your business fast. 

Here’s the truth: cutting corners with a purchased email list might give you that quick win and boost you crave for your business, but it’s actually going to cost you more in the long run. That’s why, we want you to avoid this common mistake a lot of business owners and marketers make. 

In this article, we are going to talk about how to buy email lists and why is it a bad idea to buy an email list for marketing. Plus, we’ll provide you a list of organic and effective ways to grow your email list that converts – quick. 

How to Buy an Email List? 

Before we jump into discussing everything about buying an email list and why is it a bad idea, let’s first review how most businesses generate subscribers to their email lists. 

There are basically three ways: Build, Rent, and Buy. 

1. Build an opt-in form email list. 

This is the most effective way to generate high-quality email list. Opt-in means a potential customer or client willingly gives their emails to you. They are aware that they will be added to your list and receive valuable content and future marketing of your offers. This gives business owners and marketers like you a chance to nurture the relationship you have with your prospects in an authentic way. 

Instead of blindly sending emails to prospects who might not have any interest in your offer, you only spend time for people who have shown interest, know about your brand, and want to receive more and hear from you. Organic sign-ups growth might take longer than you would hope it would.

2. Rent an email list. 

Email list rental is basically paying a third party or email list provider, an agreed price in order to use their email list for a specific email campaign for a particular time period only. Renting an email list does not mean owning it. So by using a segment of an email list of a third party, you will never be in possession of the email addresses or names of the prospects. But, the company who actually owns the list will send out your emails on your behalf instead. 

3. Purchasing an email list.  

If things get slow with the business and leads aren’t coming the way marketers like you, thought it would be, you resort to this method and purchase email lists thinking you’re investing for the long-term. 

Email list for sale are available from various lead generation agencies in the digital world. Buying an email list means you enter into an agreement with a list provider who generates email addresses, basic information of the prospect such as names, age, gender, location, and other useful information you may require.  This way of acquiring buyers email list is a murky path best avoided. 

Here is the question that pops up every time we’re in conversation about this topic: “what’s the harm in buying one, though?” 

There may be some that justify buying an email list as an investment and a great way to boost leads and sales, it’s disadvantages and cons outweigh the benefits received upfront. It may seem the easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to expand your reach, but it can surely destroy your authentic relationship with your prospects and taint your brand reputation in the long-term. 

There are several reasons why you should not buy an email list, the following are listed below: 

1. High-quality email lists will never be up for sale

Who in their right mind would sell high-quality email lists to other businesses that potentially their competitors? No one, right? No business owner or digital marketer would sell an email list that converts. It’s their digital gold that they would never ever like to just give out.  If it’s up for sale, that indicates that the email addresses have previously been rejected as inactive or unsuitable for outreach marketing.

Even while purchased email addresses may have been once valuable, it’s likely that they’ve been spammed incessantly by this point; otherwise, the business that sold them would still be in possession of them. 

2. It’s against the law

Buying an email list is illegal, especially in most countries around the world. There are legislations and regulations that protect users’ privacy. It is against the law sending email to anyone who has not actively, willingly, and deliberately opted in. 

There is General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR in Europe and the CAN-SPAM Act in the USA. 

GDPR prohibits the purchase of email lists with stringent guidelines. To receive messages from a corporation, the subscriber must explicitly authorize. The maximum fine for breaking this law is €20 million, which is equal to 4% of the global annual income.

CAN-SPAM Act establishes the rule that all senders must follow: once a user has unsubscribed, a sender is not permitted to sell the user’s email. For every email that is violated, a penalty of up to $42,530 may be assessed.

3. Damage your brand reputation 

How would you feel when you receive emails from companies you’ve never heard of? You feel afraid and quite disgusted, right? These people are real people on the other end of those inboxes.  So, not only a bad communication or interaction can damage your relationship with a potential customer but bad word spreads swiftly online. Your brand is in peril if one of your contacts starts making online posts about you sending unsolicited mass emails. They will no longer have faith in your business as a result of your intrusion into their inbox, and won’t be thinking of you in the future.

4. Low Quality Email List 

You cannot trust the quality of the purchased email list. You have no idea what kind of quality you are getting. You do not know how these email addresses were collected, from when and where? Email list decay over time which means that it can be outdated and no longer available for use. 

Even though it would sound fantastic to receive 5,000 or 10,000 email addresses overnight, it won’t be very useful if the list is an outdated one filled with junk information made up of people who never intended to be on the list in the first place.

In this situation, it is only natural for email open and click-through rates to be somewhat low, casting doubt on the success of your email advertising.

5. Destroy your Email Deliverability 

Users who have never authorized you to send them emails won’t anticipate receiving your communications in their inbox. They might not welcome any strangers because this is their own zone. Your email will consequently be labelled as spam more often than not, which can eventually harm your sender reputation.

While you should make every effort to prevent your emails from ending up in the Spam folder and prevent your deliverability rate from declining, using purchased lists will only enhance the likelihood of this unfavorable outcome.

Build Your Email List Organically 

Now that you know why it’s a bad idea, it’s time to forget buying email lists, ever!  The best way to prevent you from experiencing these disadvantages, is to build your email list from scratch and organically. The following are actionable steps you can do it: 

Step 1: Attract Your Target Audience 

Of course, the first step is to draw an audience towards your business and brand. You can do this by providing them valuable, useful and engaging content. Through it, you’re giving them something of value before even asking them for something in return – their email address. Also, nobody likes getting some things they did not ask for unless it can deliver value, provide them with a quick solution to their problem or satisfy their desires. 

Step 2: Create a Lead Magnet 

In a nutshell, lead magnet is a free piece of content that you give away in exchange for that person’s contact information. They opt in in their own will. Thus this approach is safe and legal. Once you have their email address and you send them the lead magnet you can continue to nurture this relationship and communicate with them. And if you have a product or service that you want to sell them, you can choose to do that. 

Step 3: Have an Email Service Provider 

It is important to get a reputable email service provider that can help you deliver massive email campaigns to your list and manage the deliverability and other analytics you will need to see if your campaigns are performing and converting the way you would want it to. So you can improve your weaknesses and leverage your strengths. 

Step 4: Place Opt-In forms on your website 

Don’t confine yourself to lead magnets and restricted content. Add opt-in forms to numerous locations on your website as another strategy to grow your email list. You can add forms to the contact page, the home page, and the end of any item you post. You can utilize a variety of opt-in formats, including

  • Pop-up 
  • Embed Form
  • Topbar
  • Scrollbox

Grow Your Email List the Right Way

Gaining the permission of the contacts on our email list is a challenging and time-consuming process, but it ensures the quality of our contacts and the best outcomes for our email campaigns.  Keep in mind that quality counts more than quantity when it comes to email addresses from your lists. Your contact lists should be created with devoted subscribers who are engaged in your brand, your products, and services in mind. 

Approach your email marketing with the same honesty and tenacity you would your business. Long term, you’ll be in a lot better position.

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