I recently had a conversation with a client who’s not done an email campaign before, but had the perfect excuse to do so after launching a new website. I hoped this would give them the incentive they needed to start doing a newsletter on a regular basis. After discussing that they needed to get together a list of current clients and contacts, they suggested that they might buy in a list so they had more people to send their announcement to.
I explained that this would be a bad idea, so thought I’d share those reasons with any one else tempted to buy in a list.
1. Any list you buy in will have names and email addresses of people not expecting to be receiving your news.
2. As those people don’t know who you are, it’s unlikely they will open your email, it could get deleted without being read, or end up in a spam filter.
3. If a lot of the recipients start to report your email as spam, you could be at risk of being blacklisted. Many third party email providers such as Mailchimp, Vertical Response, Constant Contact, take spam reports very seriously. This means your account could be suspended.
4. The response from your emails will be very low as your list won’t be targeted. How do you know those people are actually interested in your products or services?
5. Some email addresses may be out of date, leading to high bounce rates.
With these reasons alone, purchasing in a list will be a complete waste of money. It’s tempting to buy lists when your own list is very small, but a responsive list is far more important than a large list (again quality over quantity), so work on building your own list in house and you’ll find that your messages are much more likely to be read, leading to more enquiries and sales.
Here are a couple more resources on why you shouldn’t buy in lists:
Purchased & Rented Email Lists Suck from Mailchimp
Every Time You Buy an Email List a Puppy Dies from The Email Guide
For more best practice tips on email marketing, check out our Email Marketing Guide.
Have you ever bought an email list? Did you find it worked for you? Please share any experiences you have of buying email lists.