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5 Reasons Not to Buy An Email List

reasons not to buy an email list

It can be tempting to purchase a list of 10,000, 100,000, or even 1,000,000 email addresses.

It's like an instant business in a box, right?

Not so fast...

In fact, buying an email list is generally not a good idea for a number of reasons. There can be some serious consequences that could cost you a lot more than the amount you invested in the list purchase.

Here are the Top 5 reasons why you should NOT buy lists.

1. Legal Implications

We all know about the CAN SPAM law. And while it technically does NOT say that you cannot send to people that you don't know, it DOES allow recipients to report suspicious messages as spam. Too many of those types of reports can cause you some serious problems (NOTE: Each violation under US law allows for fines up to $16,000.)

2. Your Email Program May Get Shut Down

If you're using a commercial email service provider, you can almost guarantee that buying lists will get your account shut down... IMMEDIATELY. If you're using your own dedicated resources, there's a good chance your hosting provider will shut you down for too many spam complaints.

3. Reputation

Most "purchased" lists also include spam traps and bad addresses, which can be reputation killers! In addition, these things will cause you to wind up on blacklists, which will cause your messages to be blocked at the source.

Let's say that you DO happen to find a high quality email list, with no spam traps, few bad addresses, etc. Since these people do not know you, have a relationship with you, etc., you are going still to have a much higher spam complaint rate. High complaints can get your IP address blacklisted and even hurt your domain reputation with some providers. Simply changing an IP address in this case will not help.

NOTE: A poor IP reputation impacts all mail sent through the IP address(es).

4. Waste of Resources

Buying lists not only wastes your money, but also your time. Regardless of the list quality, the response rate is going to be very low.

To illustrate this in another way... We've had customers in the past that have launched a new "brand" within their company and when they immediately send to their existing HOUSE list using a different company/from name, their open rates plummet and their spam complaints jump (and that's from a list they have built organically and have a relationship with. They simply didn't make a warm introduction to the new company/division).

Likewise, we've seen this happen when a company is sold. All of a sudden subscribers start seeing messages come from someone they don't recognize. Open rates drop and complaints go up.

5. There Are Better Alternatives to List Building

There are legitimate ways to build a list of subscribers that actually WANT to hear from you. Here are 7 ways that you can get subscribers that are both less expensive and more effective:

- Joint venture/affiliate swaps (Trade emails and/or product promotions)
- Sponsored emails (you pay for an ad in someone else's newsletter and drive people to your landing page)
- Facebook Ads (If you DO have a purchased list, try uploading to Facebook and advertising there)
- Pay Per Click Ads
- Media Buys
- Direct Mail
- Inbound Content Marketing

The bottom line is that there is no "easy" button when it comes to email list building. The best lists come from building lists legitimately and over time. These are the subscribers that are most likely to read your emails, take advantage of your offers, and refer you to other customers.

Author: Heather Seitz

Attention Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, and Marketers: You may republish or syndicate this article without any charge.The only thing I ask is that you keep the newsletter article or blog post exactly as it was written and formatted, with no changes. You must also include full publication attribution and back links as indicated. This information has been provided by http://www.EmailDelivered.com and written by Heather Seitz. Don’t forget to sign up for the EmailDelivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources related to email marketing and email deliverability.


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How to Get Your Emails to the Inbox

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April 28, 2014


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