Why You Should NEVER Buy An Email List

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Email marketing is a thriving sector of search engine optimization and digital marketing as a whole. In order to complete an email marketing campaign though, you need people to send emails to. This means acquiring an email list, which is a trickier task than some people realize. You may be tempted to purchase an email list from a “qualified provider,” but doing so could ruin your entire marketing strategy. Let’s take a look at just some of the reasons why you should never buy an email list for internet marketing.

Difference Between A Bought Email List And An Opt-In Email List

Before we begin our discussion, it’s important to note the difference between a purchased email list and an opt-in email list. With the first option, you pay a provider for a list of email addresses you can use as contacts for email marketing. You may also choose to “rent” an email list, in which you never see the actual email addresses but you still have methods of reaching out to them.

An opt-in email list is another matter entirely. In this scenario, guests will register to receive emails from your website. These could be newsletters, special promotions, online coupons, or news about your latest blog posts. Whatever the case may be, your customers will choose to get emails from you. That choice makes all the difference.

Reasons To Avoid Buying Email Lists

Having an opt-in email list is a much better option for acquiring leads for your business because customers are actively showing interest in your products and services. If that’s not enough to convince you though, check out these reasons to avoid purchasing email lists.

Bought Customers Have Low Conversion Rates

The whole point of email marketing is to draw leads to your website. The goal there is to convert leads into new or repeat customers. People who chose to opt-in for your emails are more likely to convert to paying customers than people who have no connection with your business whatsoever. You’re going to get a much better return on investment with an opt-in email list than you will a bought email list, and you probably won’t have to pay as much to collect the contacts you need.

There Is No Guarantee Your Bought Email List Is Niche Specific

If you’re going to send out emails to people, you want those people to have an interest in your industry. Even if your list provider collects email addresses from competing businesses, there is no way of knowing if those emails are truly niche specific. Once again, this will lead to a low conversion rate which could cost you more money than you earn.

Your Purchased Email List May Be Full Of Fake Customers

You can send emails to a million different addresses, but what will that matter if all the email addresses are fake? Of course, proper email list providers will acquire legitimate contact information through one method or another, but there is still no way to guarantee that you are sending messages to actual people. At least with opt-in email lists, you have a high probability that the vast majority of your contacts are real.

Your Emails Could Get Sent Straight To Spam

If you’re sending emails to disinterested customers, your emails will quickly get marked as spam. Once this has happened with enough customers, all of your emails will get sent straight to the junk folder. Not only will this negate your email marketing efforts, but it could actually hurt your search engine ranking. Google has been known to remove websites from its database entirely for using overly-aggressive marketing measures. Spam emails fall into that group. To stay on Google’s good side, you need to make sure your emails are going to people who actually want to read them.

Smart Business Owners Don’t Sell Good Email Lists

If there is in fact a good email list out there for your business specifically, why would one of your competitors let go of it? The fact is that good email lists aren’t for sale. They are stored away for someone else’s email marketing strategies. In order to get the best results from your efforts, you need to collect your own leads and generate your own list. And once you do, we guarantee you won’t want to let it go.

The Right Way To Build An Email Marketing List

Now that you know all the reasons NOT to buy an email list for internet marketing, you may want to explore other ways to build and grow your contact list. Having a solid set of current, potential, and repeat clients to reach out to will make a big difference in your overall success rates. Check out our guide for building an opt-in email list to learn how to effectively collect leads for your email marketing campaigns.

Christopher Bower is a Member and Marketing Director of Detroit Internet Marketing, LLC and brings over 20 years' experience in marketing and online marketing. His education includes Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Marketing, and has been involved in both national and local marketing in Chicago, South Florida and Michigan.

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