4 Reasons Why Buying an Email List is a Big No-No

Email marketing still remains a great channel for promoting products or services and raising brand awareness. Most retailers will describe email marketing as their greatest driver of customer retention, which means businesses everywhere use email to not just win customers but keep them. Yes, with the right content and contacts, the benefits of email marketing can be unlocked by businesses big and small. Crafting the right content may be a matter of finding the right words (or getting the help of a copywriter), but gathering the right contacts is a little trickier.

Buying, renting or owning an opt-in email list is often deemed a shortcut. Whilst acquiring a list of email addresses helps you harness an important time saving advantage, there are so many more reasons why buying an email list is just plain wrong. Read on to discover just four…

1. Purchased email lists breach GDPR

Businesses and marketers alike still can’t go anywhere without hearing about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). After being enforced in May this year, it’s safe to say that the GDPR is a pretty big deal. Buying and utilising an email list to propel your brand to better fortunes however could leave you liable for the hefty fines and penalties that this data protection regulation now makes possible.

2. It’s not just the EU that’ll penalise you

There’s not just repercussions for your brand if you’re caught out by the GDPR, your email service provider will penalise you for the use of purchased email lists too. Providers like Gmail, Yahoo! and Outlook don’t look kindly on their customers receiving spam, the consequences of which could leave your business email account at risk. Using email lists could also damage your email deliverability and IP reputation. Whilst potential customers are also likely to find unsolicited email communications particularly annoying and off putting.

3. Most email marketing services won’t let you use them

The use of reputable email marketing software is a vital part of ensuring your campaigns can be carefully crafted, delivered in a timely manner, and analysed and subsequently improved for better effectiveness. If your email marketing software really is as reputable as it says it is then the use of purchased email lists will be strictly prohibited. The use of shared IP addresses by such services means that one ill-gotten email list has the potential to blacklist campaigns sent by other customers, which is obviously one thing email marketing software providers are keen to avoid.

4. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are!

The quality of purchased email lists is debatable. Most email lists are built using email addresses that are simply non-responsive or unqualified. If there is a real person at the other end of the email address, it’s likely that they won’t know your brand, leaving the engagement potential of each email you send relatively low or even non-existent.

I hope you’ve found that useful. If you need help building a list of email contacts who want to hear from you, then just get in touch.


  Article written by Rob Mackley -
Small Business Web Expert, Founder of Red Box Web Design and creator of the pay monthly website package RED BOX ALL-IN™


If you would like a chat to see if one of our pay monthly websites can help you, please drop me an email rob@redboxweb.co.uk to arrange a call.


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