When you work for a reputable Email Service Provider, you happen to spend a lot of time assisting customers with various email marketing issues, best practices, strategies, and most probably you’ve come across common questions like: “Can I use a purchased list?”
Buying an email list seems like an easy and low cost task, but the consequences can be serious. Purchased lists are gathered without the knowledge of their owners. None of the individuals on the list has given permission to contact him. Email clients like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail don’t consider purchased lists or lists given to you by a third party to be opt-in - that's cause they are not :). They call it “unsolicited bulk email.” If the people you’re emailing did not directly sign up to receive your news, then it’s considered unsolicited.
As always, growth through email marketing comes with good content and trust. Good content and trust make people want to hear from you.
So let us see why buying an email list is a bad idea:
1) Low engagement because your recipients are not your subscribers
You happen to have a mailing list of recipients but not a list of subscribers meaning that they have not subscribed to receive any news from your company. In other words, they do not want to hear from you. Sending email newsletters to people who do not want to hear from you will not reinforce the image of your brand nor the trust of the potential customers.
Is this considered to be a good lead for my business?
2) Purchased lists harm your email deliverability and IP reputation
Purchased lists often produce really high bounces, many spam complaints by recipients and have low open rates and high level of unsubscribes. This means that you’ll soon be noticed by ISP filters and your message will end up in your recipients spam folder. This directly influences your email reputation and your ability to deliver other messages to the inbox in the future.
I haven’t thought of it that way.
3) Reputable email service providers won’t let you send emails to purchased lists
Here in Moosend, we do not allow customers to bring a purchased email list into the system. That is the main reason why we keep such a good deliverability rate and high server reputation. So, you will have to end up to a second-choice emailing service, which most probably is already blacklisted.
So, it was not a good idea after all?
4) Poor results
So you have invested in email marketing, and you want to have a high Return on your Investment (ROI). Well that is a wrong way to do so. You pay too much for a list of poor quality and low opens and click-thrus, you hurt your brand image, you hurt the reputation of other email sendings you will need to do in the future. Do you still wonder?
It was obviously not worth it…
These kind of lists get less and less effective over time, along with the results they drive. So, why don’t you try growing your own healthy mailing list of recipients who would opt-in for your mailings instead? We will be there along the way.