Have you ever thought about buying an email list? You’ve worked hard creating your marketing emails and want to send them out to as many people as possible to drive more engagement, generate more leads and make more sales!
Whether you are a new business or are trying to grow your existing one, collecting emails from people can take time and effort, and buying an email list may sound like an attractive shortcut to get some business, so you maybe thinking why not just buy a bunch of email address and save yourself the effort?
The truth is, buying an email list is a really bad idea, a huge waste of money and is likely to cause your business more harm than good, and here’s why…
They didn’t opt in…you’ll be violating the rules of consent under GDPR
With GDPR now governing all email correspondence, you must have explicit consent from your contacts to be able to send them emails, and adding an opt-out option to your email template no longer cuts it. When you buy an email list, the people on it haven’t been given this option, making you non-compliant with GDPR before you even send your first email.
But that’s not the only concern. Not only have these people not opted in to receive your emails, these people aren’t necessarily interested in your brand and might not have even heard of you. How do you react when you receive an email from an unknown brand, do you respond, or do you just find it annoying? The majority of people’s response it to delete and unsubscribe, resulting in fewer opens and clicks to your marketing emails, and a high unsubscribe rate.
They’re unreliable and anyone can buy them
The chances are that if you’ve found an email list to buy, then anyone can buy it.
Whilst the email addresses might have once been of value, the people behind the email address are likely to have received a huge amount of spam and are now used to ignoring emails. Many people set up an email account that they dedicate to spam, and only use it for signing up to things online and never actually read emails in that account.
Another thing to consider is the quality of the list. You don’t know where the addresses originated from or how up to date they are. The email addresses may no longer be in use due to people moving jobs. Or, the information you acquire from these lists may be inaccurate or incomplete.
You could therefore be just wasting your money acquiring email addresses that won’t actually receive your emails!
Your email service provider may penalize you
It’s not just your brand and reputation that can be damaged from purchasing an email list, but your email account can also be at risk.
Along with all the issues that I’ve highlighted above also comes a high chance for your emails to be marked as spam, and if this happens regularly then your email provider is likely to be unhappy. Key email providers, like Outlook, Google and Yahoo don’t like to be associated with accounts that are regularly having their content flagged as spam and have rules in place to manage it. Some providers even go as far as closing an account if its suspects that unwanted content is repeatedly being sent out.
The bottom line is, even if the content you send isn’t spam, sending emails to people whose addresses you’ve not acquired yourself can put you at a greater risk of being labelled a spammer.
Save yourself the risk and hassle and avoid bought email lists, it is most definitely worth taking the time and effort in acquiring your own quality and genuine email list through more honest means, and here’s how you can do it…
How to build your email list for free?
Creating your own email list of contacts isn’t just about complying with legislation and protecting your brand, but also about creating an opportunity to grow your own list by engaging and building relationships and trust with your own customers.
Here are some simple steps to get you started:
- Step 1: Attract an audience to your site
Create useful and engaging content on your site that draws people in and gives them something of value before asking them for their email address. Make sure your opt-in forms are highly visible and accessible throughout your site.
- Step 2: Create a lead magnet
A lead magnet is an incentive you offer potential subscribers in return for their email address. This could be offering something that your audience is most likely to want, something like a list of resources, a helpful guide or maybe a video tutorial.
- Step 3: Run creative email marketing campaigns
Email marketing is a great lead and contact generating channel, people forward helpful and interesting emails to colleagues and friends, all of which can easily expand your email database. If you already have a pretty large email database, but it’s gone a bit stale, consider running a re-engagement campaign to reawaken any people who may have forgotten you.
- Step 4: Add sharing buttons to your emails
Add sharing buttons to your emails so that your recipients can easily forward emails to the people they would like to, and make sure the email has an opt-in button so that each new viewer can easily subscribe to more of your emails if they like what they see.
Good luck growing your own targeted and responsive list of potential customers.