Why Buying Email Lists Is a No-No for Email Marketing

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Your subscriber list is crucial to the success of your email marketing. Having an engaged list is vital to the success of your campaigns and business.

Buying an email list may seem like a good idea, but it will likely result in poor email results and damage your mailing reputation for a long time.

And buying an email list violates the golden rule: you hate getting unsolicited emails because they clutter your inbox and distract you from the emails you want to read. If you don’t like it, your subscribers probably won’t either.

Here are a few reasons why buying an email list is a bad idea.

  • Bad addresses, bad delivery rate
  • Email providers won’t allow purchased lists
  • Too many bounces
  • Invading strangers’ inboxes
  1. Bad addresses, bad delivery rate

A bought list is likely to have bad contacts. Most of the active addresses will be old and rarely, if ever, used.

If you send to a purchased list full of undeliverables, you’ll see higher bounce rates and lower overall campaign stats.

Old addresses can also become spam traps. These are email addresses used to find people on dubious lists and will severely harm your sending reputation. A bad sender reputation reduces deliverability, meaning fewer emails reach your subscribers.

Your IP address will be blacklisted if you hit a spam trap set up by Yahoo!, Gmail, or an anti-spam company like Spamhaus.

  1. Email providers won’t allow purchased lists

First, you can’t use a purchased list if you use a reputable email service provider.

Most email service providers (ESPs) ask whether or not your email list is opted-in, meaning members agreed to receive emails from your company (double opt-in).

Plus, ESPs monitor their systems and will detect if you’re sending to a suspect list. The ESP can maintain a good sending reputation by monitoring their customers’ emails and their quality. In fact, ESPs rely on good sender reputation to maintain and grow their own businesses.

Their business and customers depend on the platform’s deliverability, so they’ll find the culprit and ban them from their system.

  1. Too many bounces

Because most of the addresses on this purchased list are likely old, many of these contacts are inactive and will return undeliverable messages.

They may not open the email if there are active email accounts on the list, because they don’t know who sent it or why. Worse, they’ll mark your email as spam, ruining your sending reputation.

Your ESP will note the poor response to your email campaign and start questioning how your list was built. They might even forbid you from sending another email campaign until you fix the list issues.

A purchased list, no matter how large, will result in less email interaction. Because poor results reduce deliverability, your emails may not reach the active and engaged subscribers who want to see them.

  1. Invading strangers’ inboxes

Remember you’re emailing people. Your email is designed to be easy to read and contains calls-to-action to encourage readers to click and convert.

People who didn’t ask to hear from you will delete and report it as spam if they receive an unexpected email from an unknown sender.

Invading someone’s inbox without permission is like showing up uninvited to a dinner party. It’s not a good way to start a business relationship.

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