Purchasing an email list can sound like an easy solution to the problem of how to begin a new email marketing campaign or how to breathe new life into a campaign that’s not performing well. But the truth is that email lists are more likely to undermine your marketing efforts and your company’s customer relations reputation. If you’re trying to justify a list purchase with any of the following arguments, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

“I’ll get a brand-new list of fresh contacts for just a small outlay of cash!”

Sure, you may get a new list of addresses, but how many of those addresses can truly be classified as “fresh contacts?” Most of the addresses in a purchased email list have been gathered by malicious software of automated scripts and haven’t been checked for deliverability. A high percentage of those addresses will be non-existent, expired, or otherwise undeliverable.

“I’ll get 10,000 new viewers”

Average open rates for email lists hover between .01% and .1%. That’s anywhere from one to ten viewers out of a list of 10,000 email addresses. An email list comprised of targeted, high-quality subscribers who opted in specifically to receive your communications, on the other hand, can yield open rates of 50% or more. Was the $300 you shelled out for that list really worth it?

“They opted in to receive third-party offers”

This may be technically true, but most of those opt-ins consist of fine print buried in a user agreement that rarely gets read. For your company, this means that those readers will still hit the spam button when they see your message or worse, your email sending IP’s could be blacklisted.

“The seller promised a well-targeted list and proof of permission”

The reality of email marketing is that it takes a lot of time and effort to build a high-value email list in which subscribers will open and read messages. For this reason, no self-respecting company would ever sell a high-value list because the moment it’s sold they lose customer loyalty and the list loses its effectiveness. No matter how well-targeted the list is, even if it technically has the permission of senders through fine print agreements, people will still consider messages they didn’t know they were signing up for to be spam.

“I don’t know how to build my own email list”

That’s where eConnect Email can help you. We are always working hard to ensure the highest deliverability possible and will closely monitor your account for blacklisting. If you’re ever blacklisted, we’ll work to correct the problem as quickly as possible. Build your list with our built in social sharing feature and monitor user activity with statistics tracking, testing, and suppression lists. With the help of eConnect Email, you can organically build an email list that supports your marketing campaign and increases sales without the negative associations that come with purchased email lists.

Conclusion

Slow and steady wins the race.  There’s no point in sending emails to an uninterested market.  No matter how compelling your text or offers might be, if it’s not in front of the right audience, it’s a waste of your time (and theirs).  There are many creative ways to get opt-in subscribers who are interested in what you have to offer; I would explore some of those options and stick with marketing to individuals who are interested in what you have to say.

About James Trumbly:
Director of Business Development for eConnect Email, an email marketing software company. James enjoys spending time at the beach and traveling in his free time. Follow him on twitter @eConnectEmail