Buying email lists might seem like a sweet deal, but it just might blow up in your face.

Aside from the fact that no expert ever recommended buying email lists, there are loads of reasons not to do it. Poor engagement rates mean you won’t actually sell anything. Hundreds, if not thousands of other businesses are using the same list you are and you don’t even know if they’re valid addresses. If you want to be seen as a reputable, honest business then you should never purchase email addresses for your email list.

  1. Untrusted source

    Let’s be realistic. You have no idea where these emails came from or whether they’re still in use. There is no way for you to verify the quality of the leads you’re paying for.

    What’s more, it matters how they were obtained in the first place. If they were illegally harvested then using those email addresses is in direct violation of the CAN-SPAM Act.

  2. It’s spam

    If you send me a promotional email that I did not sign up for, you’d better believe I’m reporting it as spam. Do you know what happens when enough of your “subscribers” report you as spam? To put it simply, nothing good.

    Read this post to find out why you should always get consent before adding addresses to your email list.

  3. You’ll kill your reputation

    When your emails are seen as spam by ISPs and email service providers it gets pretty ugly for your reputation. You are now that sleezy sales guy that is sneaking into people’s inboxes with “offers” and “deals” that no one asked for.
    But none of that will matter because after a while, no one will even see your emails. Eventually the spam filters will just send you straight to the junk folder, never to be seen again.

  4. Grounded by your email service provider

    Your email service provider is the service you use to send your emails (Mailchimp or Constant Contact). If your emails are being flagged as spam by ISPs they will likely suspend your account. After all, using an email list that you purchased is against their policies. Look it up.

  5. Fines or even jail time

    The CAN-SPAM Act applies to any person or business that sends commercial e-mail messages to a business or individual consumer. Penalties can include up to five (5) years in prison and fines of $16,000 per email you send that violates the regulations.

So, what do you do instead of buying an email list?

Rather than purchasing a questionably illegal list of emails try implementing a signup form on your website, offering a lead magnet or free resource in exchange for their signing up and sign up with a reputable email service provider like Mailchimp. You can find some great ideas on how to grow your email list in this post.

If you’d like help setting up a Mailchimp account or have more questions about email marketing you can schedule a free phone / video consultation

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