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3 Reasons Never To Buy Email Lists

Want to learn more about buying email lists and why you should avoid them? Here are the top three reasons to never buy unvetted lists.

A good mailing list can do wonders for your email marketing campaign, so you might be wondering if it’s smart to purchase email lists. It’s not uncommon for companies to sell email lists they’ve compiled to companies who want to improve their own email marketing efforts. The problem is, you can run into legal issues and push potential customers away when you buy an email list.

If you want to give your email marketing campaign a boost, the best thing you can do is build your own email list. While building your own takes time and effort, there’s no replacement for having a list of organically interested customers you can email about new sales and products.

What are email lists?

Email lists are a collection of email addresses that people have accumulated with the intention of selling them to interested businesses. These companies often advertise that they’re “selling leads,” despite many of the email addresses on these mailing lists being unvetted. The truth is, most people who are selling email lists don’t know if those email addresses are in use anymore, or if that person would even be interested in your products or services.

You can purchase email lists from one of the many sellers you can find online, but there’s no guarantee you’re going to get anything in exchange for your money. For all you know, you’re getting a list of email addresses that will immediately report your emails as spam, which can lead to a whole new set of issues.

Doing things organically is important when it comes to email marketing, and that’s especially true for your mailing list. Taking the time to build a mailing list organically will always produce better results than buying a mailing list that a seller has also sold to a dozen other companies.

Purchasing email lists

A quick Google search will show you some of the many websites where you can purchase email lists. Purchasing an email list is as simple as visiting one of these websites, paying for the email list, and receiving a list of email addresses shortly after. That all sounds pretty good, so what’s the problem with buying email lists?

The truth is, buying email marketing lists is almost never worth it because people don’t want to do business with companies who buy email lists. If your best attempt at email marketing is purchasing an email list and using it to send out mass marketing emails, people are going to get a bad first impression. Even if you do convert a few customers, your chances of creating an audience that nets you a decent return on your investment are slim.

Is it legal to buy/sell email contacts?

Following the law is an essential part of email marketing. So, is it actually legal to buy and sell email contacts? Believe it or not, there’s no law prohibiting the sale of email lists in the United States, so you’re free to buy and sell as many email addresses as you please. In other countries such as the UK, there are laws that prevent companies from selling email addresses without consent from the owners of those email addresses.

There’s also the issue of what you do with the list of emails you buy because even the United States has laws when it comes to spam and other shady email practices. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, for example, prohibits you from spamming people who opt out of your emails and sending emails without identifying information. If you sell an email list to somebody knowing that they’re going to use it to spam, you can be found guilty of conspiracy.

Even if you do buy an email list, it’s imperative to make sure you’re not breaking any laws regarding email marketing. These laws vary depending on your jurisdiction, so be sure to look at the laws in your country that pertain to email marketing.

Compliant and non-compliant lists–with Mailchimp

As a business owner, investing in a list of email contacts can be tempting, especially when you consider the time it can take to organically build a mailing list. If you are going to buy a mailing list, it’s important to make sure that the mailing list is compliant. What this means is that you have permission to email the people on your mailing list with marketing materials, which is actually required by law in certain countries.

Because it’s so easy to create a free email address, it’s also easier than ever to purchase email lists. Companies can gather email addresses from all over the internet and compile them into one convenient list, but those email addresses may not even be in use anymore. Even worse, you could be buying a list of email addresses that aren’t interested in receiving promotional emails, which means your marketing emails won’t go over well.

If you want to comply with legal requirements when it comes to email marketing, here are some of the things you need to do:

  • Get permission to email the people on your mailing list
  • Provide identifying information when you send emails
  • Don’t use misleading information in your header and subject line
  • Let people know that this is an advertising email
  • Include an unsubscribe button that allows people to opt out of your emails
  • Honor any opt-out requests as quickly as possible

Building long-term customer relationships

It’s important for business owners to build solid relationships with their customers, especially when it comes to email marketing. If people feel like you’re trying to trick them or being too pushy about your products or services, they may feel like you care more about your bottom line than your customers. This is why using opt-in emails to build a mailing list is a better long-term strategy than buying an email list.

When you build your mailing list organically, you have a list of email addresses of customers who are interested in your brand. Buying a mailing list means you’re taking a gamble and hoping people are going to show interest once they read your emails. It might take more work, but building your own email list is the best way to build honest, long-term customer relationships.

Best ways to build your own email list

Now that you know why it’s better to build your own email list rather than purchase an email list, you might be wondering how you can go about that. While it might take a little time, building a mailing list is a simple matter of giving people a reason to subscribe to your emails. There are lots of ways you can do this, but doing it organically is important.

Pop-up forms are a great way to ask people to join your mailing list. When a user visits your website, you can set it up so a quick form pops up that asks for their email address. You can even offer an incentive for people who sign up for your mailing list, such as a discount on their next purchase. Make sure you include an exit button that allows people to close out of this prompt if they don’t want to sign up for your mailing list.

You can also entice people to join your mailing list by offering exclusive notifications about new products, limited-time sales, or any other information your customers may be interested in. Again, the idea is to give people a reason to join your mailing list on their own.

Social media marketing is a big part of modern digital marketing campaigns, so encourage people to join your mailing list through your social media posts as well. You can tell people about the benefits of joining your mailing list and include a link to join.

Remember, building your own email list takes time and effort. People aren’t going to join your mailing list if they don’t have a good incentive, so it’s up to you to figure out how to incentivize people to join your mailing list if you want to maximize your email marketing campaign.

Is buying an email list worth it?

While it might be tempting to purchase an email list, it’s never a good idea to buy a list of emails. You want to market to people who are interested in your brand, so it’s best to build your own mailing list over time. Opt-in emails are an essential tool when it comes to building a mailing list of loyal customers.

Email marketing isn’t easy, but it can pay off big if you do it right. With Mailchimp, you get access to all the tools and resources you need to build a mailing list and give your email marketing campaign a boost. If you need help with email marketing, try Mailchimp today.

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