Most marketers prefer email marketing over most other digital marketing channels. And that’s because it’s affordable and has the best ROI in any marketing activities. However, these days, marketers don’t put in much effort to grow their email list. They would rather buy an existing list to save themselves the stress. In this article, I will share with you reasons why you shouldn’t buy an email list.
You may think buying an email list is a quick strategy to get more businesses. But in reality, it can be a total waste of money. And it could cause your business more harm than good.
If you are nursing the idea of buying an email list, here are 7 reasons why you should build your list instead;
#1. The Quality of the Email List May Be Worthless
One of the reasons why you shouldn’t buy an email list is because the quality of the list may not be as advertised. Most times, people selling these email lists may not be as honest as they should be. And you may end up not getting value from the list because of any of the following problems:
- Some of the data may be missing or incomplete. The people on the list may even have the wrong names.
- Furthermore, the information in the list may be out of date. For instance, about 50 to 65 percent of the emails may be abandoned or no longer exist.
- There are also instances when emails in the list are harvested illegally. And this contravenes (think violate) the CAN-SPAM Act.
So, even though you can buy an email list of 10,000 subscribers, it may be worthless if most email addresses are outdated.
Again, if the seller harvested the emails on the list illegally, you will be violating the CAN-SPAM act. And you can pay as high as $16,000 for every email you send. You see, buying an email list may do more harm to your business than good.
#2. The Email May Not Perform As Expected
There’s no magic about it; you can’t get excellent performance from a low-quality email list. Irrespective of how organized your email marketing strategy seems, you may not get the expected result if you buy an email list.
Like I mentioned earlier, most email lists out there contain incomplete information, outdated email, etc. And when you send emails to these outdated contacts, your email bounce rate will increase.
An unusual increase in your email bounce rate is not a good omen for your business.
Again, the emails that made it to the contact’s inboxes may not get responses. That’s because some of your recipients may not even open the email if they don’t know anything about your company.
So, it’s a complete waste of money to buy an email list because your audience won’t know your company. And they will always ignore your emails or unsubscribe from the list.
#3. Higher Spam Complaints
One of the reasons why you shouldn’t buy an email list is because it could lead to higher spam complaints. When you continuously bombard people’s inboxes with marketing emails without their consent, they tend to mark your emails as spam.
Unfortunately, when your recipients start marking your email as spam, it will affect your reputation score. And the lower your email reputation score, the more providers mark your emails as spam.
That means every email you send out will find its way to your recipient’s spam box. And most people don’t check their spam box. So, the purpose of buying the email list in the first place will become counter-productive.
#4. Violation of the CAN-SPAM Act
If the possibility of poor performance didn’t convince you, you should consider the legal implications. It’s a serious violation of the CAN-SPAM act to send a marketing email to someone who didn’t opt-in to your email list. And you could pay as high as $16,000 for every email you send without your recipient’s consent.
So, if a penalty hits you, the cost of buying an email list will be over 500% more expensive than building a new one. And you will sincerely wish you had built your email list from scratch.
#5. Some Email Service Providers Won’t Allow You To Send the Email List You Bought
Most email service providers have strict anti-spamming policies. And they won’t allow you to send emails to contacts that haven’t opted-in to your email list.
#6. Other People May Be Using the Exact Same List
What if the person you bought the list from sold it to several other people or even hundreds of people? Well, that’s one of the reasons you shouldn’t buy an email list.
If that’s the case, you may not be the only person bombarding the recipients on the list with emails. And you are less likely to get a positive response from people who are already fed up with the avalanche of emails they are receiving.
#7. It’s Against Email Marketing Best Practices
No email marketing expert will recommend buying an already existing list. It’s a bad practice that won’t get you the needed results. Instead, it will ruin your brand reputation; recipients will mark your email as spam.
Sometimes, you may have serious legal issues for sending emails without the recipient’s consent. And this will cost you a fortune.
Whether you are a startup or a growing business, it’s not advisable to buy an email list. It’s a bad omen that could hurt your business. Be patient. Build your email list from scratch, and your effort will pay off in due time.