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Email Lists: Should You Purchase Them?(Spoiler Alert: No.)

Posted On: August 5, 2013

A precompiled email list sure sounds like a good deal when you’re marketing your business. You have a list of emails for people who are prequalified to be interested in your products or services. What could go wrong?

Um… just everything.

The first thing to remember is that even if you worked with an email list provider for a list that has been shaped to include only customers who meet certain demographic or psychographic (personality, interests, lifestyles, etc.) standards, it’s not really an opt-in list.

No one opted in for communications regarding your service or product. The people on that email list simply opted in to an email communication from someone at some point in time (like the list provider). When you’re emailing people who haven’t shown an interest in your particular business, that’s something most people consider spamming — and you’re not likely to see much return on those communications anyway.

Also, there’s really no such thing as a good email list that’s for sale. Typically, any addresses that once had value have since been spammed by a variety of other business.

Yes, there’s that word again: spam. We’re printing it in bold, even though we rarely do that (extra tip: use emphasis tools such as bold sparingly so they don’t lose all meaning), because it’s so important to understand that contacting people through a purchased email list almost always equates to spam.

If your business is defined as a spammer, your email deliverability and the reputation of your IP address almost certainly will be harmed. Organizations dedicated to combating email spam have a tool called a honeypot. It’s which is a planted email address that, when emailed, identifies the sender as a spammer.

There are other spam traps that identify it an email address is old (or no longer valid) but still receives consistent traffic.

There are effective ways to build email lists through proper means, and the experts at Ring Ring Marketing can assist you with that process. For the sake of your business and its reputation, don’t go the purchased email route. The rewards are few and the risks are far too great.

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