Many people think that buying email lists is a great way to get customers, but the reality is much different. Email marketing takes time and effort to be successful. An email list can take years and years to build up, so you want to make sure that anyone you buy from has been well taken care of- otherwise, it will be basically useless for your purposes. Here are five reasons why purchasing an email list might not be worth it:
Your Brand’s Reputation Will Suffer
Did you know that people who receive unsolicited emails might actually be more likely to remember your company’s name than the recipients of a well-targeted email? It can hurt brand awareness as well, and it doesn’t take much.
Think about how many flyers from businesses near you have recently clogged up your physical mailbox with ugly designs or questionable content. You probably avoid those places precisely because they don’t respect boundaries enough not to bombard their customers with unwanted mailers all the time. That same principle applies here – if someone has a negative first-time experience, such as receiving an undesired marketing campaign in his inbox, he’s going to associate those feelings towards your business rather quickly when trying to make buying decisions.
Sending Emails To Purchased Lists Will Lead To Soft And Hard Bounces
When you purchase email lists, there is a possibility that their emails are outdated or inaccurate. Sending emails to a large number of non-existent email addresses will lead to Hard Bounces, while sending mailers into temporarily unavailable inboxes can lead to Soft Bounces.
Each bounce affects your spam score in the long run, and higher bounces mean lower future open rates and high spam scores.
There Are Legal Implications With Purchased Lists
There is a slew of risks associated with purchased email lists. Performance is not the only concern; there’s also compliance with data protection and anti-spam laws if you’re going to be sending out emails as part of your campaign strategy.
If these issues don’t convince you, then consider that complying with GDPR law since 2018 means obtaining opt-in consent for all contacts who provide their personal information. And this applies even when they didn’t explicitly give it. Violations against the CAN-SPAM Act lead to hefty fines from state regulatory agencies and internet service providers (ISP).
The List Quality Is Poor
Email lists are constantly changing, with new emails being added every day. Even a clean email address list can exhaust its usefulness within only one year and become obsolete. In fact, a study by Experian found that 25% of an address book will have changed in 12 months, while another study estimated this number could be as high as 50%, especially for B2B marketers. So you want to keep in mind the risk your organization is taking buying unconsolidated lists for marketing purposes.
You never know how old the data might be on a purchased list, which means you could receive unreliable information. If your email is three years old, up to 85% of addresses may have been changed or expired by now.
Reputable Esps Will Shut Down Your Account
If you are sending too many messages that get marked as spam, it could cost you. Your account may well be closed, and fines might ensue if the email service provider deems your actions violate their agreement terms.
For example, Aweber considers buying an email list a serious violation which they have warned customers in other circumstances about before:
“AWeber reserves the right to cancel or suspend any customer who violates our Terms Of Service Agreement when using our services (e.g., by purchasing bulk lists).”
Bonus Tip: Other People Are Using the Exact Same List
You might not know that email lists are often sold to multiple people. What’s worse is that others may have been sending out emails to these addresses for years. And you’re probably sending out emails to the same recipients as someone else, which makes your messages grow progressively less relevant and increasingly more annoying.
By today’s standards, you might not even get any responses because so many customers now put spam filters in place or abandoned their address altogether just so they never see marketing-related content again, including yours.
Resist the Temptation
The bottom line is that email marketing campaigns are more effective when targeted to specific audiences. Purchased lists can be tempting because the price tag might seem suitable for your budget.
However, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find buyers on those lists, and it doesn’t take long before Soft or Hard Bounces start piling up in your inbox. Plus, these bounce rates will hurt both your reputation as well as how often people open future emails from you – even if they were once interested in what you had to offer!
If this sounds like something you need help with (or just want some advice), our team is here to provide solutions tailored specifically to your business needs. Contact our experts today so that together we can create a campaign strategy that will drive sales without risking any penalties or negative consequences.