It may seem more efficient to buy an email list instead of building one from scratch, but this is never a good strategy. First of all, good email addresses aren’t for sale. If it’s for sale, it means that the email addresses on it have already been spammed by all the other people who have purchased that list and emailed the people on it.
Reason #1: Recipients won’t trust you.
If you received an email from a business you never heard of, how would you react? Most of you would wonder how that business got your information and why they’re bothering you. No one likes spam, and this is a spam tactic. It’s similar to those annoying cold calls you receive during dinner from random companies you don’t know. Building trust with your potential customers is hard enough, and using an email list that you didn’t grow yourself is a surefire way to never build trust with your audience. The reality is, these readers don’t want to hear from you, and they’ll never truly listen to what you have to say. Talk about a waste of time.
Reason #2: You put your deliverability (and reputation) at risk.
Third-party lists are notorious for containing old and inactive email addresses. When this happens, you’re likely to see more hard bounces and error messages connected to your email’s deliverability. If enough of these surface, you’ll start raising red flags with your email service provider. First, they’ll see that you’ve suddenly acquired an email list out of nowhere. This situation may not be completely out of the norm since importing a list from an old email provider happens regularly. However, if you pair this action with an increased number of recipients marking your messages as spam, or an even higher amount of messages that could not be delivered altogether, you’ll raise an even bigger flag. Your sender credibility will take a hit, and you’ll put your account status in jeopardy. This could potentially block you from being able to send any emails in the future. Yikes!
Reason #3: You can’t trust purchased lists.
The last major issue regarding purchasing an email list is that you really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Are these email addresses for recipients outside of your target demographics? Was this list also sold to your closest competitors? There’s almost no way to know these important answers for certain. What we do know for sure is that buying a list is never worth it.