Buying email lists might seem like an easy way to jump-start your email marketing campaign with a large contact database. However, we strongly recommend against this. There are various issues attached to buying email lists – both legal and business-related – that will hurt your email marketing strategy in the long run, even to the point of tarnishing your business altogether.
Buying Email Lists Is Illegal According to GDPR Laws
If you do business with European clients, you need to follow GDPR laws. Briefly, this policy’s main objective is to give people full control of their personal information, including email. In other words, it’s illegal to send emails to a European citizen who hasn’t given you explicit permission to do so, and they can rightfully sue you. So, buying an email list that might have European contacts is a big no, as it can subject you to various legal complications.
There’s also the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S. to consider. Although it doesn’t explicitly state that buying email lists is illegal, those contact databases can still violate CAN-SPAM rules, as companies might have illegally obtained the information in the first place.
It’s Impossible to Guarantee an Email List’s Quality
Companies that sell email lists are usually a bit dubious, which means you can never be sure about the quality of the list. Even when these organizations claim their lists are revised, include all the necessary information, and have the contacts’ permission, there’s a high chance that’s untrue. These email lists usually come with incomplete data, out-of-date information, and email addresses illegally harvested from the web. Therefore, you can end up investing in something that will provide little to no return.
Buying Email Lists Will Make You a Spammer
When you buy an email list, you’ll be contacting many people who simply aren’t interested in your product, meaning that your newsletters won’t have much engagement. Worse than that, many people may report your messages as spam – something that email providers like Gmail or Outlook consider when applying automatic spam rules. If your marketing emails are labeled as spam, your emails will go straight to your customers’ spam boxes, regardless of if they’re interested in your content or not. Moreover, the best email marketing services don’t allow the use of purchased lists on their servers either.
Buying Email Lists Can Ruin Your Reputation
Considering all the problems discussed so far, it isn’t difficult to conclude that buying email lists can literally ruin your company’s reputation. Consumers can easily express their opinion online nowadays, and you can be sure they will warn everyone when they aren’t happy with a particular company. This includes when they receive unsolicited emails. What’s more, when consumers get these types of emails in their inbox, they usually think they’re from a suspicious company trying to scam them.
In short, you should never buy an email list. First of all, due to the nature of these email lists, they usually don’t provide any value. Secondly, they can undermine all your hard work by ruining your reputation or even put you in substantial legal trouble. Organically building your email list may take longer, but you can at least be sure that you’re sending emails to people interested in your brand.
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