Should I buy an email list?

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Should I buy an email list?
Should I buy an email list?
08-21-2018 01:26 pm
Email marketing is a low cost marketing channel to get in front of potential customers as well as staying in front of existing customers.

So, isn't it a great thing that you can just buy a list of hundreds if not thousands of email addresses for "potential customers"? Not to mention it is much easier than collecting your own list as all it takes is a click of a button or a swipe of your credit card.

This is the thinking that happens by many email marketers, email list buying is cheap and easy so what is the down side?

Although buying email lists can be relatively cheap and easy to acquire, buying these lists comes with bigger negatives than they provide in positives.

So, why is buying email lists a bad idea you are probably asking yourself?

Beware the GDPR!
With an ever changing legal landscape for personal data access and personal data authorization, sending emails to purchased email lists actually violates the EU's GDPR regulations. One of one the new regulations is that newsletter subscriptions are explicit OPTIN only. Which means that the person has to consciously check a box, sign something etc.. authorizing you to send them marketing email. Since the people on these lists didn't authorize you to send them email, you would be in direct violation.

Reputable email marketing services won't allow it
The reputable email marketing services such as MAILCHIMP, MailJet, SendInBlue, Constant Contact and many others won't actually allow you to use their service to send emails to purchased lists. Server reputation is important in the email marketing world and when a provider is being used to send unsolicited emails, in the long run will have a negative affect on all of their clients.

What about less then reputable email marketing services or sending direct from my email provider like Outlook?
Sure you can use a less than reputable provider to send emails but these providers typically suffer from low deliverability issues. They don't offer as high deliverability because  they were used in the past to send out unsolicited emails en masse.

People on these lists don't know who you are!
Even if the lists aren't just scraped from websites but instead received via legit optin processes, they still didn't optin to YOUR newsletter. Yes, these people did optin to receive an email. Sure they might have checked a box that hey didn't realize would let their email address be sold. But that doesn't mean they want YOUR email, which means they will mark your email as SPAM and most likely make the conscious decision to avoid doing business with you in the future.

The more spam, the lower your deliverability.
As more and more your newsletter gets marked as spam by people or email providers, the lower the chances your future newsletters will get read.

How do I grow my opt-in email list for FREE?

Why spend the time and money creating and sending out email marketing if its never going to make it or hurt your future marketing efforts? Although not as easy as purchasing a list, growing your own list is the best method to help you succeed in your marketing efforts.

Promotions/Deals & Events
People love a good deal, so offering email only deals is a great way to grow your list while increasing sales. It's a common belief among some brick and mortar business owners that offering discounts doesn't offer any benefits to the business. However, offering the right deal will increase the chances of people coming into your store to buy more thus increasing your return on investment. This is still true on the internet, with an ever competitive market people's attention is being drawn to many forms of advertising. Getting the visitor's attention with a great deal will help separate you from your competition increasing the likely hood they will turn into paid customers.

FREE Premium Content
One way to grow your list is to provide FREE premium content like templates, infographics, ebooks etc.. but have it behind a "subscribe wall". A "subscribe wall" is a method to block access to the premium content until the visitor subscribes to receive your newsletter.

This is a great way to grow your list as you know they are interested in what you have to offer by them showing interest in the FREE premium content that you are providing.

Create useful tools
If your visitors aren't interested in premium content or you just don't have the time or ability to write premium content but you do have a development team, custom tools might be a great option. Implementing web based tools into your website that require an email subscription to access is another great way to build your email list as they only require onetime development as they become a passive newsletter builder.

Promote your premium tools/content on social media
Now that you have some content/tools that visitors might be interested in, its time to use your social accounts to get the word out! Marketing is all about using as many platforms to get the word out about your business as possible. So its a natural fit that you use your existing social media presence to help grow your list by posting about your new deals, premium content and tools.

Use email to market email?!?!
Yes, that may sound like a paradox but when people receive creative, fun and informative newsletters they tend to forward them to their friends, family and colleagues. This allows you to use the best form of advertising WORD OF MOUTH to grow your list naturally.

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