If you’re a new company and don’t have a customer base just yet, buying an email list can sound like a great idea to get your lead-generation pipeline started fast. You can get instant cold leads to turn into warm, loyal customers — right? Wrong. For the same reasons, buying social media followers is usually, if not always, a bad idea. You should be skeptical towards strategies that sound like easy, inexpensive shortcuts.
That is why this blog will answer one of the most common questions asked by growing businesses: “Should I buy an email list?” We’ll discuss what a purchased email list is, why buying one can hurt a business, and how Zero Gravity Marketing (ZGM) can help companies build an effective email list without buying subscribers.
What Is a Purchased Email List?
Companies will sell or rent lists of emails they compile to businesses like yours, and chances are you’ve had your email acquired in one of these ways and didn’t like it. You may have fallen victim to email collection schemes when your email has been:
- Entered online for a contest.
- Scraped from a website such as LinkedIn, which is against LinkedIn’s policy.
- Collected at a trade show.
- Sold by an untrustworthy company that doesn’t respect privacy.
Any time you sign up for “updates” from a company and its “partners,” this usually means the company is selling your email. In other words, these lists are filled not with leads but by people who do not want their email used in this way and never agreed to it — that’s a problem. If you start sending them emails, you’ll be seen as spam and go straight to their spam folder.
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Your Email List
The vendors selling these lists will make all kinds of claims about how theirs are different and better. They may tell you that the subscribers opted-in or are interested in your product. They’re not. No one ever intends to opt-in to random companies sending them emails. So, for that reason, here are five reasons why you shouldn’t buy your email list:
1. You’re annoying people — not nurturing leads
To no surprise, it annoys people when they realize their email has been sold. You will be sending an unsolicited email that they didn’t sign up for. It doesn’t matter what your email copy says; if your starting point is aggravation, it’s hard to win people over.
However, these emails aren’t just annoying; they can harm your business, too.
2. Poor open rates will get you flagged
Purchased email list open rates are always incredibly low. And when open rates are very low, companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc., will see this as they gather data on open rates across their customers. And if companies like these see that almost no one opens your emails, they will flag them as spam.
3. Your own email list will also get flagged
This doesn’t just impact the email list you bought. It will also affect any permission-based email lists you have worked hard to build. The more you buy these supposed “opt-in” email lists, the harder it will be to develop and maintain a real email list in the future. Whether it seems fair or not, you’re now permanently flagged as a spammer.
4. Your CRM or email service will cancel your account
Reputable customer relationship management (CRM) software like MailChimp, Salesforce, HubSpot, and Constant Contact have policies against sending unsolicited emails. They will block your account if they find out, and they have ways of doing so through machine learning. If these CRMs block your account, you may lose all of your legitimate contacts and customer data as well.
5. It’s a waste of time and money
The return on investment (ROI) on these lists isn’t worth it. You may see a couple of people opening your email and think, “Hey, ZGM was wrong.” Or you might even increase your lead nurturing efforts thinking you’re on the right track. But no matter what happens, it’s unlikely to see these people become paying customers.
The Importance of Building Your Email List
When you build your own list, you send emails to people who:
- Recognize your brand.
- Have shown genuine interest in your company.
- Are likely to become or stay loyal customers.
- Want to be subscribed.
- Are worth your time and money.
By doing email marketing the right way, you’ll get an ROI and a real email list to be proud of. The average ROI on email marketing is around $42 for every $1 spent, but only when you build your list yourself. Although it may seem like hard work, it will pay off down the road.
How ZGM Can Build an Effective Email List for Your Brand
Zero Gravity Marketing takes a strategic approach to building an email list that only you own. We reach your target audience by analyzing your email performance, designing custom email templates, and ongoing management strategies. Our clients have seen email success because of our attention to detail through and through.
Ready to build out your brand’s email list? Contact ZGM today!