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5 reasons not to buy email lists for marketing campaigns

Collecting a good number of email addresses of potential customers interested in your product / service is the dream of every company. In a saturated market, full of big fish with which it is difficult to compete, gaining a reputation and gaining the trust of customers cost time and effort. This is why there are agencies that allow you to buy email addresses in blocks of thousands of contacts, whose collection methods are not always transparent.

If you are considering purchasing email lists to populate your newsletter, we ask you to stop for a moment and think about it.

The problems that can arise from an activity of this kind are many:

1. Legal Issues (*here reference is made to the Italian legislation)

The Italian legislation establishes that the sending of newsletters for promotional purposes requires the explicit consent of the recipient, in addition to that of the processing of personal data (Legislative Decree 196/03). Otherwise, you risk incurring heavy penalties. Often the blocks of paid emails are instead collected by crawlers able to scan entire sites in search of emails, regardless of the consent to contact for commercial purposes of the data owners.

2. Impaired IP reputation

Purchased lists may contain incorrect addresses and spam traps, which can cause the sending IP addresses to be blacklisted. To this we add the probable spam reports made by users, which arrive in unwanted emails and the picture is complete.

3. Email account blocking

Mail providers usually have the tools to understand if the contacts are natural or if a list is bought. The ESP (Email Service Provider) could block the sending of emails at risk of spam and, in extreme cases, even suspend the service, creating concrete damage to the company.

4. Low performance

Even assuming that the purchased list has a good quality, the open rates and click-through rates are generally low. Think that you are becoming part of that large group of perfect strangers who target other strangers with emails to propose a product / service that they do not know and that they are not looking for at that moment. The result? You’re wasting your and others’ time (as well as risking being marked as spam).

5. Damage to brand reputation

Paid email lists are available to anyone who wants to buy them. Therefore, the owners of the data could be contacted by several unknown and competing companies, increasing the intolerance for that type of communication and for those who do it. With this marketing approach, you are effectively walking into strangers’ houses without knocking. How do you think you will be welcomed?

Our advice: quality, not quantity

In our experience, quality matters much more than quantity of contacts. It is essential to intercept a need when it arises and to be ready to propose a reliable and working solution. Brand reputation also (and above all) involves respect for the acquired and / or potential customer. Therefore:

1. Collect email addresses upon acceptance of consent to the processing of data and the sending of material for marketing purposes (via registration form on your site, or through social media campaigns)

2. Make the user able to unsubscribe whenever he/she wants

3. Profile your contacts well and send communications only to those you think may be potentially interested

4. Plan over time and take care of the quality of your content

5. Collect live contacts in the context of an event, fair, demonstration

To conclude

What we are about to write won’t sound very “marketable”: email marketing takes time and effort. We have no effective and, above all, immediately profitable shortcuts to advise you; only commitment, strategy and best practices.

And you? What strategies do you have for email marketing?

Let us know what you think!

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