Purchased lists are harming your Email Marketing campaigns

With a quick internet search, you can find plenty of companies that sell pre-made Email lists that contain thousands of Email addresses that you can immediately import on your account and start sending them your campaigns. Nowadays you can even rent lists! Some of these services will even categorize these Emails based on different fields, ex: hospitals, sports, beauty, tech, etc. With a first thought, it sounds like a great idea having such a large pool of potential buyers to can reach out to but this is not how effective marketing works. What makes you think that these people who have no idea who you or your organization are, will buy from you?

Building large subscriber lists takes much effort and time. Having pre-made lists seems to be a time-saving solution but actually harms your Email marketing campaigns. Let’s have a look: Other than not earning money you are actually harming your organization’s reputation.

You are legally not allowed to do so

First things first, you are not allowed to send content to purchased lists. According to the Terms & Conditions and Spam Policy of most Email Marketing services (not only phpList Ltd.) because this would result in the violation of several national and international regulations and laws. The most common regulations that prevent you from doing so are the GDPR in the EU and the CAN-SPAM Act in the US.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in EU law which includes legal requirements for how the data of people in the EU is handled. Dealing with EU citizens’ data without their permission might get you in trouble with EU authorities. Same applies to the CAN-SPAM Act for US citizens. When list members subscribe with their own free will, they will have to confirm the subscription ensuring that no one else subscribed them against their will.

You are harming your IP reputation

If you keep sending content that the receivers did not sign up for, they will mark you as Spam. If this keeps happening for a long time, your deliverability statistics will look very bad. But the problem here is that your sending IP will lose its good reputation and eventually your Emails will be perceived only as Spam, no matter what the content is.

These addresses are over-used

The chances that you are the only owner of the lists you purchased are zero. These lists have been sold to multiple marketers before you and most likely their quality is poor. Companies that sell Email lists buy them initially from other services that are willing to sell the Email addresses their users have trusted them with. Responsible services would never do that, not only because of the fear they might get in trouble because this is illegal but mainly because they do not want to lose their reputation as a trusted and responsible service. As you can imagine only services that do not care about their reputation, in the long run, would sell these addresses to multiple buyers. In practice, this means that the buying force of these Emails is very low. Even if they navigate to the links included in your newsletter they will not buy.

Instead of spending money, time and energy in purchased lists try to build a loyal audience by collecting Email addresses on your own. Create a nice landing page on your website, collect Email addresses at in-person meetings, offer discounts for purchases of the products included on the previous newsletters, etc. The phpList Blog offers several tips and tricks for an Effective Email Marketing journey. In the meantime, happy sending.

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