We have all gotten the emails or seen the websites where you get offered the email list of every single person (and their dog’s) within the industry we want to target. This data is offered to you in exchange for an often very reasonable fee but is bad marketing.
Buying email lists can be tempting, an opportunity to reach our customers without all the work to attract them.
As marketers working in the modern sales and PR environment we strongly council our clients against it. To the point where we will not work on email campaigns for clients if we are unsure of the way the data was obtained.
This principle goes against our general viewpoint, that if something works and generates revenue that you should do it.
Unsolicited emails elicit strong emotions in your potential customers and the damage to your reputation may far outweigh the positives.
Why Buying Email Lists Is Bad Marketing
Buying an email list is a shortcut and one that can have a negative impact on your reputation.
Like black hat SEO buying email addresses can work and may even lead to sales, but it leads a nasty taste in the mouth. It can even get you banned from using certain email marketing and CRM packages if you get caught.
Put yourself in the position of your potential customer, having your address sold to the highest bidder because you forgot to tick a box on a web form or because your details have been scraped from the internet is not appealing.
How do you feel when you receive an unsolicited email, the answer is hardly like to be positive and may even make you hostile towards a company.
Instead we encourage our clients to build a funnel based on attracting people to sign up to our mailing list through incentives such as free information or entry to a competition.
There are a many different ways to get peoples email addresses, from your website, lead magnets, competitions, social advertising and offline events.
Buying email lists is bad marketing, if you build the right marketing framework you should be able to reach your audience without it.