Why Buying Email Lists Is Bad For Online Marketing

24.02.12
By SUKHBIR

Many online marketers are tempted, at times, to buy an email list from a company on the internet. It is true that these companies make it all sound so easy – just purchase a list and out go your e-newsletters and special offers, no need to wait for months to slowly build up your own. There are, however, a number of problems associated with buying email lists, and they are all very detrimental to your online marketing campaign.

Firstly, you have absolutely no idea where the company got those email addresses from. To them, the only thing that matters is the size of their lists, because then they can sell them for more. This means that they don’t care about the quality of the email addresses they are collecting, leading to a large amount of dead, abandoned or non-existent addresses being sold. If no one reads your emails, how is this going to help your online marketing campaign?

Secondly, the success of an online marketing campaign is closely associated with the idea of ‘permission’. You will find that people are more likely to respond to emails that they have asked for, leading to an increase in website traffic and sales for your business. If they haven’t asked for your emails, however, these people are more likely to mark you as a spammer, which has nothing but bad consequences for your brand.

Finally, there is the problem of legality. Many countries in the world have anti-spamming laws in place that could land you in a lot of hot water. The only time it is legal to send email is when people have requested them (by opting-in to your mailing list). When it comes to an online marketing campaign, the legal penalties are not worth buying a list.