You are sitting in your office and thinking about different ways to bring in more leads. You need new contacts, so you will naturally be tempted to buy or rent an email list, and some of these lists are cheap, so what do you have to lose?
Nothing, if you listen to most vendors selling the list. “All the contacts in our list are segmented”, “Our lists are opt-in (contacts opted into an email communication)”, and so on.
In reality, good contacts are not for sale. What you will get instead are contacts which may have been collected using questionable methods, and will have been recycled over and over again by the time you get your hands on them, to the point where your email will likely end up in a spam folder.
Are there any other downsides? Besides being annoying, your business can be identified as a spammer, which will harm all your future email marketing campaigns. This alone should be enough to make you think twice before buying/renting a list.
So what can you do instead?
- Grow your list organically – this is an obvious one, but many businesses get discouraged since building a solid email list is hard. Your content has to be high quality, relevant, helpful, and timely.
- Partnerships – many organizations will be open to some form of collaboration (e.g. access to members), as long as your marketing campaign would benefits their members. And benefits can be in the form of discounts, free trials, etc.
In summary, most of us don’t like receiving emails from companies and people we don’t know, so by buying and renting email lists you are indeed on your way to the spam folder, and even worse, being labeled a spammer. Instead, focus on building your email list organically, and when possible, partner with reputable organizations.