Why you should avoid buying an email list
It might be tempting and time-saving in the short term. It’s not too expensive and looks like a quick way to get sales. However, there are quite a few problems with buying email lists.
The email addresses in the list may be old and inactive
According to Kinsta, the normal average unsubscribe rate ranges from 0.1% to 0.48%. People change companies and internet providers, forget passwords or just abandon their email addresses altogether and create new ones instead.
Even when building your email database legitimately, this reason regularly robs you of some of your subscribers. This is why email marketers worth their salt constantly clean their lists and “hunt” for new subscribers.
The purchased lists are likely to be full of old and invalid emails.
The low quality of the emails in the lists
Bad quality lists all have these things in common:
- Low open rates
- Low click-through rates
- High unsubscribe numbers
- High bounce rates
All of that happens because people on a purchased or rented list don’t actually know you, they did not agree to receive marketing emails from you, and they do not expect to get them from you.
The sellers of email lists may get them by parsing websites or social media like Instagram and LinkedIn. They also could have collected them properly with opt-in where people consented to receive marketing emails from third-party businesses.
It leads to situations when people see an email that they don’t remember asking for which makes them want to mark it as spam or delete it right away. And this takes us to the next point.
You’ll harm your email deliverability and IP reputation
Email deliverability is a metric that refers to emails that landed in the inbox (i.e., all emails minus bounces and spam).
Your IP reputation as a sender can be compared to a credit score. A good reputation means the email campaigns you send are delivered to your recipients’ inboxes, while a bad IP reputation may cause your emails to go to a spam folder instead of an inbox.
When buying email marketing lists, there is no way to confirm how often those email addresses were emailed, what sort of companies with what kind of offers emailed them, and whether the list was cleaned from inactive emails.
Some of the emails there might be turned into spam traps or honeypots (both are methods used by organizations combating email spam). Many people will also mark your email as spam, worsening your IP reputation. You could get marked as a spammer by an email service as soon as you send the first campaign.
You can’t use them with email marketing services
Reputable email marketing services like Selzy need to maintain a high email deliverability rate and good IP reputation to keep being chosen by their clients. They are under the same reputation risks as any other sender and have their policies in regard to spam.