How Much Does It Cost To Buy Email Lists for Your Marketing Campaign

How Much Does It Cost To Buy Email Lists for Your Marketing Campaign
01 August, 2022 • ... • 3178 views
Irene Dmitrieva
by Irene Dmitrieva

Building an email list from scratch can be a daunting task for any marketer or a business owner. It requires time and effort. That’s why some get tempted to purchase email lists.

Still, it’s not so simple. It pays to be aware of the email list cost and potential risks of using a list that you didn’t build yourself.

Email list pricing and what it depends on

The price of an email list depends on the quality of the addresses and types of people on the list. That is, a business-to-business email list will be more costly than a consumer email list.

For instance, a consumer list costs between $100 and $400 CPM. CPM stands for cost per mile; it is the price charged for every 1,000 email addresses that you purchase. 

At the same time, you have to pay a lot more for the business list — from $200 to $1000 for the same number of addresses. The more targeted the email list is, the more expensive it becomes.

Email lists pricing
Source: BuyEmailMarketingLists

Email list rental cost

Renting a list only provides limited access to the data and only allows for temporary message sending. Once purchased, the “email broker” will send out the message to the audience at the agreed time/date.

Rental email list prices are also usually charged per thousand views. For a focused email list with around 2,500 to 5,000 contacts, be prepared to spend $200 to $400 per CPM for a consumer list and $300 to $600 for a business list. In addition, there are often other costs associated with an email marketing campaign, such as managing and tracking your emails. You’ll get tracking results that show you things like open and click-through rates as well as valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. This service could cost you $500 to $3,500.

Are email marketing lists worth buying?

You can find ready-made email lists for sale on the internet, but using a purchased email list doesn’t really mean that you have found potential customers. Consider the disadvantages of purchased email lists and whether they have any benefits.


  1. Purchasing or renting an email list can save you time and effort by letting a vendor do the work for you. Building an email list from scratch takes a lot of time and energy. With a bought email list, you immediately gain control over a large pool of contacts. 
  2. Buying a list of potential customers can help you easily reach new markets. This increases the number of potential leads. Having access to a large number of contacts gives the opportunity to connect with more people who may be interested in your product or service. 



  1. Most likely a bought email list is either out of date or of low quality. There are many invalid addresses in purchased databases and databases from open sources — misspelled or abandoned. No contacts get on those lists voluntarily.
  2. As the recipients of emails did not consent to mailings, there is a high probability that your email will be marked as spam and your IP and domain will be blacklisted. Email services promptly block the authors of unsolicited emails.
  1. Such lists are likely to contain spam traps — addresses that mail services use to catch spammers. Sending an email to such an address also can cause your IP and domain to get blacklisted, making it difficult to restore the reputation of a reliable sender. If there are serious problems with your IP address or domain, you may have trouble sending even legitimate emails from that address or domain in the future.
  2. The first impression is memorable. The recipient is unlikely to like a message from a company to which he has never subscribed. The reputation of the brand will be damaged.
  3. You are neither the first nor the last person to buy this email list — it could be used by your competitors. That’s why some recipients may already have spam protection set up against a particular list and won’t see your emails.
  4. Purchasing an email list can be risky, as you could be held liable for CAN-SPAM Act violations if the company you purchased the list from did not obtain its contacts legally. These violations can result in significant fines.
Penalties for violating the CAN-SPAM Act
Source: FTC

Furthermore, email service providers would not allow a sender to use a purchased list, as this is generally considered spam. If you try to send a campaign using a purchased list, you’ll find yourself blocked. Therefore, it is not worth your time to compose a campaign using a bought email list.

How to build an email list on your own

There are many ways to collect email addresses, but the best way is to do it yourself. This way you can be sure that the people on your list actually want to receive your emails. It may take more time and effort than other methods, but it will pay off in the end. Plus, you won’t have to worry about ending up on a blacklist. 

The main rule when building your own list of addresses — the user must leave their contact voluntarily. Follow the tips below so that your email list is full of valid addresses of subscribers who are most interested in what your company offers. 

Create a pop-up form on your website
If you don’t have an email list but have a website, you can collect contacts by setting up a subscription form. To get maximum attention, use pop-up forms

They are usually triggered by a user action, such as:

  • When a person spends a certain amount of time on the page.
  • When a person reaches a certain point on the page.
  • When a person hovers their cursor over the exit button.

When one of these conditions is met, a pop-up form will appear with an offer to leave an email address. These forms can offer something useful in exchange for an address, such as a free downloadable product, or without it.

Pop-up subscription form example
Source: Stay In The Know

It’s a good idea to ask users to confirm their subscription through a double opt-in method to make sure they really want it and that you’re not getting any invalid or unwanted subscriptions.

To make a form works, you need to tell your subscribers:

  1. What the newsletter will be about. Good ideas: interesting news on the topic, useful tips, new services, and products, and, of course, promotions with discounts and bonuses.
  2. What kind of bonus they get for subscribing. Online stores often offer a discount or gifts. Choose a bonus that your audience will like.
  3. How often the emails will arrive. Predictability of the newsletter is important. Users won’t worry that you will start sending emails every day, and will wait for the newsletter according to the promised schedule.

Subscription forms can also include banners or buttons located at the bottom or at the top, but they should be unobtrusive and always have a close button so as not to irritate users. 

Subscription form location

Pop-ups can be annoying, but they are also one of the most effective ways to encourage people to sign up for your email list — the average conversion rate of 11,09% shows their effectiveness. A well-designed pop-up that appears at the right time can be very effective in getting people to sign up.

Offer an incentive in exchange for the email address
To make people more willing to subscribe and give their consent to receive the newsletter, offer a variety of incentives for signing up for your email list. Examples of incentives include:

  • Discounts
  • Helpful email series
  • Free downloads
  • Time-saving cheat sheets and more
Incentive example
Source: Olive And June
Selzy sign-up form
This is how our sign-up form with incentive looks like.

Only you will know what the perfect subscription gift is for your audience, so devise something that you think they will find valuable.

Make it really easy to subscribe
The fewer fields the visitor has to fill out, the higher the conversion rate. It’s best to limit yourself to the basic information — name and email address.

According to statistics, the most popular subscription forms have one field, but the forms with the highest conversion rates have three lines.

The dependence of the conversion rate on the number of lines in the form
Source: Omnisend

Encourage everyone to sign up immediately
If you have something that nobody else has, or that is only available for a short time, people will be more likely to sign up for it.

Limited offer in a sign-up form
Source: Convertize

Leveraging FOMO technique is a great way to get more people to sign up for your email list because it taps into our natural desire to be part of something and not miss out. When people feel like they belong to a group, they are more likely to sign up. This is especially true if the group is considered to be privileged in some way.

Cosmetic Packaging’s form introduces an access to new products, creating a VIP “in-group” that the reader can relate to.

FOMO technique in sign up form
Source: Cosmetic Packaging Now

Spamming is a bad practice in the email marketing industry. It is much better to build your own list of subscribers than to buy lists of email addresses. Buying lists can lead to penalties and a loss of reputation while building your own list can result in strong relationships with customers and more effective email marketing overall.

Final thoughts

Although purchasing an email list may save you time, it is generally not worth the risk.

There are many downsides associated with buying an email list, including:

  • Getting poor lists with many invalid or outdated addresses
  • The possibility of being marked as spam
  • Having your IP address blacklisted
  • Damaging the reputation of your brand
  • Being held liable for CAN-SPAM Act violations if the contacts on the list were not obtained legally

Building your own email list is important if you want to do effective email marketing. How to build an email list? Collect the names and contact information of people who visit your website by letting them sign up for your newsletter. Use pop-up forms to encourage sign-ups.

01 August, 2022
Article by
Irene Dmitrieva
As a marketing copywriter, I have experience creating compelling content for websites and social media posts. My background in market research helps me ensure that my copy is both on-brand and data-driven. I am excited to bring my skills and experience to Selzy team and help drive success for this company.
Visit Irene's

Latest Articles

Selzy Selzy Selzy Selzy