Customer Attraction Marketing Consultants

Are You Buying Email Lists?

Are You Buying Email Lists?

Are You Buying Email Lists?

If so, then stop.

Do you think that the whole idea of some random person with an AOL or Gmail address is going to offer you a list of current, curated and high quality email addresses for $500, $800 or even $2,000 is even a possibility? Well it’s just not true.

Anyone who has ever done any research, cold calling and used good sales techniques knows how difficult it is to gather high quality data, including email addresses. It’s worth a lot more than a few hundred bucks. Magazines, associations and trade show owners judiciously guard these lists and they would never, ever sell them. Ever.

So how do you spot these scammers? The red flags are easy to spot once you know them. There are usually grammar issues and a “fake” disclaimer. The email sender name is often different from the signatory. You might see odd punctuation. You will also see a time critical deadline. You might even get a dropbox sample document to click and download in excel format or they might send it as an attachment.

Here is an actual email sample that was sent to me recently.

I was wondering if you would be interested in acquiring the National Association of [insert organization here] Members List for appointment setting, networking and various marketing initiatives.

[Insert organization] – Members – 194000 connections at $2000, this special to receive the latest decision maker connection information ends today at 5 pm PST.

I get a lot of these emails, I suspect because I got on one list and perhaps they trade my name. Maybe they are all from the same person? I am not sure.

Here are the reasons that buying emails will not work and why you should never buy email lists:

  • Even if they are possibly real they are likely to be of old or and poor quality,
  • If you send these emails out, your own corporate email will likely become compromised and you would be recognized by other ISPs as sending out spam. Then, even your legitimate emails may go to junk.
  • Marketing software for Email Service Providers, (called ESPs) will not accept purchased email lists. I use AWeber and they will block you too. They know.
  • Many countries are enabling privacy laws like Canadian Anti Spam Legislation CASL, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, as well as CAN-SPAM legislation. There are lots of reasons to not do this. It could be illegal, but the actual act of buying an email list is not illegal. Best to know your local, federal and state laws.
  • You might be purchasing spam “trap” emails. These are intentional email addresses that are embedded in lists to track who is buying them or stealing them.
  • Buying email lists is just bad karma. It is bad for your brand and actually seems a little desperate. No one wants to do business with spammy, desperate brands or people. 

I am imagining a CEO saying “What do I have to lose?” As I’ve said, it’s more than $2000, it can be your reputation.

So you may ask, “What can I do instead of buying email lists?” 

Build your own list. Create really good email content and post it on LinkedIn and other social media platforms that are effective for your business. Make sure you use a Call To Action (CTA) to join your newsletter. Use Aweber, Constant Contact, MailChimp or other reputable ESPs.

Host or sponsor webinars where you will get access to clean, fresh, opt-in permissions from bulls-eye clients.

Create simple forms with low friction on your website to a double opt-in service.

Pay magazines or trade show owners to deploy emails on your behalf. The great thing about this is that they are trackable.

If you would like to chat about how to improve your marketing, get in touch. Email is best ????



London, ON | 519-716-2262 | jim at customerattraction dot com