Buying a List? Don’t
Buying a list of email addresses and sending out promotional blasts can be pretty tempting. That “quick solution” seems like it might be a good idea. It’s not. Buying email lists is, to put it simply, a bad business move.
To better understand why buying a list is a bad idea, let’s look at
How Buying Email Lists Works
To understand why buying lists is such a bad idea, you must first want to understand how buying email lists works and how it directly opposes the principles behind successful email marketing.
People purchase email lists from 3rd party vendors, also known as list brokers, who sell lists of emails they’ve acquired.
These vendors make all kinds of ridiculous claims about their lists. Some vendors claim to sell email lists that pertain to a certain targeted niche. Others claim their lists have a high deliverability rating.
Story after story of people who’ve been defrauded by email lists vendors abound. It is perfectly reasonable to be skeptical of anyone who sells email lists, much less makes claims as to how well those lists will perform.
How Do Emails End Up On These Lists
Vendors who sell email lists collect emails through a variety of methods including:
Purchasing lists from people who sell lists they’ve built, including other email list vendors.
Collecting lists using PPC & other lead generation methods.
Using bots (or paying people low wages) to scrape emails from websites, forums, and comments sections.
Using phony competitions and surveys to get people to give up their email (Thinks of all those “You’ve won a ____” banners you’ve seen online).
Purchasing email lists from industry trade shows and conferences.
Some of these methods are more legit than others. But the underlying problem that plagues them all is that none of the people on these lists ever expressed any interest in your product or gave you permission to email them.
Why Buying Lists Conflicts With The Principles Of Successful Email Marketing
The central concept that appears in all successful email marketing is a concept that Seth Godin calls “Permission Marketing.”
Permission Marketing occurs when someone gives you their permission to send them marketing messages in exchange for something that actually interests them.
Permission marketing is a lot like dating. Imagine you like someone who doesn’t even know you exist. You get their number from someone else (who doesn’t even tell them you’ll be calling) then you start texting them asking if they’ll go out with you. They’re going to be creeped out and turned off.
The underlying idea behind permission marketing is that you’re entering a relationship with your subscribers based on mutual value. They give you permission to send them marketing messages and content in exchange for the value they get from your content.
Through this process, you’re developing a stronger relationship with each subscriber and nurturing them to the point where they are ready to buy your product or service.
Bottom Line Stuff
Buying a list is a bad idea because it is ineffective, puts your brand at risk, undermines your deliverability, and ultimately costs you business.
Think about this: When is the last time someone spammed you and you said, “Yes! I need to buy that right away!”. It just doesn’t happen.
Build Your Lists
So what do you do? You start building your own targeted list of people that actually want your information and have actually asked to receive it.
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