Occasionally clients ask me whether I know of any parties who sell email lists. And my answer always is “purchasing email lists is illegal”. Also, I do not want any part of it. Many of the clients ask this innocently thinking that maybe doing some email marketing to a purchased lists could help them generate more new business. However, often they haven’t thought through the ramifications.
Even if you are ever presented with the opportunity to purchase email lists, we would strongly advise you not to do so for these reasons:-
How Many Times the List had been Sold?
The seller of the email list might have sold the same list to many other gullible buyers before trying to sell to you. This means that all of the contacts within the list would have received tons of emails from previous buyers on matters of no interest to them. Therefore, even they receive an email from you they will likely delete it straight away without opening it.
How the seller Acquired the list?
It is almost guaranteed that the means through which the seller acquired the list was illegal or semi-illegal. The seller may have written some scripts that trawled the internet for email addresses. Or hacked somebody’s email accounts and aggregated the contact list to the email list or bought the list from some cyber criminals. So by purchasing this email list you will be condoning criminal activities and risk criminal charges.
Quality of Contacts
The quality of contacts on these purchased lists are always going to be low . In addition, it will be irrelevant to your business. And even if you send an EDM to the list you will likely receive high bounce rates and low open rates.
The Damage to Your Brand
The most important consideration to purchasing email lists is the damage it will do to your brand. When users receive your EDM, they might threaten to take legal action against you. This is because they had not opted-in to your EDMs. Also, even if the recipient does not take legal action they will associate your brand with illegitimate practices.
In conclusion, not only will purchasing email list cost you money. Also, the end result will be irreparable damage to your brand. So, I strongly urge anyone considering purchasing email lists to desist from doing so.