1. Email Marketing

Why you should never buy email lists

Email marketing can be a highly effective way to promote your business, but building a high quality email list takes time and effort. As a result, some businesses may be tempted to take shortcuts and purchase email lists from third-party providers. However, this approach is not only unethical but also ineffective.

In this article, we’ll explore why you should never buy email lists and the negative impact they can have on your email marketing campaigns.

What are email lists?

Email lists are collections of email addresses businesses use to communicate with customers and prospects. These lists can be built through a variety of methods, including sign-up forms on a website, events, social media, and other marketing efforts.

Why you should never buy email lists

Poor quality

When you purchase an email list, you have no control over the data quality you’re getting. The list may contain invalid or outdated email addresses, leading to high bounce and low engagement rates. In some cases, the email addresses may not even belong to real people, and sending emails to them can result in spam complaints and damage to your sender’s reputation.

Low engagement rates

Emails sent to purchased email lists often have low engagement rates. The recipients may not recognise your brand, have no interest in your products or services or view your emails as spam. As a result, your emails may be deleted without being opened, or worse, marked as spam, leading to a poor sender reputation and a decreased likelihood of your emails being delivered in the future.

Legal risks

Purchasing email lists can also put you at risk of violating laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the CAN-SPAM Act. These laws require businesses to obtain consent from recipients before sending them marketing emails, and purchasing lists do not clearly indicate consent. Violations of these laws can result in hefty fines and damage to your reputation.

Ethical concerns

Buying email lists is not only ineffective but also unethical. The people on the list have not permitted you to contact them, and sending them emails can be considered intrusive and spammy. This can lead to negative perceptions of your brand and damage to your reputation.

Alternatives ways to grow your email lists

Building a high-quality email list takes time and effort, but there are several effective methods to consider:

Opt-in Forms

Opt-in forms on your website, social media pages, and other online channels can be a highly effective way to build your email list. You can encourage visitors to provide their email addresses and consent to receiving marketing emails by offering valuable content or incentives, such as a discount or free resources.


Hosting or attending events can also be a great way to collect email addresses. Through sign-up forms at the event or business cards collected (though make sure you’re clear you’ll be contacting them in the future!), events can provide a valuable opportunity to connect with potential customers and build your email list.

Referral Programs

Referral programs can also be an effective way to grow your email list. By incentivizing current subscribers to refer friends and family to your email list, you can increase your reach and acquire new subscribers more likely to be interested in your products or services.

Buying email lists is ineffective and unethical and can result in poor engagement rates, legal risks, and damage to your reputation. Instead, focus on building your email list through opt-in forms, events, and referral programs. By focusing on building a high-quality email list, you can increase engagement rates, improve your sender reputation, and build long-term relationships with your subscribers.

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