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Debunking 5 Email List Buying Myths by James Trumbly @econnectemail


Debunking 5 Email List Buying Myths by James Trumbly @econnectemail


Email Marketing : Debunking 5 Email Marketing List Buying Myths

Email Marketing : Debunking 5 Email Marketing List Buying Myths

ed note: Please welcome guest poster James Trumbly, Co-Founder and Marketing Director of  eConnect Email

Debunking 5 Email List Buying Myths

Arguments for purchasing email lists and why they don’t hold water

Purchasing an email list can sound like an easy solution to the problem of how to begin a new email marketing campaign or how to breathe new life into a campaign that’s not performing well. But the truth is that email lists are more likely to undermine your marketing efforts and your company’s customer relations reputation. If you’re trying to justify a list purchase with any of the following arguments, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

1- “I’ll get a brand-new list of fresh contacts for just a small outlay of cash!”

Sure, you may get a new list of addresses, but how many of those addresses can truly be classified as “fresh contacts?” Most of the addresses in a purchased email list have been gathered by malicious software of automated scripts and haven’t been checked for deliverability. A high percentage of those addresses will be non-existent, expired, spam traps or otherwise undeliverable.

2- “I’ll get 10,000 new viewers”

Average open rates for purchased email lists hover around .01% and .1%. That’s anywhere from one to ten viewers out of a list of 10,000 email addresses. An email list comprised of targeted, high-quality subscribers who opted-in specifically to receive your communications, on the other hand, should yield open rates of 20% to 40% or even more. Was the $300 you shelled out for that list really worth it?

3- “They opted-in to receive third-party offers”

This may be technically true, but it’s very likely most of those opt-ins consist of fine print buried in a user agreement that rarely gets read and do you know first hand how they opted-in? How could you? You didn’t build this list after all. For your company, this means that those readers will still hit the spam button when they see your message and this will impact your deliverability.

4- “The seller promised a well-targeted list and proof of permission”

The reality of email marketing is that it takes a lot of time and effort to build a high-value email list in which subscribers will open and read messages. For this reason, no self-respecting company would ever sell a high-value list because the moment it’s sold they lose customer loyalty and the list loses its effectiveness. No matter how well-targeted the list is, even if it technically has the permission of senders through fine print agreements, people will still consider messages they didn’t know they were signing up for to be spam.

5- “I don’t know how to build my own email list”

That’s where an email marketing agency or Email Service Provider comes in such as my company: eConnect Email. A good ESP or agency should have the tools to help you organically grow your list and ensure excellent deliverability.

It’s important to ask any potential email agency the tough questions about deliverability, list growth, support and social marketing. Here are some tips from email marketing Ninja, Scott Hardigree on hiring email marketing experts.

Every time you buy an email list a puppy dies

Join EMAPP and Take a Stand Against List Buying!

Takeaway: Slow and steady wins the race.  There’s no point in sending emails to an uninterested market.  No matter how compelling your text or offers might be, if it’s not in front of the right audience, it’s a waste of your time (and theirs).  There are many creative ways to get opt-in subscribers who are interested in what you have to offer; I would explore some of those options and stick with marketing to individuals who are interested in what you have to say.

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  1. Nice read James. We often get calls from people who want to sign up, asking if we ‘sell lists’. (we don’t), but they don’t understand why buying lists is such a big no-no. People want instant gratification and think that blasting 10 000 emails to random people as opposed to sending 200 emails to highly targeted (and interested) people is better. It’s a hard concept for many to grasp, but we’re (and all other email marketers!) are getting there.

    • Thanks for the comment Georgia. On this subject, I received some SPAM today from an email marketing company called Proven Systems (www.provensystems.com). They wanted an opportunity to show us, “how an outsourced eNewsletter marketing program can drastically save your staff time — while helping grow your lists and target your prospects throughout the sales process.”

      Since I know for a fact that I’ve never signed up to their mailing list I responded and asked how they acquired my email address. Low and behold their sales guy called me and said they purchased a list from jigsaw.com. Can you say, WOW! Let me get this right… a so called ESP is purchasing mailing lists and SPAMMING! It looks like we still have some work to do on this front. As least I had a chance to educate their sales guy about why using a purchased mailing list is a bad ides, always – end of story.

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