Every time you buy an email list a puppy dies

A long long time ago in Internet years, iMedia ran a post which stirred up a hornet nest. The post, penned by Sallie Severns, VP of media services for Announce Media, offered advice on how one can avoid being swindled when buying email lists. Unfortunately for Sallie and iMedia, there’s only one way to avoid being swindled and that’s simply NOT to buy a list of email addresses EVER. As John Caldwell pointed out in his comments @ iMedia…this ain’t rocket science. You can’t sell permission. You can offer people access to an email list, but the person “renting” the list does NOT get to see the addresses and they certainly don’t get a copy of the list.

The Tweet Which Started it All

A string of comments followed John’s from some of the sharpest minds in the email marketing business and Ms Severns found herself doing major damage control — give her credit, she didn’t ignore the comments at least. iMedia later took the post down completely. However, not before John Caldwell had grabbed a copy which he later reposted at Red Pill Email. You can view the original post (now long gone from iMedia) and John’s post about the whole drama here.

The sensitivity about list buying is understandable when you realize the damage people do both selling and deploying to lists — it can be a disaster for any company foolish enough to do so and it certainly doesn’t help elevate the email marketing industry in the eyes of those being spammed by list buyers either!

Scott Hardigree has been very vocal about the differences between list buying and legitimate list rental. Read what Scott has to say on the subject of list renting.

The real tragedy here is that every time you buy an email list a puppy dies! Thus, we thought it imperative to address this by creating EMAPP – Email Marketing Association for Puppy Protection. The senseless deaths of innocent puppies must stop!

Please help! Watch our video below and spread the word!


EMAPP stands for: Email Marketers Association for Puppy Protection and we are calling on all ESPs and responsible email marketers to join EMAPP and help drive the message home that buying email lists is just wrong! Education is the key here and to be effective we need to drive it home with one voice! One very loud voice!

It’s time to act NOW!Every Time You Buy an Email List a Puppy Dies!
The eMail Guide is asking you to take a stand! Join EMAPP, put the EMAPP logo on your blog and link back to this post.

As well, if you haven’t done so already, please make a post about why buying email lists is wrong! If you have posted about it, how about doing another post to really drive it home? It’s not likely we’ll ever stop the creeps who sell lists, but we can dry up the demand for it by making it clear that buying them does more damage to one’s brand than good!

Become a charter member of EMAPP today
and join these crusaders for email marketing done right:

The eMail Guide

Mail Dog

Get In The Inbox


Redpill Email

The InBox Group

Vision 6

Email Karma

Amanda Moralis

Scott Writes Everything

Carlyle Inc.


Join up today and let us know so we can add you to the list!

EMAPP tips its collective hat to John Caldwell for being the first to take a strong stand after that post went up on iMedia! John has continued to speak out about the issue with passion and imagination. An example of this would be his reworking of a Dylan Thomas poem below posted to the Linkedin Group: E-mail Marketing.

Do not go gentle email marketing activist
Email marketers should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the buying of the list.

Though wise men at their end know to never buy a list,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle email marketing activist.

Good men, the last wave by, ridiculing the nihilist
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the buying of the list.

Wild men thought “CAN-SPAM Compliant” made it blessed,
And learned, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle email marketing activist.

Grave men, near death, they light the blind utopist
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the buying of the list.

And you, my deployment vendor, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle email marketing activist.
Rage, rage against the buying of the list.

Every Time You Buy an Email List a Puppy Dies!

Join up and drop a comment with your blog post link so we can share it and add you to our EMAPP membership list!

Editor’s note: We are aware that there are a handful of companies listed in the guide which sell lists. We are in process of removing them.

Meet the author:

Jeff Ginsberg

Jeff Ginsberg

20+ year email marketing veteran who wants to help NewBees BEEcome eMail Marketing Ninjas. Want to contribute to our blog? We are always looking for eMail Marketing Ninjas to come share their knowledge and help NewBees create and send better eMail messages.

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