Are you planning to buy an email list? Or Is anyone approaching your business to sell their email list with lots of tempting promises?
Buying an email list may sound easy and seem to be a great idea to grow your customer database while you are just starting out a new venture. It’s simple and straightforward, you just need to buy email addresses and start sending out your sales emails. A quick shortcut for a quick win.
It’s actually a dangerous strategy for a legit business. Why?
In this article, we will point out the reasons why should not purchase an email list, no matter if it’s just a short and temporary strategy to get some businesses at an early stage of your business venture.
Purchasing email is against the CAN-SPAM Act
The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.
The CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service, including email that promotes content on commercial websites.
The CAN-SPAM Act makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email.
But following the law isn’t complicated. Click here to see CAN-SPAM’s main requirements you need to follow.
On top of that, if you’re using email marketing software like
- Mailchimp, or
They will most likely boot you off their platform since it’s against their terms of service.
Buying email will harm your brand reputation
Most email hosting services are dedicated to maintaining and protecting their customer IP with a highly secure and reliable email hosting system. Their system is usually designed to protect users from threats such as spam, phishing, and malware from reaching the user.
Some popular email hosting providers are:
- and more …
To check which email hosting service a business is using, you can check their website Whois. The details will be listed as MX records.
So, if you send an email in bulk to an untrusted email list, and bad luck your email was hit as spam, or you get too many bounce emails. Then, your email IP address will be seen as an illegitimate email address and a spammer.
This can cause severely not on your email reputation, but more than that will affect your business in the long run.
Be aware that unethical tech companies buy and sell data all the time. So, think twice before purchasing email addresses.
Buying email is violating GDPR’s rules of consent
Newsletter mailings and e-mail marketing are a fixed part of the online marketing universe. Basically, the principle that processing is prohibited but subject to the possibility of authorization also applies to the personal data which is used to send e-mails.
Regardless of whether a company bases its marketing measures afterward on its legitimate interest or on consent, the controller has to adhere to the data subject’s right to be informed. The content of said information depends on which justification reason is used.
This means you need your receiver’s consent to send marketing emails to them. Purchasing an email list, no matter for what purpose, it violates the GDPR law. Also, it’s required to address the reason why you send out marketing emails to them, how did you acquire their email address. And, how can they opt-out if they no longer want to receive emails from your mailing list.
Processing is only allowed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) if either the data subject has consented, or there is another legal basis. This could be, for example, preserving the legitimate interest of the controller to send e-mail marketing.
Low response rate, inactive list, and outdated email address
You should not trust all the email seller. Why?
With help from some email extractor softwares, they illegally harvest people’s emails on the internet. You can easily search for these softwares with the keyword “email address harvesting tools”. Do you know that an infringement notice can involve a fine of $440 per contravention for an individual and corporations can be fined $2,200 per contravention. You should never think about selling, buying, or using an email address harvesting software to stay away from law infringement.
Will you trust the quality of the email list?
Most likely the email list will be inactive, lack and untrustable data, or real people but with low response rate and no interest in your business, or dead emails. So, you’re not going to have many people reading your unwanted emails in the first place. And if they do, they’ll most likely ignore or unsubscribe from you.
Sending promotional emails to a paid email list is against the law. Plus, it’s a huge waste of money. It’s no different than being a lottery winner who spends all their winnings within five years and ending up broke. You instantly gain a huge amount of email addresses. After some time of emailing them, the list slowly dwindles. The only difference is, you’re breaking the law.
So if you value your business’ reputation, then you should be starting building your email list manually. Write more useful content for your audience, run online marketing campaigns such as Google Adwords, Facebook Ads. Or, you can also enroll in local businesses meet-up to expand your business and build relationships and get more followers to subscribe to you.
If you find this article interesting, you may also like The Importance Of E-Mail Marketing And 5 Types Of Email Messages Marketers Should Know.