Email Marketing Best Practices – don’t purchase a list. Ever.


If you are a marketer, your inbox is probably inundated on a daily basis with offers for you to purchase distribution lists containing email addresses. These list vendors claim they have people looking for exactly the product or service you sell, all you have to do is purchase the list.Following best practices for email marketing, most marketers know these offers are notoriously fraudulent, but here are a few other reminders of why you should not purchase email lists.

Number one, it’s against the law. The CAN-SPAM act is still the law of the land, and it requires that all emails of a commercial nature originate from some sort of opt in process. It can be a client, or it can be somebody who contacted you in the past, but there has to be some overt act in which they gave you their email address. You cannot purchase a list and send commercial emails.

Number two, your email service forbids you from using purchased lists. If you use MailChimp, ConstantContact, or a marketing automation service like HubSpot or Marketo, you are expressly forbidden from using purchased email lists. And should you get tempted to try to fool them and do it anyway, keep this in mind. Most purchased lists have very high bounce rate, sometimes as high as 80% (yet another reason not to use purchased lists). If you import a list, and your service provide suddenly realizes that most people in that list are bouncing, they’re going to get suspicious. Companies have been permanently banned from using services for doing things such as this.

Number three, it’s not going to work. Just because you purchased a list of people that this provider claims are interested in your product, the recipients will have no idea who you are, making it very unlikely they are going to read your email. You also run a high risk that they will report you as spam, which blocks you from emailing them in the future and ultimately can lead to your domain being blacklisted across the web.

Best practices for email marketing is to build your email list the old-fashioned way, put offers on your website and in other collateral to get people to opt into receiving emails from you. No business objects to receiving emails – even on a frequent basis – if the emails contain quality information.

Not sure what’s right for you? Let us help find which solution will help you reach your goals.

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