Dear Marketers, Please Don’t Buy Your Leads

Deciding to purchase a list of names and email addresses for your email marketing campaign may not be the best marketing approach, but many small business opt for this route. Perhaps buyers of such lists are unaware of the expert opinions that warn against the pitfalls of buying email lists from outside sources. Regardless, procuring such a list could be a costly mistake if you fall for the slick presentation of email subscription list companies. Do not buy these neatly packaged lists from sellers that promise more than they can deliver.



Email represents the Biggest Part of the Marketing Budget

According to a recent survey of small and medium-sized businesses, email represents the largest portion of total money spent by marketing companies. Ninety-five percent of respondents built their email subscription lists through their website. Sixty-five percent admitted to supplementing their internally generated list by renting or purchasing lists from an outside vendor.

What is so Bad about Buying or Renting email Lists?

Look at the statistics that measure the success of an email marketing campaign. As a small business owner, you want your marketing dollars to be spent in the most effective manner. High response rates that turn into sales are the projected end goal. When you buy or rent third party mailing lists, about half of the email addresses may be outdated. Those that are delivered may not be read and simply deleted. Buying email lists can be a waste of money and can, in turn, decrease the perception and credibility of your business.

Quality of the List

When you purchase an email list from an outside source, you may be buying a list that has been through the mill. Lists that target specific demographics, unique interests or zip codes could be too broad or have very little utility for your intended use. When universal lists are available for anyone willing to pay, they can quickly become the source of unwanted solicitations, thus making their way into a recipient’s SPAM folder.

Who is this?

When messages successfully land in the inbox of those on a third party email list, the recipient may not know who is sending the email or why they’re receiving the email. With the proliferation of viruses and spyware, most people are hesitant to open emails from people they do not know or trust.

Ruining your Reputation

When you use a questionable list, you are subjecting yourself to messages marked as undeliverable or even a slew of SPAM complaints. Under the CAN-SPAM Act you could face penalties of up to $16,000.

Develop your own email List

Generating your own email subscription list is the most effective way to get the results you want. Start by inviting visitors to your website. Visitors can register to keep up on the latest news and offers. Make it a point to tell visitors how their privacy will be respected. It is crucial to include an opt-in button so visitors aren’t automatically added to your mailing list. Over time, as people see value in the content of your email messages, they may be more likely to do business with your company.

Take the Time to Grow your List

Don’t take shortcuts to enlarge your email mailing list. Let the list grow by encouraging existing customers to sign up for a free newsletter. Offer an incentive for website visitors to opt-in. Build your list organically by interacting with people at trade shows and company events. Set a solid foundation in order to accrue leads for the future.

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