If you’re struggling to build your e-mail database and thinking about purchasing a list or two that might include your target audience, think again. Not only are these lists pricey, they are not worth the time and effort for your e-mail campaign.
Purchased lists are usually incomplete or out-of-date. The list brokers have obtained their lists by “harvesting” names from the internet and cobbling together e-mails from various sources. Question the quality, and you’ll likely find a lot of waste. In addition, use of these lists is one-time only. You wouldn’t really be building your database unless you got a huge return of people replying that they want to be part of your database.
In addition, if you’re conducting your e-mail campaign through a reputable vendor like Constant Contact or MailChimp, you won’t be able to upload a purchased list. These vendors have anti-spam policies and require you to attest that the names of people on the list are verified and the owners have opted in. A bad list can disrupt their system, and they’re not taking that chance.
Consider the “open” rate for a purchased list. If you receive an unsolicited e-mail and don’t recognize the source, do you open it or delete it? Most people would delete it – not only because they don’t know the origin, but also because they don’t trust an unknown source. Purchased lists are known to generate high spam rates and they tend to lower your sender score – the numerical rating assigned to every IP address. If your IP address is flagged with a low sender score, it can be blocked by e-mail vendors, leaving you with few alternatives for building your database.
Finally, you aren’t the only one using this “targeted” list. If it’s so targeted, every one of your competitors should be using it to send correspondence. Anyone on it who is legitimate will be getting inundated with spam, making it less likely that they’ll ever open your e-mail when it arrives.
Instead of purchasing a list, grow your own database with website incentives, surveys, contact forms and other marketing tools that will make potential customers want to receive your e-mails.