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Why You Should Never Purchase An Email List

You have all your ducks in a row. Good affiliate offers to promote – check. Good content to go with said offers – check. Lead capture path setup and working – check.

Now what?

Sure you can push visitors / traffic to your site via various means, but one of the easiest ways to drive traffic is through email. But where do you get these illusive emails?

Purchase one? Rent one?

Simple answer – No. No, and No!

That’s where many email marketers find themselves at though, acting on the moment of desperation can cause more harm than good. You know the saying that all good things come to those who wait and work their tush off to get them? It rings true in building and acquiring an email list the right way as well.

Reputable email marketing platforms will shun you.

Companies such as Aweber, iContact, and even MailChimp will insist that the list was acquired and built by you. Sure you could use a non-reputable list server, however such companies typically suffer very poor deliverability.

It’s pretty simple if you think about it logically. One customer’s ill-gotten email address list can contaminate the deliverability of the other customers on the same shared IP address. This will cause everyone using that IP to have higher blocked emails.

Good Lists Just Aren’t For Sale

Think about it. If you have an email list that generates even a pretty good revenue source, why would you sell it? It takes little or no effort (once you get your feet wet) to find good affiliate offers to mail to that will result in ongoing income from your list.

If it’s for sale, it generally means that the addresses on it have already been mailed to death rung clean and hung out to dry. Any email addresses that were once valuable have long since been spammed to the ends of the earth.

There Is No Personal Relationship To a Purchased List

Rented and purchased list are typically acquired by using sketch techniques, which I think we can all agree is a pretty dirty way to collect email contacts. But for arguments sake, lets say they are acquired through less sketchy means. Perfect, right?

Don’t count your cash yet. All this means is that the contacts have opted in to receive emails from someone, possibly the company that is selling the list. Not your company. Even if the opt-in page was plastered with “Opt in to receive special offers from us, or from other companies that we think you might enjoy.” The simple fact remains that they don’t know your company or even ever heard of you. This means that because they don’t recognize you or remember opting in to your list specifically there is a good change they will mark your emails as “Spam.” Ouch!

Which brings me to the next point.

Your Company and IP Reputation Will be Dirty

If you purchase or rent a list, you have no way of really knowing how often that list has been previously mailed, if the email addresses on the list have been cleaned up for hard bounces, or exactly where the email address came from.

Are you willing to risk not only your personal email deliverability, but the reputation of your IP address?

Mail servers will often check your Sender Score before deciding what to do with the emails that you send. The lower your Sender Score, the harder time you will have at actually getting your email into someone’s inbox. Even if you mail a few hundred or so from a purchased list and then later decided it was a horrible idea, it could take you months (or longer) to get your Sender Score back up enough to be a reputable mailer again.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for tips on how to grow an opt-in email list the right way. In the meantime we would love to hear your thoughts on purchased or rented email lists in the comments below.

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