Buying An Email List: The Lowdown

If you’re going to embark on an email marketing campaign, you’re going to need people to email. Building an email list takes time and patience; it will take months (maybe even years) to build a list of 1,000 plus contacts who have actually opted in to receive news and information from your business.



Then you get a call from a list purchasing company. They can get you 10,000 names and email addresses for people that live in your city overnight for little more than £100.

Problem solved?

Not really.


Here are just a few reasons:

List Exhaustion:

The vendor that sold you the list will resell it to anyone else they find willing to pay the price, the list isn’t exclusively yours.

As a result, nobody has any control over how many emails or even what types of emails are sent to the list.

These email addresses could be being overwhelmed with marketing collateral 10-12 times a day by others who’ve purchased the same list as you. This constant bombardment will exhaust the contacts on the list and weaken any chance of a positive response in the process.

Quality Control:Address Book

When you buy a list of contacts you are charged based on the size of the list. Unfortunately, quality rarely comes into it.

For all you know you could be sending your emails to non relevant or even closed down email addresses.

No relevance:

Even if you’re lucky enough to buy a list of 100% working email addresses, it’s still pretty unlikely that your email marketing campaign using it will yield much success. Remember that these people haven’t requested to hear from you. When one of your emails unexpectedly pops into their inbox it’s highly unlikely to be enthusiastically welcomed.

Still undecided?

If none of this has deterred you and you are still thinking about buying or renting an email list from a broker then at the very least make sure that the broker provides guarantees that the contacts on the list have actively agreed to receiving unsolicited messages by email from third parties.

As the Information Commissioners Office states, you also have a duty to make sure the addressee is given a valid address for opt-out requests (in every single message that you send them).

We’ll soon be sharing our top tips for building squeaky clean and powerful email lists, subscribe to our posts so that you don’t miss it. logo