To buy or to build?
Updated on February 5, 2021
Similar to how everyone has an address, nowadays, everyone also has an email address, making email marketing crucial to a successful marketing strategy.
Email marketing gets you right in front of your target customers. Plus, you don’t have to spend hefty amounts of money or even pay for postage, you simply send your easily customizable emails to your customers and start measuring success!
Email marketing also sends traffic to your website, lets you reach people exactly when you need to and gives you total control of communicating with your audience. You can even create Facebook and Instagram ads that specifically target your email list! Who doesn’t want all that?!
After learning all the benefits of email marketing, entrepreneurs and businesses usually face the same question: “Where do I get the emails?”
One way to get emails is to buy them. There are hundreds of services available that sell targeted email lists that you can use right away.
Targeted email list services are affordable and quick. They claim they’ve triple verified emails and removed all personal information—oh, and guarantee email delivery.
You can find targeted email lists specific to your industry, making these services seem like a ‘one and done’ solution, but there’s a catch.
Buying targeted email lists is looked down upon by many reputable businesses, kind of like cheating, and can even cause you some trouble. We’ll cover some of the reasons why below, but first let’s address why people buy emails in the first place!
Targeted email lists save you from the lengthy process of building your own email list, which can take months or even years. You just pay and download the emails!
In addition to being a quick solution for starting email marketing, purchasing email lists is also affordable. It saves you precious time that would otherwise be spent building a list yourself.
You can purchase email lists for anywhere from $100-$2,500+. Email lists with higher quality and quantity will cost more.
It Can Bring Growth to Your Business Quickly
If you get a high-quality email list for your target audience with a high deliverability rate, you can start growing your business right away! In the time you’d spend just creating your own email list, you’ll already see an increase in engagement, sales, and qualified leads.
You Can Harm Your Email Deliverability Rate
When you send your marketing emails to a list of recipients you purchased, it’s likely most of those inbox owners won’t know anything about your brand and will mark your email as spam. This can cause you major trouble with your email provider (Google, Yahoo!, Outlook) and could even get your IP address on a blacklist.
Most reputable email service providers won’t even allow you to use a purchased email list.
You Don’t Know Who Else Uses It
Services that sell targeted email lists are not generating new lists for every customer. They earn money by reselling the same list over and over again to different clients. How well will your marketing email be received by someone who’s receiving unsolicited emails from tens or hundreds of other businesses?
You Don’t Know Where the Emails Came From
Email list companies can say anything and slap “targeted”, “clean”, and “verified” on as many lists as they want, but they are not going to reveal where those emails came from.
Are they even relevant? When did the email owners opt-in? What did they opt-in to anyway?
This is something you must be conscious of if you go the route of buying email lists.
Sometimes They’re Illegal
Every country has anti-spam laws and other laws around what it is and isn’t okay to email for commercial purposes. Since you don’t really know what you’re buying, it’s hard to know if you’re breaking the law.
Plus, if you have any subscribers in Europe, you must abide by GDPR regulations which require all email subscribers to opt-in with “clear affirmative action” meaning you can’t automatically tick the ‘opt-in’ box and subscribe customers for their inaction.
They Don’t Always Reach the ‘Inbox’
One of the main issues with buying email lists (particularly low-quality lists) is deliverability. They end up being a complete waste of money when few emails ever reach someone’s inbox.
We know that email marketing is a proven tactic to grow your business, so what do you do? Buy or build an email list?
Despite the potential cons of buying an email list, there's a way to do it politely (and legally!), even if not everyone agrees. Low volume, targeted emails won't get you on spam lists, and if you’re uncertain about quality after you buy, you can use EmailFinder to verify your email list is good quality!
Alternatively, you can build a list yourself, reaching out to people through their social media and LinkedIn accounts, or through targeted ads. There’s a slower feedback loop but also lower risk of public pushback.
Plus, every single person you contact is deliberate, so you'll get better open rates and most likely higher engagement.
Either way, you need EmailFinder! For purchased lists, we'll validate your emails. For lists you build on your own, we'll tell you how to reach that perfect prospect by finding their email for you with industry-leading accuracy.