There are still a lot of people who don’t know that buying a dubious email list is a bad business. Know how to proceed!

Purchasing email lists is among the supposedly least laborious ways to get started in Digital Marketing. Maybe that’s why it continues to be done even though a lot of people already know it’s not a best practice.

“If everyone does it, so can I” or “there are so many people on the list that it’s worth it, it’s not possible that some are not interested in my business” are among the main justifications for the practice.

In recent years, however, we can celebrate that education in the digital market has brought many improvements. The practice of buying and selling an email list, for example, as we used to see a lot on the internet — “buy now 1 million emails from your segment!” — has gone down a lot. We risk saying that it is almost extinct.

And it was a struggle to achieve this advance. If you follow some Digital Marketing channels, you’ve certainly come across an article begging for this practice to end. Conexorama, RD’s partner agency , even released a video “ letting off steam” about the subject.

Despite the significant decrease in the purchase of email lists, we have observed other practices that are very close to this one.

So, in this article, we’re going to show you four routine mailing list formats (the famous “oh, this little list matters to us” ) that we’ve observed based on testimonials from our partner agencies . We also share our opinion on how the company’s marketing person should handle the matter.

But first, of course, you need to know why it’s not worth investing in ready-made lists.

Why is buying a mailing list a big hole?

There are three main justifications that explain this issue:

People don’t know and have shown no interest in your company and your products

List members have no idea how you got their email. This causes a very bad impression upon receipt.

In the past, shipping ended up having less negative impact for three reasons. The first is that we didn’t have to deal with as much information (emails, messages, posts on social media) as we have today and, in that sense, any additional unauthorized message is a nuisance, a bad-looking interruption that doesn’t match the good ones. Inbound Marketing practices  . This, in itself, makes the results disappointing.

The second reason is that we’ve seen the explosion of social media, which has given consumers voice and power. Today the company is frowned upon not only by those who received the SPAM but also by all of that person’s friends if they use their profile to complain.

The third is that email services are getting smarter. There is a good chance that many users will mark your message as SPAM, and by doing so, your company’s reputation will suffer. This way, the next email marketing sends  have great chances of falling straight into the SPAM box. Thus, even people who would like to receive something from your company will not see your email .

Lists are usually of very poor quality.

Emails that are on a purchased list are often the worst possible. People who have their address on these lists are very likely to receive emails from several other companies that have also purchased addresses. In these cases, the chance of your email getting lost among others or even being marked as SPAM, as we’ve already indicated, is much higher.

Also, these lists often have a lot of emails that don’t exist or have been disabled. By including these emails in the list and sending them, the trigger services available in the market already identify the “error” and interpret it as a clear sign that the list is not current or that it was built with quality. Result: your company goes to groups with the low reputation label, and for the next shots the service will use an infrastructure that is already “burned out”.

Finally, the quality is generally poor in terms of target audience as well. To “fat” the list and try to make it worth more, all types of emails are included and they end up entering profiles that have no relationship with your company’s business.

No email marketing service with a reliable reputation will authorize sending

We’ve already talked about how email services anti-spam filters work  .

Due to the two topics we presented above, purchased lists have very high SPAM tagging and delivery error rates, which damages the reputation of the sending server.

Knowing this, this type of service always prohibits the import of purchased lists, seeking to ensure its reputation and quality in deliverability. So, one of two things: either the service will not authorize the sending, or else it authorizes everything, but because of allowing this practice your servers must already have a bad reputation with the email providers, and therefore will have a low deliverability.

Note: There are those who believe that they can deceive the tools, saying that the list is their own and not purchased. The best email marketing services have mechanisms to identify this: the email is sent piecemeal, in small batches, and with poor results the campaign is stopped.

4 Ways To Buy Email List That Lasts Today

1. Linkedin Contacts Email List

This is the top 1, according to what we’ve heard from our partner agencies. It’s very common for these businesses to hear the customer say something like “our CEO has a very qualified audience on LinkedIn, so go up this list here to RD Station”.

Even with the recent change implemented by the social network , we know that there are still some lists out there in the drawers. And we’re sure they’ll show up for some time yet!

The problem was that it was very easy to export the LinkedIn contact list . With a simple Google search you will still get to this step by step.

However, when we talk about a profile on LinkedIn, we must remember that the request for connection between people who never met is very recurrent. It is even recommended that you accept it freely, to expand your searches and reach your messages. Therefore, it is not usually a well-targeted base.

Furthermore, the fact that the base interacts with you on the social network does not mean, in practice, that it is interested in receiving your email. Consider this.

Finally, even if you’re a salesperson and you’re doing social selling  or prospecting on LinkedIn , that doesn’t mean a base that wants to receive emails, or that it’s hot. There is a lot of “dirt” in the prospecting process, even if they are segmented audiences.

So, what do we recommend to the marketer when they come across this request to “up that list of contacts on linkedIn”?

  1. Avoid climbing the base:  It is common to have many emails without any interest. Avoid even.
  2. Use this list for Ads : Why not make an ad on Linkedin itself (or on other networks, such as Facebook) to show an offer for a material? From this conversion, then yes, the contact enters the base. That way, you can enjoy the listing, but don’t mess up your Leads base.

2. Email list with contacts from an event

So your company sponsored, supported, participated or created an X, Y, Z da Silva event. Mass event is very good for marketing! It is the moment when communication is no longer virtual, you look in the eye, talk and interact with the target audience of that action.

And then, it is quite common to have a list of event emails. “Up this little listing here. There are 5 thousand hot contacts from such event” . So, for starters: they’re not hot.

It’s quite unusual that during the event you organized yourself to separate who was really hot and who wasn’t from the people who left the email. And even though it’s separated, you have to talk to a lot of people, so it’s an unreliable assessment.

And how many people at the event didn’t leave a “wrong” email? Who ever, right? Or, you wrote the email wrongly, in good faith. It happens very often.

Also, many of the “hot” contacts were hot during the event, but not afterward. The crucial mistake, in these cases, is to bet horrors on these listings of participants of a certain event or even that we picked up at our booth.

Therefore, what we indicate to the marketer who comes across this request is the following:

  • Clean up the list:  don’t go up the list before an email sanitization process . You’ll be surprised how many contacts will come out of this initial listing.
  • Plan the nutrition of these contacts:  whatever it is possible to segment, do. Then create the communication exactly as an extension of the process you started back at the event.
  • Go up to RD Station Marketing, activate nutrition, but schedule the review: ok, all set, then go up to your automation software and activate nutrition. And don’t leave that subject behind. Yes, you will need to go back to that nutrition, try a new footprint, and even in some cases remove contacts with scoring zero.

(We know that this list-in-event situation is not happening now, as a result of the pandemic, but our consideration on the subject is already here for when it comes in handy).

3. Gmail/Outlook Contacts Email List

This one is the dirtiest of all, oddly enough. The belief revolves precisely around being contacts that are used on a daily basis. “So, in these contacts in our Gmail, we have all the customers, some partners, just hot people” , is what we usually hear.

Although the amount of hot contacts is probably greater when compared to the two examples we have already gone through, here too the amount of dirt is much greater.

Imagine the amount of emails you have exchanged with other people, contacts that no longer exist, contacts that no longer remember you and so on. So, here the listing is very dirty, in any case.

Therefore, the process Blue World City recommend for the Marketing professional is:

  • Clear list:  uh, same as previous item. Don’t even start dealing with this list if you don’t sanitize the listing.
  • Segment the list: once you’ve retrieved what’s left from the cleanup, you’ll need to take the time (in the spreadsheet itself) to separate contacts as much as possible. Is this a customer? Is this an ex-customer? Are you a supplier here? These are from my team. Here you don’t need to go up, it’s my mommy. And don’t invert. That is, first clean and then segment. That’s how you will save time. After all, this segmentation will be very human, and will need to be performed by the “list owner”.
  • Then you decide : yes, an orientation very “on the fence”. It’s just that based on contacts, sometimes you won’t import them all. You can also use the Ads tactic, for example on ex-clients, why not.

4. Email list of your partner’s contacts

To close our selection, here comes the last “list” routine, which is not so uncommon. It’s “my business partner’s contact list, which only has filet, only my Persona”.

This is the moment when those who got the list puff out their chests and show the Marketing team that their network of contacts goes beyond. Shine your eyes in delivering this gem, this pearl.

So “my dear”, very cool, but you can take it back. It sounds extreme, but the amount of dirt is also huge. If you care a lot – I hope so – for your listing to be real, just nice contacts, that doesn’t mean your partner does.

You can be sure it’s a negligible portion that’s hot. It’s like that with your base, it’s like that with the partner’s base. So, never climb this base directly. In this case we indicate that:

  • Take advantage of the contact and combine a comarketing : Instead of going up the list, combine a partnership action, to launch a material. That way, your partner will shoot over there, to his base, and only those who were really interested in the subject will enter for you.

As a bonus, you can still generate buzz, improve your lead generation and can even get a link building , when you focus so that the Landing Page stays with you and your partner “links” that page on his site.

Ok, but if buying mailing list is not recommended, how can I get contacts?

The surest way to build an email list from scratch and get contact from people who are really interested in your business is to offer them something they want.

As there are endless possibilities of offers to attract  Leads , it’s up to you to identify what is most attractive to your audience.

We have separated the possible types into four large groups, so that it is easier to create the initial cost-benefit hypothesis and the indication of use for each of them:

  • Content ( eBooks,  webinars , short courses etc.);
  • Tools (spreadsheets, templates, calculators etc.);
  • Promotions (discount coupons, sweepstakes etc.);
  • Contact offers (requests for quotes, assessments, conversation with a consultant, etc.).

To learn more, download our  free eBook: 28 types of offer for lead generation . After choosing the type, create a  Landing Page  with a form in which you will publicize the offer and get the Lead contacts.

Don’t forget to optimize the Landing page to stimulate conversion, and promote it on social networks, blog, with  paid media  and also with  comarketing , so that it actually reaches your audience and you can generate Leads.

You can perform all your Digital Marketing actions with RD Station Marketing . It is the software for your company to make better campaigns, nurture Leads, generate qualified business opportunities and achieve more results. From social networks to email, from Landing Pages to Pop-ups, from automation to the analysis of your results.