It can be tough for startups to build their own email list. You start with having an audience of zero people and try to build your way up to a loyal following. It’s difficult to begin from the bottom, especially when it seems like there are so many other competitors.
For this reason, many startups turn to purchasing mailing lists. They might find someone online willing to sell them a lot of names for a seemingly low price. After all, who would not want to get half a million names to send out to for only a couple bucks? Do not believe any false promises from vendors. You should avoid purchased mailing lists at all costs.
People often get on purchased lists because they accidentally clicked an offer, such as a “free prize,” and gave their information to a shady vendor. These people “opt-in” to email lists without even realizing it. Therefore, these recipients did not ask for your email and will not recognize your domain name. Your email will most likely be deleted, ignored, or reported for spam.
Too many people know what it’s like when they’ve unwittingly put their information somewhere on the internet and then get bombarded with spam. Ever get a bunch of missed calls from suspiciously similar phone numbers? Have you ever checked your inbox to find a bunch of urgent alerts from banks that you’ve never used? It’s an awful feeling that people would invade your privacy to steal your money and waste your time.
Additionally, many lists contain spam traps – email addresses that are dormant and could not possibly opt-in for messages. Emails sent to these addresses get marked as spam. Once you are marked as a spammer, your Sender Score will go down, your brand reputation will be tarnished, your account will be suspended, and your IP address will likely be blacklisted. Some organizations input spam traps to stop spammers in their place rightfully. You don’t want to be among the criminals and Nigerian princes of the world. You’re better than that.
Buying an email list is a gigantic waste of time, money, and effort. It is much more useful to create your own organic email list and watch your ROI soar.
The best way to do this is to create an opt-in form on your website. Many blogs use pop-ups or other advertisements to get visitors to subscribe to their mailing list. You can offer exclusive content such as free eBooks or important updates. Get people to sign up because they want to know what you have to offer, not because you bought their email address from some suspicious online vendor. Everyone will be happier because of it.