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You Ask, I Answer: Why Not to Buy Email Lists?

Kim asks, “What advice would you give to persuade my CEO NOT to buy an email list?”

Buying a third party list is a bad idea in today’s environment because your deliverability is contingent on how many people report your email as junk. The moment you use a third party list, your reputation gets trashed and it takes a while to recover – and there’s no guarantee you ever do.

You Ask, I Answer: Why Not to Buy Email Lists?

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In today’s episode, Kim asks, What advice would you give to persuade my CEO not to buy an email list? Well, it’s a whole bunch of reasons.

There are the legal liabilities of violating GDPR and ccpa.

And the can spam act and Castle legislation in a variety of different countries.

And if your company has any international exposure, or an exposure in the state of California, you risk being sued.

And I would hope that that’s pretty obviously bad.

More than that there’s there are technological reasons for not doing list buys.

And buy lists by we mean going to a list broker and saying I want a list of you know, 20,000 emails that meet these criteria and they just give you a big pile of emails.

Very often the quality of those lists is not great.

Right now it is the middle of 2020.

The quality of the lists is appallingly bad.

One of the things and there’s a post over on the Trust Insights website that has happened in the last nine weeks is that 41 million people in the United States lost two jobs.

We’re What do you think is going to happen to that email list of you know, managers and above at technology companies or whatever it was listed? I shot there’s there’s going to be not a whole lot working on them.

When you load a bad list into your email system, and then you send an email to it, what happens is that you start sending out signals that you clearly got the list from from artificial means.

Most mail systems will track how many attempts you try to send to a mailbox that does not exist, right? So, if [email protected] or blanket, you know, credit care.com or whatever, if they bounce, meaning that the mail got to the server, the server like there’s no mailbox by this name.

And those companies or servers or services use blacklist reporting.

Do that enough and you get put on a blacklist, and it may be temporary, it may be permanent.

When that happens, any mail that comes from your company’s domain is going to get rejected.

It’s going to get bounced out.

And you may not be able to get through so let’s say I’m just gonna make something happen.

Let’s say that you’ve been corresponding with the VP of Marketing at FedEx.

And you’re, you’re nurturing them along, they’re kind of sitting your services, and you buy an email list.

That’s a whole bunch of fun x addresses on it, you send it out.

Now FedEx is anti spam firewall says hey, you know your company comm seems like it’s doing a pretty shady stuff.

We’re gonna block here because you sent to a whole bunch of addresses that don’t exist anymore.

And the next time your salesperson goes to me to mail the VP of Marketing at FedEx what happens, your mail doesn’t get through, and that sale is now dead.

This is the consequence of using bad lists.

Now, you could take a list that you bought and clean it and scrub it using any of the mail mail verification services out there.

That will help to some degree, but it will also show you what a really bad investment that was because you’ll put in 100,000 names you’ll get 2000 out like Oh, these are the only 2000 that are still working.

You’re like what did I pay for you know, 400,000 names for it.

98,000 of them are are dead.

You also don’t know where people go Those names will.

One of the challenges again, if you take a list that you bought, and you said a whole bunch of email to it, the worst thing somebody can do is to hit this spam button, report a spam in email or your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or in Outlook or Microsoft Exchange.

When that happens, again, you get put on the naughty list.

And either your email does not go through, you’ll actually see this at the mail server level.

The average end user the average market won’t see it but your technology people your IT people will see it.

It will say something like mail blocked by header based as a header based sender list, or I’ll say content resembles spam or things like that.

No matter what it is, no matter what variation of the words it is.

It will show that you been bad.

And that server is not accepting mail from you anymore.

If enough people report it as spam, especially for b2b marketers, this is a really big problem, right? Because if you get blocked from the entire domain again, now, none of your salespeople can communicate with anybody who works at that company because your domain has been blocked.

And doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to realize you now have substantially hampered your ability to make sales.

How do you reach then help the people you want? Or how do you build your list? Do it the normal way, do digital advertising to some download or white paper do co registration events, partner events with with non competing companies, you know, by Google ads for stuff or YouTube ads, enticing people to sign up for your newsletter.

And most of all have email content that People desperately want and that they voluntarily sign up for, and that they refer their friends to.

And by in doing so, at that point, you don’t have to worry so much about where to get your list.

You have to worry about creating great content all the time so that your list continues to grow.

That’s how you get around the police buying question.

Now, if all you’re sending out promotional junk, you might want to rethink that.

You might want to rethink that as a as a strategy.

Because any list you do buy will decay very quickly, because people be like, I don’t want this is not what I signed up for.

This is not interesting.

The Gold Standard question to ask yourself is, if I did not work for this company, would I want this email? The answer is no.

You’re honest with yourself answer’s no.

You got got to work to fix things up.


Make your email so compelling.

Even if you didn’t work for that company, you would want that email.

In fact, if you can get to the highest standard, the ideal, the ideal is, would somebody else pay money for this email? If you can get to that point, you will have no questions about how do we grow our email list? Right? Because your content is so good.

People desperately want to ask you for it when it’s missing.

So, don’t buy lists and work to make your email better.

If you have follow up questions, leave it in the comments box below.

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I’ll talk to you soon.

Take care I want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems.

This is Trust insights.ai today and let us know how we can help you

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