Purchasing an Email Marketing List: The Pros and Cons

If you’re trying to generate new leads, you’ve probably considered email marketing. Like the traditional cold phone call, cold emails to relevant companies often generate new customers (which can boost sales).

You need recipients in an email marketing list to start contacting those potential customers.

How do you find this list, you ask?

There are several ways. You can generate the list over time, you can obtain a list through hard work and dedication, or you can purchase one, among other options. No one way is right or wrong, but there are positives and negatives to each method. Read on for more info.

To Purchase or Not to Purchase an Email Marketing List—That’s the Question

Plenty of brokerages out there sell pre-made email lists. While purchasing one of these lists saves a lot of time and effort on your part—you purchase the list and it’s ready to go—there are a few things to consider.

1. You don’t know how the information was gathered.

Did the owners of the email addresses on this list opt-in willingly, or was their information gathered some other way?

2. You have no idea if the people on the list are still interested in services like yours.

Perhaps the recipients’ information was gathered a year or more ago, and they have already found a solution for their needs.

3. You might not have accurate information about the individuals.

If recipients’ information was gathered as part of a promotion, they might have gotten lumped into your category and might never have wanted services like yours at all.

4. You might not be the only one who purchased the list.

Not all list brokerages offer exclusive rights to lists, meaning multiple companies might be contacting the same group. Your hard-earned money might be going toward a list of people that others have already contacted.

When you purchase a list, you’re not guaranteed the information is accurate, and cold outreach to a list of people about whom you know very little can be risky. You might frustrate them if they didn’t opt in willingly, solved their need a long time ago, or never wanted information about your services.

Imagine how many other companies might have purchased the same list and contacted the same people…

…Now imagine you’re one of the recipients caught in the perfect storm of not willingly opting in, not needing the services, and being cold contacted by multiple companies.

Bottom line: Be careful when purchasing email lists.

On the other hand, some lists come from conferences or associations, and those lists are a bit safer. If you’re a presenter or a sponsor at a conference, for example, you might be able to ask the organizer for a list of attendees. Contacting these people or companies will have a much more positive result. After all, these recipients will have willingly attended an event related to your industry and given over their information, and they will likely be happy to hear from a colleague.

If you do purchase a list, or you obtain a list from a conference or association, be sure to get first and last name as well as email address. Any other information you can find is a bonus. This will allow you to personalize your contact with these individuals, creating a warmer outreach environment.

How to Construct Your Own Email Marketing List

If you don’t purchase the list, creating an outreach list is another option. It takes more time, but you will be able to obtain specific information about your recipients. Some of the benefits of this include:

  1. Choose your target audience. When you build your own list, you can search by different types of businesses, geographic area, business size, search ranking, and more, and use tools to find email addresses quickly (like Ahrefs).
  2. Know who you’re sending to, intimately. Using ideas like these from Kissmetrics, you can build an email list over time. Sure, it takes a while, but you’ll 100 percent know that every recipient on your list values your company and its offerings.
  1. Generate a loyal following. When your readers are actively invested in your content, they are more likely to share what they find with their like-minded colleagues. They’re also more likely to convert, and we all know that enhances your bottom line.

A Few Final Tips

Email lists can be powerful, particularly for outreach. If you’re reaching out to a list for the first time, using a program like Quickmail.io—a platform built for outside contact with new recipients—can go a long way. After that, using a system like MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact, or another email platform will help you track your metrics like open rate, clicks, opt-ins, unsubscribes and more to see how your recipients list is responding to your efforts.

Worried you’re not doing all you can with your email marketing list? We’re here to help! Contact us, and we’ll set up a time to walk you through our proven best practices guaranteed to double your leads.

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