I didn’t know what to expect when I went to my first Email Community Meet Up last Monday. Everyone in the room had some form of email marketing experience, and yes, some opinions were tossed around. Surprisingly, the meeting started off with a basic topic, and the whole group shared the same opinion.
Buying an Email List Is A Bad Idea.
I was surprised at how many hands flew up when asked, “How many of us are asked if we can buy an email list”? I was even more surprised to see the person next to me mouth the words EVERY DAY while raising her hand because… I work with her!
So on my drive home I try to put myself in one of our partner’s shoes. Maybe we get this question so much because it’s fairly common to buy an address list for Direct Mail?
Sure, growing an email list isn’t easy, but that is why it is considered the best way to communicate with your customers. You can gauge your customer’s trust in your store by how many opt in. Your email opt in list is marketing GOLD because these people decided they want to hear from you AND trust you won’t share their information with anyone else! Most people don’t go around signing up on every site they encounter for fear of identity theft. Your customers know how to tune out the marketing they don’t want to hear but they are open and listening when it comes to your store!
This email opt-in choice should be treated with respect, and if you decide to buy a list instead, that respect will not go both ways. Not only will they not opt in, they will remember your company as someone who didn’t bother to knock. You just barged right into their home.
It’s like when a salesperson shows up at your store un-announced demanding your attention at the busiest time of the year, or getting a call from a telemarketer during dinner.
Another reason why buying an email list is bad is that we have to turn in the list to get it “cleaned” before we can use it. This process is a lot like washing a wool sweater. That list will be only 5% of what it was when you turned it in.
Some email lists are advertised as: “Targeted”, “Opt-in”, “Verified”, “Clean”, “Real Time”. What they fail to mention is how it can take only one person to mark your email as spam, which can result in your registrar pulling your domain name.
In today’s world, getting your domain name pulled could mean taking several steps backward with your store’s branding, not to mention all the marketing material you will have to reprint. It’s just not worth it in the end.