My colleague Sharlyn wrote a post about a year ago titled, “Why you shouldn’t buy an email list,” where she talks about the problems with purchased email lists.
You should always look at these things from both sides, so I’ve compiled a lists of situations when it’s okay to buy an email list:
One of the greatest advantages to email is that users opt-in because they want to hear from you. It’s not like printing a mailer and having it sent to an entire zip code, where the houses you reach, the better. There’s a solid chance that a good chunk of that purchased list includes email addresses that aren’t valid. (Even if they tell you that they’re verified.) In fact, our main email provider prohibits sending emails to purchased lists.
Why? Email users can mark your messages as SPAM, which is not a canned meat product. Having your emails marked as spam can lead to the registrar blocking your domain name, which means your emails won’t be sent anymore. You do not want that.
So when you’re tempted to purchase an email list, don’t waste your money. Ever.