The 5 Dangers of Contact List Buying

I’ve been told time and time again in life that “if it’s easy, everyone would do it.”  This most certainly the case in the marketing world as well. Email marketing as a part of an overall inbound marketing strategy is known to be successful when done right, but it can be very tempting to take a short cut and buy a list.  Let’s get one thing out of the way right up front: DON’T DO IT. 
List buying was an efficient method when the email was a relatively new technology. Now, there’s a high chance that your message goes into the spam folder or is deleted before even being read. Not only that, but it can also have a reverse effect and make customers block you as a result of spamming them, and there fore you lose all contact with them. Read on to learn about five big risks to your businss as a result of list buying:


1.) People don’t want to hear from you

Caution when buying contact lists

People are not ready to hear from you and will mostly discard your emails. Your messages and your emails are spam for them and they will do anything but read it. This results in a waste of effort and energy without the purpose being served. Quite often, list providers will say these contacts have opted to receive emails. What they fail to mention is what they opted in for. Most certianly not hearing from you…. People will generally unsubscribe or block such emails instead of asking them to be sent to their inboxes.


2.) It’s so easy that anyone can do it

anyone can buy contact data which means everyone has same contacts

It is very easily accessible to a number of people. If you can purchase a list, so can someone else. When your message, combined with other marketing emails, reaches the inbox of the person, he or she is tempted to disregard all the “white noise” present in his inbox. Even if the person wants your service or product, they will not know because they will not consider reading your message.


3.) The data isn’t accurate

bought data is often inaccurate

The data provided by list providers generally is compromised. They contain email addresses that are long forgotten and are not used anymore. But they will not bother to keep a check on this fact and will keep false and misleading data in their database and this proves to be useless for the marketing of your brand. What is even scarier is putting this inaccurate data in your overall database…. 


4.) Reduces email deliverability

email deliverability becomes bad with bought data

When an email is sent it meets one of the three fates which are: being successfully delivered to your inbox, reaching the spam folder, or being blocked by the email service provider (ESP) in some gateway. There are certain businesses which rely entirely on the emails to reach their customers for notifications or receipts. If you buy an email list, it means that you are increasing the load on the ESP and thus a problem in the deliverance of the emails may be encountered. It is better to keep in touch with your customers personally and refrain from buying any lists.


5.) Increased cost of tools

cost of email tools goes up with bought data

List buying may seem like a cheap short term solution, but the reality is the lasting effects can be very costly. Most cloud based tools today, such as CRM and marketing automation platforms, charge by the number of contacts in your database. When this is an organically grown database of people who want to hear from you, this is a good problem to have.  On the flip side, when this is a bought database of contacts who don’t even know who you are, it can be extremely expensive very quickly. In addition to this, list buying in itself can become a very expensive venture. 

Going with modern and more reliable means of reaching your audiences, and this can be done in an organic matter through an effective inbound marketing strategy. It is more important to make the customer reach you rather wasting money in going out to them and most of the time encountering uninterested clients. List buying has become flawed now and relying on it means you are ready to lose some considerable dollars and potential customers in the process.