7 Reasons Why You Should Never Buy an Email List

Purchased Email ListsWhen it comes to email marketing, there is no way you can be successful if you’re cheating the system and buying email lists. Nothing good comes from it.  When you’re a marketer, you need people who you can email, and you need them fast. You can get a massive list at an affordable cost, that sounds great, right? Yes, when you’re constantly being solicited by list-purchasing companies, and you’re in a time crunch to find new people to email for your sales team.

Do not do it! There are other ways you can build a successful email list. In this article, we are going to take you through 7 reasons why you should NEVER buy an email list. If you already have? We’ll give you ways to recover, and alternative ways to collect email addresses.


1. Good Email Lists are never for sale

When purchasing an email list its very unlikely that the list is 1) your target audience, and 2) has legitimate email addresses. When purchasing a list it comes with many consequences. How do you know if there are problem accounts in this list? Such as spam traps, honeypots, bots, seeded trackers, disposable domains and more? Are you even aware of these threats? (Read What’s hiding in my email data) If you hit any of them, it could damage your sender reputation and send you right to a blacklist and permanently stop you from sending.  So why take the chance?


2. Most ESP’s won’t let you send email to lists you have bought 


If you are using email marketing software to send your emails, you will see that all reputable ESPs will insist that you use an opt-in strategy to build your email data from the ground up.

And not only for enterprise marketing automation tools. Even in the smaller self-service market this is true. Where you know Mailchimp or one of the better MailChimp alternatives and you seemingly can upload a list, these are all automatically checked to refrain brands from destroying the ESP send reputation. You’ll automatically receive an incident report and your account frozen or be blocked from sending forever. So don’t try to pull a fast one, stay away from buying lists. 


3. Marketing Goals will suffer

As an email marketer who purchases lists their goal is to drive conversions and attract people to your website, this is a typical marketing goal.

This issue with this is when you purchase a list its most likely low in quality. It could include incorrect out to date information, and problem accounts such as spam traps, moles, bots, and much more than in the end won’t give you a conversion.

Lastly, people on your purchased list do not want to have any contact with your brand, they have never opted in, so you will not be reaching your marketing goals anytime soon.


4. Damage your Sender Reputation

 Your domain has a reputation that can be scored with points. There are many sites out there that can tell you what your Reputation score is and how your domain ranks.

Purchased email lists and lists that haven’t been cleaned in some time can contain many old or fake accounts. If you purchase a list you could risk being hit by spam traps and other serious accounts that could ping your reputation and put you on a blacklist.


5. You can come across as a spammer 

How do you like it when you have random emails in your inbox that you’ve never heard of before? Or people that show up to your residence or business trying to sell you something. I bet you don’t enjoy that nor would you want to do that.

So do not buy a list and except your audience to enjoy receiving your emails, you may get many complaints which will then hurt your deliverability, sender score and potentially put you on a blacklist.


6. Violate Rules

CAN-SPAM Act was created for the United States back in 2003 for the purpose of protecting consumers from mass unsolicited emails and to make it hard to send spam emails to people.

To be clear, the act does not mention anything about purchasing or selling email lists but you can be penalized if you are caught sending bulk emails to people without permission. The fines under the CAN-SPAM Act are penalties of up to $41,481. 

GDPR stands for The General Data Protection Regulation that was recently put into place in Europe in May 2018. GDPR is a privacy act that was put in place to alter the relationships between consumers and email marketers.

If you’re an email marketer you must ask your subscribers to opt-in before sending any email. Pre-ticked opt-in boxes are now considered invalid, you will have to use unticked opt-in boxes and be able to persuade people to sign up for your emails.


7. Blacklisted

Many email marketers will eventually find themselves on at least one domain or IP blacklist at some point in their history. Believe it or not, it happens to both good and bad senders, which is why it’s crucial to use email hygiene and pay attention to your email marketing approach.

The impact of having your domain or IP on a blacklist can cause huge disruptions and negatively impact your ability to deliver.

One of the main purposes of email blacklists is to prevent email from being sent to inboxes that have not opted-in to receive an email recently with explicit and informed consent. Other types of Blacklists exist for a multitude of reasons, such as Phishing, Adware, Malware, Spam, etc. While no single preventative measure will guarantee zero blacklistings, if you are doing everything in your power to send an email that people want - (do not purchase lists) it will make the process of getting delisted that much easier.


Are you already guilty of buying a list?

If you’re guilty of buying a list stop what you’re doing and call Webbula. We can mitigate the risk of being put on a blacklist with our industry-leading Multi-Method Hygiene solution. With the bundled approach of verification and hygiene, you can safeguard your brand reputation and email resources. While it is important to validate if an email is deliverable through verification, it is even more important to recognize and identify dangerous threats in order to avoid being blacklisted, and that is where our email hygiene can help.

Email Hygiene protects your list from email threats like phishers, spam traps, bots, and malicious traps so you can reduce your exposure and risk of blacklisting and even fines.

Webbula’s Email Hygiene is the most transparent and comprehensive solution available. Because Webbula has an exclusive relationship with the world’s largest honeypot purveyor, we are able to actually detect spam traps, unlike other vendors. Thousands of brands trust Webbula’s data integrity because of strict procedures against customer data caching and recycling.


Alternative to Buying Email Lists 

Don’t be sad, there are other ways to increase conversions without purchasing lists. Here are some ideas you can take rather than buying a list.


  • Provide multiple places for people to sign up for your email lists
  • Partner with an Email Service Provider (ESP)
  • Utilize blog to drive subscriptions
  • Use Social Media to link to your website with a Call to Action


Webbula Data Appends 

Instead of purchasing an email list, try appending information from your current list. Appending your data will help freshen up your lists with updated and accurate information. Information like name, phone number, email address, mailing address. Even information such as - interests, hobbies, financials, mortgage, political, and other specific data. Data append and reverse data appends can help you communicate with your audience more smoothly. It can also…


  • Add missing information ranging from names, phone numbers, email address, to interests and hobbies.
  • Give you a better understanding of your customers and prospects with more complete information at your fingertips.
  • Boost your response rate by eliminating emails to invalid or outdated addresses.
  • Keep your data clean which can help increase deliverability and avoid landing in spam folders.
  • Give you options for segmented and personalized marketing and communication-based on enhanced data.

When it comes to appending your existing data there is simply no other options that compare to Webbula Data Appends. Our data is constantly updated and certified using our industry-leading Multi-Method Hygiene filters that ensure accuracy and mitigate potential fraud, creating a truth-set that is unparalleled. Because of the strength of our dataVault we are able to cross-reference against a greater variety of fields that often go back in time over a decade. At Webbula our passion is truth in data and we strive for the utmost quality, always choosing it above quantity.

So if you’re thinking about purchasing a list, don’t. Build your list organically, and rely on Webbula data appends to grow and enhance your customer list so you can understand your customers, their interests, and cross-channel behaviors while adding missing information like emails, addresses, phone numbers, and demographic segments.

Visit Webbula’s Data Appends page to learn more.

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