How To Buy An Email List For Marketing (And Why You May Not Want To)

A must-read on how to buy an email list and the crucial reasons why you probably shouldn’t. There are risks involved you need to know.

It’s a popular way to fast reach your target audience, but how does purchasing an email list work? We cover this below, along with reasons why you may not want to go this way.

Email generates $42 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 4,200% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available. (sources)

Buying An Email List For Marketing 

One of the biggest hurdles for any business can be to get noticed by potential customers in an already flooded marketplace. It can take a lot of time to build a client base organically. So, this is where purchased email lists can come in.

Rather than waiting to accumulate a list of emails, say from a subscribe option on your blog posts or an opt-in function when a purchase is made – instead, you can pay for a list of emails. Easy, right? 

Well, it is not always smooth sailing, but we cover that later.

If you take a quick search online, you will find many businesses that have email lists for sale. There are two principal ways you can purchase emails for marketing purposes. 

Either buy the email list, so you own it, or pay a company to transmit emails to their lists, on your instruction. In short, you rent the email list from them temporarily.

Buying An Email List

If you buy the email list, it is yours to keep. Understandably, this is the option that costs more as you then have the asset to continue using. 

Many email list companies will have email lists customizable to your needs. So, they can tailor a list of emails for the demographic you are aiming for. Or, so they say they will on their website.  As we will cover below, there are some caveats to these claims. 

So, you choose an email list company to go with, decide what demographic type you want in your list, and discuss different quantity options. 

The greater the number of emails, the more you pay.  But in theory, the more emails you have to market to, the more sales you will end up with. 

Renting An Email List

Another method is to borrow a list. Some businesses will provide an email service where, for a fee, they will send your email with your appealing call to action to their big email list. 

You don’t get to see the email list or have a copy. It is done for you.

In this way, you are giving it a shot without buying the list yourself. Again, it isn’t easy with this system to know if you got the service you paid for. 

If you get sales directly from that email, then you know you are onto a winner. 

Why It May Not Be A Good Idea To Buy, Or Borrow, An Email List

There are a lot of reasons why buying an email list for marketing is a bad idea. It sounds tempting to purchase leads rather than generate them yourself. 

But, as that old adage goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. 

Where Did The Contact Information Come From?

Think about it, where did they get all that personal information? It may have been that the customer ticked a box at checkout somewhere saying they give permission to be contacted by third parties. 

They might have fallen for a fake competition that gets viral social media shares but seems to disappear before any prize is awarded. Yet, everyone happily gave up their info, and where does that go?

Do these people care about the emails that bombard their inbox? 

Are they indeed your target audience for your email drip campaign? Or, did they just accidentally get put on a list they will later wish that hadn’t.  If you can purchase the email list, how many other businesses can too? 

Perhaps, the personal details were just made up altogether. Or even real data that was collected illegally. 

It is hard to say, and the marketplace is full of options. Some may have some credibility; however, no doubt, others are just out to make a dollar. Even a targeted email list that you purchase or rent might not create an accurate target. Who entered those demographics? 

Were they lying? It could be again that it was fictional or inaccurate.  Therefore, your on-target call to action falls short because they aren’t your target anyway.

Unsolicited emails are a lot like spam.

So, let’s say you do give in and buy an email list. You send off a big batch of emails. 

You get inundated with undeliverable messages. A few are to be expected, but people do find dodgy lists can mean many, many undeliverable emails.  Your email provider might even lock your account if you send a bunch of emails and with many undeliverable. 

It might flag it as if you are sending spam and lock your account if the activity looks suspicious or in violation of any account rules. Well, you are sending spam, aren’t you? 

It’s not to say that your business isn’t legitimate and fantastic, but when it is sent via unsolicited email to people who have never heard of you, it can come across as spam. 

If it does get delivered and ends up in the spam folder, it will likely never get read. It also automatically makes it feel untrustworthy.

So, your paid-for potential customer now feels untrusting towards your company and perhaps, annoyed that they received an email from a business they don’t recall permitting.

Do people like to feel spammed into a sale? Hmm, I’ll let you answer that one.

It Could Lead To A Zero Return On Investment

As mentioned, the emails you purchased may be undeliverable. In fact, you can guarantee at least some will be. They may have been fake emails to start with, or the customer no longer uses that account.

The ones that do get delivered can end up in spam anyway – likely to never be opened. If things got worse, your email account might get locked. 

This is going to cost you time (and therefore money) to get you back on track.

Finally, the customers you did reach may now think of your business as untrustworthy. And, that you don’t respect their privacy – you somehow got their details and spammed them with some advertising. It feels intrusive. 

Will they buy from you? It depends on how the above makes them feel. For many, they will be searching for the unsubscribe button.

Scammers are everywhere

Let’s say you do purchase an email list. Do they provide any kind of guarantee or have a refund policy? 

Imagine you spend money on a list, but there are duplicates in the list, and more than half are undeliverable on closer inspection. 

Did someone simply make them up? Maybe.  Then what? Is there a way to get your money back or seek support? 

Sadly, it is an easy market for scammers. Once they have your money, they may become uncontactable. You will likely have to chalk it up to a loss and move on. 

Conclusion? It could damage your reputation and cost you money!

Your hard-earned money could end up a complete waste if you purchase a dodgy email list. 

Not only that, if your email does reach your customers, they might have an adverse reaction to receiving unsolicited emails from you. 

All in all, building a reputable email list of your own creates a truly targeted email list and won’t feel like spam.

How to Send a Mass Email

Sending mass emails doesn’t need to be complicated. That being said, segmenting your list to reach the right audience with the right message is key.

ActiveCampaign vs ConvertKit

There are a lot of email marketing and automation tools available. In this post, we are going to compare ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign.

The Best Mailing List Companies

we break down the best mailing list companies in 2021, the perfect partners to help you find an almost infinite amount of hot prospects.

Email Marketing Software

I’ve used so many email marketing software over the years. I’ve realized that it’s not one size fits all. In fact, I’ve had to make changes based on the business and needs at the time. Take a look at this list of email marketing software and find the one that works for you. Take trials wherever you can.

How to Create the Perfect Order Confirmation Email for Your E-Commerce Website

This guide will help you craft the perfect order confirmation email for your e-commerce website.

You can’t run a successful e-commerce website without sending customers an order confirmation email. After placing an order, most customers will check their inbox for this essential transactional email. 

A study conducted by Chamaileon found that order confirmation emails have an average open rate of 70 percent. In the realm of email marketing, any open rate over 20 percent is considered good, meaning order confirmation emails are superb.

Rather than using a barebones template, though, you should take the time to create a custom order confirmation email. 

Most e-commerce platforms like Shopify allow you to customize your order confirmation email. 

You can add or remove content so that it drives stronger customer loyalty and encourages more repeat purchases.

Use Brand Imagery

When designing your order confirmation email, use brand imagery so that customers will recognize it. 

Brand imagery consists of visual elements, including but not limited to images, that are unique and identifiable to your e-commerce website. 

While shopping, customers will see your e-commerce website’s brand imagery. 

Using brand imagery in your order confirmation email will help customers recognize the email because they’ll remember seeing it on your e-commerce website.

You can use your e-commerce website’s logo in your order confirmation email. Embedding the logo into the top of your order confirmation email will make it instantly recognizable to customers. 

If your e-commerce website uses a particular color scheme, you want to use the same colors for your order confirmation email. 

Like a logo, colors are part of your e-commerce website’s brand. 

By using the same colors in your order confirmation email, customers will associate it with your e-commerce website.

I use Canva Pro for my brand kits.

Include Essential Information

Your order confirmation email should include essential information about customers’ orders. 

They are considered transactional emails because they contain information about a transaction. 

To learn more about their order, a customer may refer to your order confirmation email. 

Neglecting to include the right information in it may lead to an unhappy customer.

Include the following information in your order confirmation email: 

  • Customer’s name 
  • Order number 
  • Payment amount 
  • Method of shipping 
  • Tracking code or link 
  • Expected date of delivery 

While you should include essential information in your order confirmation email, you should avoid adding sensitive information to it. Emails can be breached. 

If you include sensitive information in your order confirmation email, such as customers’ payment information, it could be exposed during a breach. 

Many e-commerce websites now even omit addresses and phone numbers from their order confirmation emails to protect their customers from breaches.

Thank Customers

Don’t forget to thank customers in your order confirmation email.

Customers want to feel appreciated by the stores from which they purchase products. Thanking them in your order confirmation is a way to express this appreciation.

Regardless of what products it sells, your e-commerce website probably has competitors. 

If you don’t thank customers for their business, they may choose a competitor for their next online purchase. 

To keep customers coming back, customize the opening of your order confirmation email with a brief thank-you message.

Ask for a Review

At the bottom of your order confirmation email, ask customers for a review. Reviews offer insight into whether customers are satisfied. 

With a high number of positive reviews, it’s safe to assume customers are satisfied. 

If you discover negative reviews, you can investigate them to determine why customers weren’t satisfied with their order or experience.

Reviews also have a positive impact on conversion rates.

According to Reevoo, products displayed with customer reviews generate 18 percent more conversions on average than those without reviews. 

You can acquire more reviews by soliciting them from customers in your order confirmation email. Just add a link to the product page where customers can leave a review.

Optimize for Mobile

Make sure your order confirmation email is optimized for mobile devices. Research conducted by the digital marketing company HubSpot shows that nearly half of all emails are viewed on mobile devices. 

While mobile devices come in many shapes and sizes, they render emails differently than standard computers.

Even if your order confirmation email renders perfectly on a desktop computer, it may suffer from rendering problems on a mobile device. 

Maybe an image stretches the email’s body so that it requires horizontally scrolling, or perhaps the links are small and difficult to click. 

To avoid these technical headaches, you need to optimize your order confirmation email for mobile devices.

You can use a responsive design for your order confirmation email that, like responsive websites, adjusts to fit all devices’ display screens. 

Responsive emails are coded with relative measurement units. Each element within a responsive email consumes a percentage of viewport space. 

Therefore, responsive emails look the same on all devices.

It’s a good idea to test your order confirmation email to ensure it’s optimized for mobile devices. Even if you use a responsive design, some of its elements may render poorly. 

Sending your order confirmation email to your own inbox allows you to test it. 

You can open the email on a smartphone to view it from the perspective of a mobile customer.

Automate Delivery

You should automate the delivery of your order confirmation email. 

Automation ensures that customers receive this vital transactional email as quickly as possible. 

Most customers expect to receive an order confirmation email within minutes of placing an order. If you send it manually, they may overlook it.

Fortunately, you don’t have to subscribe to a separate email marketing service to automate your order confirmation email delivery. 

It’s a native feature in most e-commerce platforms. 

For instance, Shopify will automatically send your order confirmation email to customers immediately after orders have been processed.

Because it’s sent after a customer’s order has been processed, some e-commerce operators neglect to create a high-quality order confirmation email. 

Instead, they use the default template provided by their e-commerce platform. 

You can still use a template to create your order confirmation email, but don’t ignore the importance of customization.