Sometimes, we are asked if (and where) it is possible to buy list of email addresses. We want to emphasize that it is illegal to send emails to addresses of people or companies that have not specifically requested the sending of promotional emails.
In addition, this kind of practice is ineffective for some reasons.
First of all, the bother that is procured to those who receive your email. It is very probable that they will delete your message before even reading it. On the other hand, those who are more careful will put you on a list of blocked users or on a “blacklist” of an antispam filter. Your image, or your company brand, will be strongly compromised since you will be negatively considered as a source of spamming. Moreover, it is statistically proved that a campaign centered on sending few emails to an interested “audience” is more effective than a massive sending to a generic list of acquired addresses.
It exists, however, the possibility of buying addresses from companies. You need to make sure, though, that these companies have received the approval from their clients for the transfer of use of their addresses to a third party. In order to avoid legal consequences, it is very important that the companies from which the addresses are bought are serious and in order with the laws on the subject of electronic data processing.
A legitimate method of acquisition of email addresses is renting lists. In this case, it is necessary to rely on specialized companies that own a database of users. It is a practice that can produce good results, especially if the lists are well targeted; however, be careful with the prices that are often very high! Moreover, you will not have access to the addresses, but only to the results of the campaign.
Is it better to use external lists or create internal mailing lists? A recent research carried out by Forrester Research showed that when a company uses clients’ and potential clients’ email addresses internally collected, the average cost per sale realized after the marketing email action is 100 times inferior compared to when external acquired list are used. Think about it!