Buying targeted email lists of contacts and companies in the U.S. from providers that make bold claims like a “Guaranteed 95% delivery rate” can sound like the ultimate convenience. However, buying email address lists can do more harm (that’s often difficult to reverse) than good.
Keep reading to learn some of the biggest reasons why (despite all the convenience) you should avoid purchasing email prospecting lists of contacts and companies, as well as good ways to generate leads from email list to target new prospects. Plus we snuck in a free offer for you at the end to build your own list easily, no credit card needed!
Buying Email Lists for Lead Database
The struggle to find people to email can get so real that more and more marketers, salespeople, and recruiters are opting to buy email lists of American companies to generate leads. Whether you work for a Fortune 500 company or an SMB (small and midsize business), the fuel for every business is people.
Salespeople are looking for people to sell to. And marketers are looking for people (preferably those who fit their Ideal Customer Profile) who would be ready to buy right now if they were introduced to the product.
Even though we live in the Era of Social Media, where it feels like everyone is just a couple clicks away, a VP of Sales at a company with 1,000+ people might be hard to reach. Or if you’re looking to flood your team’s pipeline with thousands of prospects– acquiring accurate lists of U.S. company emails that don’t bounce on such a huge scale can be hard on your own.
It can seem so much easier to just hit up an email list provider service, give them your credit card information, and based on general criteria you give them (region, etc.), get instant access to 60,000 names and email addresses of people who work for U.S. companies in the target group you’re going after. Right? WRONG.
Buying Prospecting Email Lists Is Invasive
With any kind of email marketing, you typically have to get the person’s permission to send emails. Additionally, with laws like the CAN-SPAM ACT (2003), you are legally required in every email to give contacts the ability to easily opt out of your outreach.
The problem with purchased prospecting email lists is that they usually violate these laws. The users have not given permission to send them direct correspondence. The contacts you reach out to via email from a purchased list often haven’t been notified and given the chance to opt in or out of your emails so they could report the campaign or site to the FTC for violation.
On top of the fact that you’re violating these laws, when you reach out to email addresses from a purchased list, that can be incredibly invasive. Imagine if someone showed up to your doorstep every day at the same time and you had no idea who they were, you don’t know how they got your address, you didn’t give them permission to drop by, and you have no way of stopping them from continuing to reach out. You’d be angry and you would want nothing to do with that person, right?
Now imagine what that type of interaction via email would do to your bottom line, your business, and your reputation?
Are you unsure whether or not your email layout is up to code with the CAN-SPAM ACT? It's good to use services that can verify and confirm receipt and acceptance rules like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Related: How to send bulk emails
Using Purchased Email Lists Can Destroy Your Reputation
With purchased lists, you might get an accurate email of an ideal client here and there. But more times than not, you’re going to get email addresses of people in U.S. companies who haven’t opted to engage with your company, stale addresses that bounce, or worse– honeypot emails–which will identify you as a spammer and add you to a blacklist.
Related: Avoid spam emails
Whatever possible worst-case scenario you think up, they all spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for your email deliverability and the reputation of your IP address.
Every time you get identified as a spammer, that only hurts your Sender Score. The closer your score is to 100, the better your reputation. But the more times your email provider dings points for sending unsolicited emails from purchased lists or sending emails to inactive addresses, the worse your reputation becomes.
If you want to verify where your email reputation stands today, check out MxToolbox (it’s a free option) and invest in MailReach. MailReach will help you monitor your email reputation on a daily basis.
Email Lists for Sale Are Often Inaccurate
To make one final plea for you to stay away from purchased email lists, we want to point out the elephant in the room that no one discusses: When you buy an email list of U.S. companies, you really have no idea what you’re going to get. More than likely the lists you buy have been passed over countless times because it’s full of useless email addresses that have been spammed, and identified as unqualified.
Often these lists aren’t verified to ensure that the contact information for the companies are up to date or that the contacts have a history of being responsive to email outreach.
You can of course always use a list cleaner like zerobounce.net on any company prospecting email list you buy. But considering that it could take years to restore your reputation if you get marked too many times as spam, the risk just isn’t worth it.
How to Build Email List Effectively
Building your own email list through opt-in methods, content marketing, and lead generation strategies is a more effective and ethical way to connect with potential customers. Here are some techniques and methods to help you grow your email list:
- Create High-Quality Content: Develop valuable and engaging content, such as blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, videos, webinars, and infographics. Your content should offer solutions to your target audience's problems and answer their questions.
- Optimize Your Website: Ensure that your website is user-friendly and has clear calls-to-action (CTAs) encouraging visitors to subscribe to your email list. You can use pop-up forms, exit-intent pop-ups, and sticky bars to capture email addresses.
- Offer Incentives: Provide incentives to encourage people to subscribe. Offer lead magnets like free ebooks, checklists, templates, or exclusive discounts to entice visitors to join your email list.
- Leverage Social Media: Promote your content and email subscription opportunities on your social media platforms. Encourage your followers to subscribe and share your content.
- Run Contests and Giveaways: Organize contests or giveaways with the condition that participants must subscribe to your email list to enter. This can quickly boost your subscriber count.
- Webinars and Events: Host webinars, workshops, or virtual events that require registration, and collect email addresses as part of the registration process.
- Referral Programs: Implement a referral program where your current subscribers can refer friends or colleagues in exchange for rewards or discounts.
- Email Sign-Up at Checkout: If you run an e-commerce website, offer customers the option to subscribe to your email list during the checkout process.
- Personalized Email Campaigns: Send personalized emails to your existing subscribers, encouraging them to refer friends or colleagues who might be interested in your content or products.
- Engage and Nurture Subscribers: Send regular emails that provide value and build a relationship with your subscribers. Share insights, tips, and exclusive content that keeps them engaged.
Remember, the key to building a successful email list is to focus on providing value and building trust with your audience. It's not just about collecting email addresses but nurturing those relationships over time. Building a quality email list may take time, but the results will be more rewarding and sustainable than buying a list.
Best Free Alternative to Buying Email Lists…
Now that we’ve covered all the potential dangers that purchased company prospecting lists can pose for your email reputation, what other alternatives do you have?
What other options are out there that will give you the convenience and speed of paid email lists (find emails of professionals in seconds), but also the accuracy, so you don’t have to worry about bounced emails, honeypot traps, or taking any hits to your email reputation?
Drumroll please… SEAMLESS.AI!
That’s right. Seamless.AI is the best paid email list alternative on the market.
Unlike paid email lists, which use the broadest search criteria to find any email addresses (active or inactive), with Seamless.AI you can use company search filter options like preferred “Industry” and “Revenue” to drill down and identify your ideal company.
Seamless then uses artificial intelligence to find the emails of decision makers at that company, and validate them in real time, so you know that the contact information you’re getting is up to date.
What’s even better is, not only will Seamless automate your list-building, so you can cut this work down from hours to minutes, but with features like our Free Chrome Extension, you can literally prospect companies on your favorite browser anytime and anywhere.
Does this sound too good to be true?
Try building your own list for free and check out the power of Seamless for yourself!
In summary, buying an email list of US companies is a risky and generally discouraged practice. It's better to focus on building your own list through legal and ethical means. If you do decide to purchase a list, do thorough research to find a reputable provider and ensure that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations regarding email marketing.