Why Purchased Email Marketing Data Just Doesn’t Work

3 min read · 7 years ago



A key element of any successful email marketing campaign, along with the message and the creative side of things, is data. You need accurate, up-to-date lists of targeted recipients, and you should ideally be growing your lists all the time.

Buying data is easy, but it’s a huge mistake

Whether launching their very first email marketing campaign or growing their list of subscribers, too many brands fall into the trap of buying data. Sure, building your own lists organically takes time, effort and expense, but it is definitely worth it. It ensures that your data is good quality, targeted, relevant and accurate – which just won’t happen with a bulk buy of names and email addresses.

Here are just a handful of the many different problems with using purchased email marketing data. If you find that you just can’t make your email marketing campaigns work, this could very well be the reason why.

Recipients will think you’re a spammer and won’t open your emails. If your emails aren’t relevant, recipients won’t open them and could even mark them as spam. As well as causing trouble for your company with email service providers, this can damage your brand reputation with potential customers.

Your company could end up blacklisted by email service providers. Using paid lists tends to result in higher undelivered rates and this, along with recipients marking you as a spammer because your emails aren’t relevant to them, flags up a warning with email service providers. They could end up blacklisting you, meaning that none of your emails will get through at all. Is it really worth taking the risk?

The data is likely to be poor quality, out of date and inaccurate. This is partly because the data won’t be targeted to your business and its ideal customers, but also because the quality of email data degrades practically by the hour. In fact, research has found that email marketing databases degrade by over 22% every year, as people leave jobs, abandon email address and opt out of your campaigns. If you buy a list, you have no guarantee that it’s up-to-date, which can lead to bouncebacks and problems with your email deliverability.

What you should be doing instead

There are absolutely loads of ways to build up great quality email marketing lists organically, and some are really quick and easy. For example, you can:

Give an incentive for signing up to newsletters (i.e. a 10% discount code)

Keep subscription forms short and sweet – however, you can also test engagement levels by asking new subscribers to activate their subscription via email

Gather data at real-world events like trade shows, exhibitions and marketing events

Publish white papers and how-to guides (great for B2B email marketing) that require email sign-up to download

Start a blog and invite website visitors to register for updates

Crucially, you need to make the emails you do send really, really good. Send recipients content that they really want to receive – make it interesting, fun, useful and valuable, rather than overly sales-focused. 

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Why Purchased Email Marketing Data Just Doesn’t Work

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