Buying Email Marketing Lists – The Pros and Cons.

Email marketing is a great way to promote a product or service without spending a fortune. Of course, you need a list of email addresses to send your newsletter or special offers to.

In this article I’ll discuss many of the pros and cons of buying email marketing lists from a third party.


Save time

By buying an email marketing list you can get your business off the ground with a special offer or promotion much quicker than if you gathered the same number of addresses via your website.


A quick search on Google will reveal a whole host of companies offering opted-in email addresses for a wide range of different sectors.


If you upload your list to email marketing software, you can very quickly get your message in front of people. This can be ideal if you’re running a time limited or seasonal promotion.

Improve cash flow

While you will have to pay for a bulk email list, if your message is effective, it can help improve the cash flow in your business by generating quick sales through clearing end of season stock for example.

Now let’s look at some of the disadvantages of buying email marketing lists.


Data relevance

If you buy a list from a company with a poor reputation, you may end up emailing a load of addresses that have just been scraped from the internet and therefore have no relevance to your sector.

Poor ROI

If the data you buy isn’t relevant, then this will obviously impact on the effectiveness of your email campaigns. You could end up paying hundreds of pounds for a whole load of useless email addresses and not make a penny back on your initial investment.

Reputation damage

If the email addresses you buy aren’t opted-in (have given permission to receive emails) then you could end up spamming lots of people and have your email address blacklisted by certain hosting companies. Spamming people could also damage your company’s reputation with potential clients.

Not being able to use your list

Many big bulk email sending platforms won’t allow you to use your bought list on their systems, so your investment could be for nothing.

To sum up, I would always recommend building an email list naturally rather than buying one. Sending a host of emails to people you don’t know and that may never heard of you is not the most effective way to generate sales and enquiries.

You may get some success from it, but will it be enough to deliver a positive ROI and do you know what harm it could be doing to your company’s reputation?

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