Why Purchasing Email Marketing Lists is Never a Good Idea

Are you a start-up business who wants to raise brand and product awareness, but you don’t have any contacts? Or perhaps you know you’ve got an amazing product/service that everyone else would love… if only they knew about it? If so, it can seem like a good idea to purchase an email marketing list. That way, you’ve got a list of contacts who will potentially want to buy into your brand, right?


There are so many reasons why buying an email marketing list is a bad idea. So if it’s something you’ve considered even for one second; read on before you have the chance to ruin your brand.

You are seen as spam, and are blacklisted

 If a recipients’ email provider (Gmail, Yahoo etc) realise that your message was sent, having purchased the email address, they can blacklist you. This essentially means you’re viewed as untrustworthy and as such, they will block you. Any address lists which have been purchased will view you, the sender, as “unsolicited bulk”. As recipients did not have the chance to opt-in, email providers can take harsh action against you.

Not only that, but for recipients who receive your email, they’ll usually think you’re spamming them. Think about it: how often do you receive emails from companies you’ve never engaged with? How often do you delete those emails without opening? You may think your email is amazing, but it’s highly unlikely anyone else will agree with you. Plus, if you send multiple emails to the same addresses over time, you can’t blame recipients if they start complaining. Imagine if you Googled your brand name to find complaints from people? It’s just not worth buying an email marketing list.

Your email provider could shun you

It’s not just the recipients’ folder that can mark you as spam and blacklist you. If your email service provider (for instance, MailChimp and dotMailer) sees that many of your messages are marked as spam, they’ll take action against you. This could range from closing your account to potentially fining you.

Data on the list may be wrong

Here’s something to think about: if someone is willing to sell you a list of people’s personal email addresses for a small fee, are they really going to be trustworthy? Companies that have bought email address lists in the past, soon realised that a large number of them don’t exist, or are old addresses. As such, messages bounce back. That list you bought containing 10,000 contacts? You’d be lucky if your message delivered to even half of them. Not to mention the amount of junk folders your message would end up in. Percentages of people seeing your email are low, and clickthrough numbers are even lower.

Furthermore, data can often be wrong, with names incorrect or not even present at all. So if anyone even did open your email, and saw it addressed to a different person, they’re not going to read it any further.

How to build a reputable email marketing list

There are ways in which you can gain an email marketing list, where recipients genuinely want to receive your emails. Creating engaging content on your blog, and linking to it from social media will firstly help potential customers read your articles.

Having buttons to sign up to newsletters on your site will encourage people to fill out their email addresses. Make these buttons obvious on the homepage, across blog articles and by other sections of content for maximum exposure. People will sign up, it just takes time and effort to create engaging content that others want to read, but it will be worth it. So stop considering purchasing an email marketing list, and start building one yourself.

Would you like help with your email marketing, or any other digital aspects? We’re here to help. We’ve had years of experience in this area, and would love to hear from you. Simply drop us a line at hello@seventy7group.com and we’ll be in touch.

Say Hello


The Old School House,
Thirsk St.
Ardwick Green, Manchester
M12 6PN
+44 (0) 161 273 7551

Get directions

The Piper Building
Peterborough Road,
+44 (0) 20 7751 8600

Get directions

03, Siddhi CHS Ltd,
Mhada Malad East
near Wageshwari Temple,
(W) Mumbai

Get directions
Hey there
Want to speak to our team of experts?