Okay, I know what you might be thinking. If I am correct in my assumption, you need to get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about business, and the perhaps disreputable methods used by marketing managers to grow their customer database.
Don’t get me wrong. Compiling email addresses in an effort to build and grow your database is a strategic method of getting in touch with prospective buyers of your products and services. However, because list growth is often a daunting process and one that takes a lot more time than you might be willing to spare, companies will often take shortcuts to try to double the size of their list overnight. This often results in companies purchasing email lists rather than renting an email list.
Before moving forward, it might be helpful to understand the difference between these two methods of acquiring sales leads. When you purchase a list, this means that the actual email list changes hands. To top it all off, it’s highly likely that this data has been through the ringer. Oftentimes, it consists of incentivized co-reg data full of spam seeds, old email addresses, hard bounces, complainers, bad domains, and strictly undeliverable email data. For those new to email marketing, it might not seem so obvious that purchasing co-reg email data is the wrong way to go. However, deploying mass email campaigns to poor data will harm your deliverability and will result in getting blocked or shut down by your ISP. I speak for those experienced in the email marketing industry when I say that the only thing you are getting in return from a purchased list is a migraine that just won’t go away.
On the other hand, when you rent a list, the email list owner sends out a mass email to their own database of opt-in consumers or business professionals on behalf of the advertiser. The list owner has acquired this data over a number of years and constantly maintains it by removing unsubscribes, invalid, and undeliverable email data. The list owner continues to rent out their lists to advertisers because they are extremely confident in the quality and performance of their opt-in database. Sure, a list owner could sell their data for a quick profit, but why would they choose to do so if they are able to make money off of their list for an extended period of time?
It’s up to you: is bigger always better? Do you really want to risk your sender reputation just to have a “big” list?
My advice to you is to start small. Do your research and seek out a reputable ESP with its own B2C and B2B database of opt-in users and one who specializes in deploying can-spam email marketing campaigns on a daily basis. When emailing your offer to these qualified leads, make the extra effort to encourage sign-ups on your landing page. In this way, you will begin building a database of loyal subscribers who have indicated an interest in you enough to add themselves to your mailing list.
Avoid the headache and do it right, because taking shortcuts in business will get you nowhere.