Should you buy an email List for Email Marketing

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Buy An Email List- buy an email list email marketing

Should you buy an email List for Email Marketing

People are selling email list claiming to reach more customers with email marketing. Are there dangers in using sold email list for your email marketing.

Gradually, as Nigerians wake up to the realities of marketing their business online using different strategies and tools, email marketing seems to be on the rise.

This is coming from the backdrop of getting three cold emails leading me directly to a sale all in the last week.

Now within the context of that email, these folks never mention how they got my email address.

Now is that good email marketing? Absolutely not!

Why is it wrong to automatically add people into your email software and send them messages without permission?

It is not standard practice and doing that is an abuse of people’s privacy,
It’s an outright disobedience to the international CAM SPAM ACT enacted in the United States.

Now you may argue that Nigeria don’t have such laws so we’re allowed to do whatever we please.

Before you do that my friend, listen to this.

The email service providers you’re using, have terms and conditions you must read and agree to before you use their software and in every of those terms, conditions and rules it’s strictly stated that they respect the CAM SPAM ACT and the CAM SPAM ACT says “you must not add people to your email list without permission or they voluntarily opted in to your list and requested further information and marketing messages from you. The emphasis there is “voluntarily” and they must have the option to opt out with a click of a button.

Now do a lot of Nigerian businesses have that process in place?
Heck no.

You can imagine, some people will tell you to reply to their email to request to be unsubscribed.

Now since this post is not about addressing the mistake (and bothering on shenanigans either out of ignorance or outright don’t care attitude)  of what I see going on with email marketing; (I’ll address that in a different post altogether), this post is really about addressing the marketing benefits or no-benefits of buying an email list.

Is there a marketing benefit for buying an email list? The answer to that question lies in asking some more pertinent questions.

When you decide to go full on with email marketing, is it ideal to buy an email list?

That’s the question I’ll attempt to answer and help guide you on the course action ideal for your situation.

Now, It’s important I let you know this: email adoption in Nigeria is pretty, pretty low… so open rates and click through rates, these are numbers that are important to measure, because it shows how many people have had exposure to your message.

Where did this emails come from?

So many people claim to have thousands and hundreds of thousands of email addresses for sale, most of these email addresses were harvested emails…

Why do I say so?

In today’s Nigeria, I haven’t seen a platform that allows for voluntary optin that clearly states that they will sell your email address as a business in Nigeria.

The major online players who have the capacity to have these email addresses are sites that make for people to register with their email contacts in order to use their service.

Examples of sites like these are: online forums like Nairaland, online classifieds like Olx Nigeria, Jiji,  eCommerce stores/online retailers e.g. Konga and Jumia, deal sites like Dealdey, online publishers (though their numbers can be extremely low or negligible because they don’t actively have an email marketing strategy. I do know this by looking at their website stats and how much of that email is responsible for.

Now will the eCommerce stores sell their email database? They better not…. But the quickest and sane answer here is “No.

If they do that, that would be destroying their customer base trust when people find out they’re selling their emails, second reason is they will be doing themselves more harm overtime because their business is also tied to the communication with those emails and dependent on the viability of those email addresses.
The consequence of selling the email list will overtime be detrimental to their business that relies to a greater percentage on the communication and relationship they build with their email list.

Selling will expose your database to a lot of spam, because that’s what happens when a ton of people gets access to that database, you erode and destroy the viability of that email address gradually or even quicker than you may know it.

Can the classifieds and other online forums sell their email list, they could…. now don’t get me wrong, on a scale of 1 – 10, ten being very high they won’t sell. Online classifieds are on a five on that scale.

Why is this? 
We never read a terms and condition or privacy policy when we signed up to those sites that lets us know how our emails will be used.

But for any classified site that does that, that’s so wrong. If people signed up on your site to use your service and you go right behind them to sell their data without prior permission that is sleazy business in my opinion.
That is not your business model and absolutely not why people signed up to use your service.

Let’s finally answer this question. So should you buy an email list? Choose your yes or no answer based on these:

1. What’s the source?
Since many of those are harvested emails, the tendency that they are worth much is really low on a scale of one to ten.
Many of those emails will bounce, many will be abandoned email addresses, that their owners no longer use and many will be un-targeted.

Have you ever thought about the receivers psychology when they receive these unrequested emails.

Let’s swap places here, imagine you got a cold email from the blue, from someone you don’t know, never met… what’s your reaction like?

Are you wondering, where in the world did this person get my mail?

why are they emailing me?

Am sure we all have those thoughts across board.

This brings me to my second point.

2. Is your customer base the target audience of that email list.
Put differently, is your target customer the core subscribers in that email list?

Is that email list targeted to your core audience?

When emails scrapers harvests emails, the least targeting their able to glean is probably geography or industry of interest, based on the website where they scraped the emails from.

Now your customer base, have a uniqueness.
They could be within a certain age bracket, have a certain level of income etc. except you want to claim that you sell to everyone, which is totally not true even if you sell water. Every one drinks water but not everyone buys “Eva Bottle Water” as an example.

So because you cannot deduce that an email list will be ultra targeted to your customer base, does it make any marketing sense to pay money for those?
In fact that reduces email marketing to traditional style of marketing which is a lot more noise than value.

Let’s consider the traditional marketing style for a minute.

We all know that radio and TV thrives by selling advertising spots, now what happens when you’re watching or listening to an interesting show and they decide to go on a break, at the moment they go on a break and start with their ads, that’s usually the moment a lot of us goes to the bathroom, continue with that chore in the kitchen, or pick up our phone to check up on our messages…

Why is that? Because from the consumer perspective, which is you and I, that marketing message is noise not value.

there is a thin line between noise and value - comic

There is a thin line between noise and value – Home grown comic for

Noise is any marketing message that’s irrelevant and unsought by your audience.

Now applying this same noise-value principle to the email medium is an abuse of the medium. That’s why it will never work.

The email medium is a platform to build relationship, nurture relationship and create value every time.

It’s not a platform where noise thrives, people will natural screen you out of their inbox.

Which brings me to the last point on should you buy an email list?

3. What’s your why?

Why do you want to have people’s email address? The obvious answer of course you’ll give me “is to send emails to people” right?

Now again, why do you want to send emails to people?

Obvious answer, “to tell them about my product and services”

Why do you want to tell them about your product and services?

“To make sales obviously.”

If those were your responses to my questions then you have the purpose of email marketing screwed up, turned on its head and you better gird yourself with a boatload of money and big budget that will help you keep buying the email list and throwing them away when it doesn’t worth anything and buying some more.

Because if your purpose for having an email list is to sell to people, that marketing approach has been defeated before it started…

But the purpose for email marketing is to build relationship, to nurture your clients or prospects, to provide value and hopefully turn those people from skeptics to advocates.

Can you make sales using email, absolutely! but that becomes an aftermath of the kind of relationship you’ve built by earning their trust overtime.

To achieve this takes intent, strategy and passion to help your email subscribers even when they’re not paying you a kobo.

So your answer to these questions should guide you towards making that decision to buy or not to buy an email list.

If you choose to say yes, and buy an email list… Or already bought, sign up to my exclusive video training on ”

“Selling using Cold Email – How to Turn Skeptical cold contacts to Hot leads for your business”

Selling using Cold Email - Video training on how to turn cold prospects to leads and customers

[Video Course] – Selling using Cold Email – Discover how to turn cold prospects to leads and customers

(Note: Clicking the image will take you to the page to purchase the course FOR $50)

This is so important so that you don’t end up spending money that doesn’t add up to your bottom line and wasting your time in the process.
The video training reveals Key things you must do first with an email list you bought, so you’re able to build trust with the people on the list, move them from cold prospects to hot and happy customers who are excited to get your message and buy from you.

I will also show you how to step by step engage with the contacts in the email list so that you can draw the right targeting insights that can help you segment the list better, and send the right content to the right person per time. This allows you to give the most value to your prospects and further cement that relationship.

Also in the training, you’ll discover three different ways to use the email list to drive attention to your business without sending one single email. Especially since the open rates for this kind of emails is really poor.

Most importantly, I’ll show you how to really negotiate and verify the contacts on that list so that you can get most from the email list before you buy. That way you’re not paying for trash emails but real and valid addresses.

The video training share the best practices you should be implementing when doing email marketing
It also sheds light on the mistakes you MUST avoid with email marketing, SO YOU DON’T LOOK LIKE A CROOK OR A SPAMMER.

You can get all of these and more from the exclusive video training.
To get access to this video training… click Here.

If you got value from this post and would love access to my Gigantic library of Marketing and Business Strategies, access to ask me questions one on one or have me look at some of what you’re doing to get more customers and nurture your existing customer.. then I invite you to join my friends circle.
Register below to join.



Illoh Ifeoma
Lets Connect

Illoh Ifeoma

Online Marketing Coach at Marketing Kiss PR
Illoh Ifeoma is a Digital Marketing Strategist, and the Founder of Marketing Kiss PR.Where she helps entrepreneurs discover online marketing strategies, tips and tactics to push their business to the next level. She runs live workshops, webinars and training.
Illoh Ifeoma
Lets Connect

About Author

Illoh Ifeoma

Illoh Ifeoma is a Digital Marketing Strategist, and the Founder of Marketing Kiss PR. Where she helps entrepreneurs discover online marketing strategies, tips and tactics to push their business to the next level. She runs live workshops, webinars and training.

  • Scott

    Great post! I was always against buying email lists. There’s no guarantee you’ll get the results you want and it’s not good to email random people with your offer. That’s only harmful for the brand. With tools like Mailchimp or GetResponse it shouldn’t be too difficult to build good strategies and acquire subscribers over time. It’s all about a good strategy.

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