Almost everything you read by B2B marketing experts on buying an email list reaches the same conclusion: “Don’t do it.” The reasons range from compliance with anti-SPAM laws (such as CAN-SPAM and CASL) to results (most purchased lists simply don’t perform that well).
Is building a list organically ALWAYS a better option?
For the most part, yes. However, in spite of the very obvious downfalls, many companies I work with are still buying email lists. The most common reasons I hear for purchasing lists?
- We’re entering a new market and don’t have the time to build a good internal list.
- We don’t have the resources (or know how) to build a list ourselves.
Fair enough. Both are really valid reasons. And if you’re facing them, what should you do?
5 considerations if you’re thinking of buying an email list:
- If you absolutely have to buy an email list or marketing list, use a reputable list broker and a delivery platform that allows purchased lists (they do exist).
- Recognize that a purchased list is not a panacea. You are buying the same names as your competitors and you have no relationship with them. So even if you have purchased a list, you should view it as a stop gap measure.
- Always be building. Have an always-on plan to build your marketing list. If you don’t have the resources to do it, the hard truth is you might not be ready to go to market at all.
- Rely on third parties. Many industry publications and associations have an option for “sponsored sending” that will allow you to send emails to their database. You won’t own the names or in most cases even see them, but you get the added credibility sending through these groups provides. Of course, if you’re going to do a sponsored send, you want the strongest possible offer and a landing page to help capture the prospect’s information.
- Consider LinkedIn InMail. Build your audience from all the attributes available on LinkedIn including geography, job title, even company name. Sponsored InMail also has the advantage of higher delivery rates than standard email as it’s delivered to the target when they are on LinkedIn.
Want to know which email providers will allow purchased lists? What you should look for in a list broker? Download Marketing Lists 101: What You Need to Know About List Buying and Building from our Marketing Resources page and give us a call for additional help building an effective marketing list.