Finding an email list is so easy these days. There are hundreds of companies that offer categories and/or regions where they have targeted selected data for you at a handsome price. Small businesses with no marketing budget usually can take this road first in which they find out later is very risky and can cause serious harm. Here are some reasons why buying an email list may or may not be a good idea.

If you must buy data and you feel that this is your only option, then there are several things you must watch out for. Many vendors say they have accurate information but how old is the list? Is it out of date? Is the information correct? How do you test the information if it is or isn’t correct? Is it wise to test the data first before mailing to it? These are all important questions that you must answer before you take that leap. Be careful when testing. You could run into many blacklist roadblocks.

Many companies are now selling optin information – data is so easy to come by and now you can append to the date/time stamp IP and source. Most marketers feel comfortable by mailing to these but if you can’t prove the source is actually you, then why bother? In example, let’s say the source is from a soap manufacturer but your company sells mufflers? Do you really want to send an email about mufflers to soap buyers? You need clever marketing on this one.

If you put together a marketing campaign that can speak to any person universally, then you may have a shot. And in that shot, you definitely have options. Any list you buy can be cleaned by email list validation and followed email list verification. Both processes reduces the amount of traps, complainers and bounces so that you have a chance at uploading your data into reputable ESPs like Aweber and/or MailChimp, however, they will not allow you to send to purchased lists. They have algorithms and team members who monitor any and all data that is uploaded and with reputation. Sometimes they will not allow you to send your email if it matches certain blacklist or spamtraps.

That is why it is better to mail to the data yourself with your own PMTA before you upload your data into any ESP. Get the audience familiar with you first before you take the “white listed plunge” so to speak. One last thing to consider when sending email to a list that is unknown to you is it could affect your business reputation. If someone receives an unsolicited email from you and know for a fact you are spamming, then they will not want to have anything to do with you. Clever marketing is definitely needed to wrap yourself around the list purchase conundrum.