It has been a tradition for many decades to purchase a mailing list, (or today’s world: an email mailing list), when you want to reach out directly to new potential customers. So, of course, that is what a small business owner usually thinks they should do. But is it such a good idea in the digital age?

The Truth About Email Mailing Lists

The truth is, purchasing an email mailing list is a major waste of money. The email addresses are usually a combination of information scraped from websites or social media and email addresses used by people who fill out surveys or enter contests.

Scraping email addresses is illegal in the United States. Using email mailing lists that are full of scraped email addresses is also illegal. Even if it weren’t illegal, those email addresses are not going to direct you to the person you’re attempting to reach usually. Smart people will put a spam collector email address on their social media accounts and websites. They’ll check it once in a while to see if a real email was sent to them. Aside from that, most everything is deleted that goes to that email address.

People who fill out surveys to win prizes or enter contests know the email address that they’re giving to the company is going to become a part of an email mailing list that will be sold to marketers. Do you think they’re giving their real, everyday email address that they actually use? No. They aren’t. It’s their spam collecting email address that they use when filling out surveys.

Results May Vary

You might get some response from a purchased list, and possibly a few sales. But the cost per sale is going to be huge. Buying an email mailing list can run between $400 and $1000 per thousand. So, you’ll need to do the math.

The truth is, if you put that money toward building your own mailing list, you’d have excellent results from your email marketing campaign, plenty of sales and still have a lot of cash left over. Additionally, it won’t be just a one-shot send. They will be on your permanent mailing list to use to build a long-term customer relationship.

Build Your Own Email Mailing List

Do things the right way and save a lot of money. Build your own mailing list. See the Crumple Group blog post on how to build your mailing list full of qualified leads.

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