Buying an Email List - Part 2

In Part 1 of this article we explained why online business promotion cannot be treated in the same way as traditional promotions, in particular direct mailing. One of the major differences lies in the way your business will not be harmed if you do a physical, traditional ‘mass leaflet distribution’, though it may harm your profit margins. There is still a place for ‘leafleting’ in today’s competitive business marketplace, and particularly if you have a business that depends mostly on ‘local trade’. However, while your intentions are the same with regard to generating new business, emailing indiscriminately can, and will do you more harm than good, but all too often this is only discovered when it is too late.

In Part 2 of this article, here we are going to discuss the hidden, and more dangerous downsides to buying an email list.

What happens to your marketing emails once they’ve been sent out?

To discover the downside of buying an email list, it is important to understand how the Internet works, not from the point of view of how emails are delivered, but more specifically, who delivers them and what happens to your emails when they are sent. When the Internet gained traction and it became clear that this was the next revolution in the communication industry, marketers identified it as a major means to promote products. The arrival of the Internet was hotly pursued by the arrival of spam, the scourge of many an early, as well as current Internet user. To combat the problem, Internet service providers (ISPs) began to develop software to identify what was, potentially, spam, and began to successfully filter it out.

However, ISPs didn’t stop there. Quite rightly, when they identified that spam emails were coming from a specific Internet protocol (IP) address (the IP address is what identifies the specific source of an email), they chose to stop delivering emails from that address. Now if you are a bogus marketeer, then you can develop a workaround by creating a new account and use a new IP address. However, if you are an individual business, it is not so easy, and once your IP address (not your email address) has been identified as a source of spam, then most, if not all emails sent from that address will be perceived as spam, and will not reach the intended recipient. Spam filters do not read the content of an email, they work on the credibility of an IP address.

The result of the above means that the ‘reputation’ of your IP address is critical to your business and essential to guarantee that emails sent out reach the intended recipient. So how can you damage your reputation?

What is bad about a purchased email list – the hidden downside

When an email is sent out, one of four things will happen to it once it has reached the intended recipient:

If an email is reported as spam, then the ISP will notice this, and keep a closer eye on the IP address of the sender of the spam. Even one report can be damaging, and more than one email reported as spam can start to have an effect on the delivery of all emails from your IP address – many may end up immediately in the spam folder, which many of us forget to check!

If an email ‘bounces’ – in other words, it can’t be delivered because the email address no longer exists, this is an even greater alert to an ISP that spam is being sent out from an IP address. As with a report of spam, this will affect the deliverability of future emails from your account, and there is no quick fix. While you can change the email address of your company – never a good move for a number of reasons – emails will still be sent from the same IP address, so you have achieved nothing.

So, having read the above, maybe you can understand more clearly why bought email lists are very risky and just how damaging they can be for your business - because you can’t guarantee the validity of all email addresses on a list compiled by strangers. This should also help to explain why verifying all addresses is a smart move.

In Part 3, the third and final instalment of this article, we will discuss how ‘opt in’ email lists are just as dangerous as ordinary email lists, and why you should not be misled by claims they are the best email list to have. In addition, we will explain how to create your own email list, and why it is important you regularly check the validity if all email addresses on your list.

Published: 2018-01-22 08:24:00