Bought subscriber lists: buying a bad reputation

3 minute read

SpamCop flicked the switch on two groups of spamtraps a couple of weeks ago and a lot of people are still picking up the pieces of their crippled email credibility.

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No-one wants to end up as spam.

Check out our recent blog for more on the dreaded spamtrap.

So, what does this have to do with buying subscriber lists?

Purchasing data is one of the most common ways these trap address appear on your lists. The majority of this data is collected by ‘scraping’ websites for email address. These scrapers will look for anything with an @ symbol in it and add it onto a giant contact list which is then sold off to unsuspecting people who don’t realise it’s bad practice.

Once you’ve triggered a spamtrap, getting yourself removed from their blacklist is extremely difficult.

“But wait!” I hear you ask “what about all those ‘clean/ opt-in lists’ that are advertised?” Good question. ‘Clean/ opt-in lists’ can sound attractive, but spamtraps aren’t the only mine bought lists step on.

You can bet you’re not the only business who’ve bought the list you’re sending to. The inboxes of those addresses will be overflowing with emails they haven’t asked for and the inbox owners will not be happy. These people will have far fewer reservations about hitting the spam button than most email users and many will, without doubt, give the ‘mark as spam’ button a pummeling when your email arrives.

This, unbeknownst to you, will leave you blacklisted by a number of ISPs thanks to a damaged sender score. Retrieving you score from below sea level is a hard road and unfortunately, once it’s down, your emails will filling more spam boxes than inboxes until you get it back.

So if you’re not buying a list, how can you grow your subscriber base?

The good thing about buying lists is that it means you’re prepared to invest a bit in you email programme. All you need to do is redirect your spending onto a campaign that will engage people who are interested in you and the content you’re offering. This way you end up with a list of subscribers who are far more valuable to your bottom line and a healthier business.

Check out our blog on tips to build your subscriber list.

We know people like to buy online, we know people are open to receiving relevant marketing and we know that email is the preferred method of receiving that marking. Building your list with care and maintaining the quality of your email marketing strategy will pay massive dividends. Don’t compromise that by using bad practices.

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