The Dangers of Buying Email Lists
If you've been involved with Internet marketing for some time, one phrase you hear often is "the money is in the list." It's common logic as the more people you can send your email promotions to, the more sales you can possibly make.
It's also easier to sell to existing customers and prospects you've been in contact for some time as opposed to new prospects.
With that in mind, many set out to build their email list and come across different methods. One of these methods is to buy a list from a seller.
These lists for sale can have as few as 1,000 subscribers to as much as 1,000,000 or more. Many vendors selling these lists do so at incredibly cheap prices and it can be very enticing to buy one from them.
Unfortunately, most are complete scams. Here are some of the ways that sellers use different terminologies to make their service and lists sound like legitimate offers ...
1. Opt-In: This means that the people on the email list have voluntarily signed up to receive emails. Many sellers use this term to indicate instead that they haven't opted out (so they can be labeled opt-in). The reality is that they've simply collected a bunch of email addresses any way they can and misrepresent how they built the list.
2. Double-Opt-In: This means that the recipient has signed up to receive emails and then also confirmed that they asked to receive email.
In reality, at least based on the seller's distorted perspective, the first "opt-in" occurs when the email address is obtained (from whatever source) and added to the list without the recipient's approval. And in their warped mind the confirmation or double opt-in occurs "automatically" if the person does not opt-out after receiving their first uninvited email! These lists are usually just as bad as the first one.
3. "Mailing Legal": This means that the seller will send an email campaign on your behalf. The vendor is saying that their mailing is legal but the term is thrown around loosely and you are never told what they mean by legal.
You really have to do your due diligence on this one as if you have your domain associated with the campaign, it can lead to some serious consequences (read on).
Most of these bogus email list sellers use email harvesting software to go through the search engines and websites to collect as many email addresses as they can.
Some of the more savvy sellers make their lists sound more legitimate by categorizing them into different demographics (such as health, business, finance, etc.). They can easily harvest "targeted" emails by using filtering systems to collect email addresses from certain search queries or certain types of websites.
Buying and sending emails to these kinds of lists can have serious consequences. Your ISP can shut you down, you may be sued by recipients or companies, you may get your domain blacklisted (major email service providers will block ALL of your email), and you may also be fined for SPAM depending on your local laws and regulations.
Buying email lists is incredibly risky. We don't recommend it unless you're an experienced Internet marketer who can tell the difference between a legitimate list seller, and legitimately compiled email lists, and those that are not.