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Pros and Cons of Purchased Email Lists 

Emails are successful communications channels because they are personal, purposeful, and targeted.

However, asking people to join your email list is not as simple as it sounds. In fact, email list building is challenging and time-consuming. Some traditional ways of collecting emails involve sign-up sheets, telemarketing, hosting events, and running promotions on partner websites. For this reason, many manufacturing marketing professionals are considering purchasing a list of email accounts to add to their existing email lists. Email lists are a quick fix and can instantly add thousands of email addresses to your email list.

But before deciding to buy email addresses, it’s advisable to recognize that there are advantages and disadvantages to list buying. Here are the pros and cons of buying a list to help you make an informed decision:


  1. Time-Saver: Most people are hesitant to give up their email addresses and will only sign up to an email list if there’s a good reason such as an offer or discount. List building takes time and requires a lot of different tactics. Email list buying is a quick solution because one purchase of an email list from a marketing company could contain the number of emails it would take you to collect over weeks or months.
  2. Relatively Cheap: Email lists range in prices depending on the number of email addresses you want. When you compare the costs of how much you spend on manpower to collect the same number of emails, acquiring an email list is cheaper.
  3. Boost in Business: An email list full of valid email addresses will raise brand awareness and give you an increase in sales.


  1. Complaints: The biggest problem with buying an email list is that you could be labeled as spam from people who aren’t happy to receive newsletters from you. In the first place, people from the purchased email list did not approve or actively sign up for your material. This could result in a lot of unsubscribes and opt-outs which your email service provider could punish you for.
  2. Unqualified Prospects: Marketing for manufacturing means that you need a list of leads from a specific niche. Unfortunately, some marketing companies will deliver you a list of email addresses from people who aren't qualified prospects. To make things worse, you won’t recognize that the bulk of the email addresses are cold leads until you start getting complaints.
  3. Invalid Emails: Emails lists are typically collected through a marketing campaign. However, some marketing companies who sell email lists generate email addresses by computer which you will only later discover to be invalid or “dead” emails.
  4. Potentially Ruin Your Reputation: While most people are used to receiving unsolicited emails, it’s still not a welcomed. When your company starts sending emails to people who have not signed up for your offerings, they will identify your brand as one of those to probably paid for an email list. People tend to look down at organizations who go to such lengths to gain a sale. 

Overall, email list buying comes with more disadvantages than advantages. Some manufacturers have gotten lucky by purchasing a list from a marketing company that was full of qualified prospects and ultimately enjoyed an increase of revenues because of it. However, the majority who bought email lists are stuck with thousands of cold leads and computer-generated emails.