49 replies
Is it a good idea to outright purchase an email list?

Has anyone done this before? If so, how did it work out for you?
#buying #email #lists
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  • Profile picture of the author Marcus Cross
    No, you should build your list yourself, then you know it is a genuine list of people who want to receive information from you.
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  • Profile picture of the author ianternet
    I buy lists... you need to buy them in 24 hours. the fresher the better, this way you can quickly interact with them. The only thing is you need to make sure you have legit leads from legit buyers, some sellers mix in old leads for you so make sure you are asking about the time stamp and waht site they came from.
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    I've been buying data for over 16 years.

    Many will tell you not to do it. I personally think that most have just read that it's bad to do and then they preach it as if it's the truth or they just didn't know what they were doing and it didn't work for them. However, I'm not saying everyone should do it, as building your own opt-in list may be the better choice.

    There is more to it than just buying data and sending it. It's kind of like an iceberg, where everyone can see the obvious 10% that is above the surface, but it's the other 90% that is below the surface and no one sees...underlying principles and strategies in the background that can make or break you.

    One of the most important things that you can do is to not buy data blindly. Always buy a sample and test how it performs. Then you will have an idea of how long it is likely to take you to get to break-even and what the data is really worth to you.

    Additionally, all legit data comes with a source URL, which is where the data was actually generated from. If the data has many source URLs, then you want to break it down at test each individually. That way you know how each performs, where if you mailed it as a whole you won't have accurate stats.

    If you were buying traffic, you would never mix your sources together because some will likely perform poorly and others will perform well. It's the same for buying data.

    It's not for everyone and there is more to it than meets the eye. However, done right it can be extremely profitable.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steve B
      Originally Posted by DIABL0 View Post

      It's not for everyone and there is more to it than meets the eye. However, done right it can be extremely profitable.

      Diablo,

      Chances are pretty good that the OP is not planning to do what you do. Certainly there are ways to make money with purchased email lists - specialized strategies that a beginner most likely will not employ. To me, the best advice for anyone thinking that it's easier to just buy a list than to build one is to not do it. There are far more potentially bad things that can happen than good - foremost IMO is that the business owner gains a reputation as a spammer.

      Congratulations Diablo, you are an exception!

      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author hardworker2013
    I always stay away from buying email list, they are usually spammed out already and response are usually poor. The best thing is to build your own email list, it will be more rewarding in the end and may take some effort. Trust me, it is well worth the effort.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rory Singh
    Aaron, I have never bought lists but used to buy bulk email leads from a site called Key2net.biz...a Canadian owned company.

    A guy by the name of Richard owns it.

    Didn't get rich with them but did have some success with them...made some sales.

    But then internet service providers started getting very strict and this made most bulk emailers obsolete.
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  • Profile picture of the author simplytheniceguy
    Many others mentioned it already... you shouldn't buy a list, it's always better to build it yourself.

    There are 2 reasons from my point of view for that opinion:

    #1: When you build your own list, people who join your list know you, they will start trusting you, some of them will like you, some will start buying stuff from you.
    #2: Personally I've tried myself to buy some leads, but what I found is that when I start writing these leads, I don't have a good feeling doing so, simply because I am aware of reason #1... they don't know me, and because I'm in this online business for a very long time, I am also aware of the fact that eventually these guys are on 100's of other lists too, and that's ok, it becomes hard to build a list of people who have not subscribed to other people's list, the point I try to make is that these leads are probably very unresponsive... yeah maybe some will open your mail, depending how good you are in copywriting, some will click your links, and some might buy from you.

    If I were in your shoes I would do this:

    1.) I would start building a small list of 20-100 people in your niche
    2.) There are million ways to do this, I'm not gonna cover them here
    3.) Then I would start communicating with them, introduce yourself, let them become part of your life, tell them about the good and the bad times, is there anything you can teach them - if so, give them advice in doing stuff, maybe you find a good Youtube video from a guy or a gal that might help them, maybe a blog article... it doesn't always have to be your content. That's how you build a relationship.
    4.) In the meantime I would start learning how to turn your knowledge into a digital product so you can sell it online. Chances are I'm gonna put something together that will cover exactly how to create a digital product from scratch.
    5.) Once you've created the product, I would start with the launch process I've outlined in the following thread => http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...otal-noob.html

    That's it.
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  • Profile picture of the author maidenphoenix
    There are many crawlers available on the Internet. The software uses specific keywords and searches for email regarding them on google. The keywords should relate to your products. You can create a list from the e-mails gathered and if you are not spammy some may adhere to your newsletters. It's important to unsubscribe people who show no interest in what you are promoting. This is not the most orthodox solution, you're better off by building your own list. What I previously mentioned is how most list sellers build their packs.
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    • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
      Originally Posted by maidenphoenix View Post

      There are many crawlers available on the Internet. The software uses specific keywords and searches for email regarding them on google. The keywords should relate to your products. You can create a list from the e-mails gathered and if you are not spammy some may adhere to your newsletters. It's important to unsubscribe people who show no interest in what you are promoting. This is not the most orthodox solution, you're better off by building your own list. What I previously mentioned is how most list sellers build their packs.
      Scraping using an automated tool is not very wise. You will likely end up with excessive bounces / spamtraps. https://www.projecthoneypot.org

      I personally acquire fresh / targeted 3rd party email data. Which is data of users that have shown an interest in a specific niche and have provided permission to receive messages from third parties. You get the opt-in record of all the users and it's completely can-spam compliant.

      You can even get what is called rev-share data. Which is 3rd party data that you get for $0 upfront cost and then you split the revenue generated from sending it, with the data providers.

      Regardless how you acquire data, you should always have it cleaned by a reputable list hygiene service.

      I see many saying that data that you buy is going to be less responsive than an opt-in list you build yourself. Most of the time this is entirely true. However, unless you are buying data from the big well know companies, who are going to totally tool you on the price. You can get data very inexpensively and it is highly scalable, which offsets the lower response. In the long run, it can be much much cheaper than using mainstream list building methods.

      However, data doesn't exist for all niches and it is a more involved process than building an opt-in list. So again as I said in my original post, it's not for everyone and building your own opt-in list can be the better choice.
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      • Profile picture of the author maidenphoenix
        Great reply Diabl0. Can you give us some information regarding sources for targeted 3rd party email data ?

        As for excessive bounces / spamtraps, if you use a service like Mailchimp, it will automatically clean your lists upon import or after a few e-mails sent.
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        • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
          Originally Posted by maidenphoenix View Post

          Great reply Diabl0. Can you give us some information regarding sources for targeted 3rd party email data ?

          As for excessive bounces / spamtraps, if you use a service like Mailchimp, it will automatically clean your lists upon import or after a few e-mails sent.
          Most mailers aren't going to share their data sources, especially not in an open forum.

          If you upload a bunch of bounces / spam traps in your data to an ESP, they will terminate your account.
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  • Buying email list is not a good idea, I had few bad experience, most of the time I got a dead email list.
    create you own list by using Getresponse or Aweber autoresponder

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    NEVER NEVER Buy and Email list!

    Instead use solo ads: go to clickonomy or fb groups. Far better
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by Aaron Adusei View Post

    Is it a good idea to outright purchase an email list?

    Has anyone done this before? If so, how did it work out for you?
    Whether it's a good idea or not depends on three things:

    > The list itself
    > Your process
    > Your budget.

    First, the list itself.

    Legitimate lists of the type Diablo describes can be profitable.

    If you're talking about those "99 million email addresses for $99" scams (which are often collected using the kind of scraper described earlier), you do better to simply take a $100 bill and set it on fire. At least it will keep you warm for a minute.

    Next, your process.

    If you simply start mailbombing the purchased list with random offers from a stranger, that's called spam.

    On the other hand, if you start with a niche-related list and send them a legitimate introduction, perhaps with an offer for a relevant lead magnet, you will convert a percentage of them to your house list. (This is the list many here are telling you to build instead of renting or buying lists.)

    Last, your budget.

    If you hit on a profitable offer to a lead source on the very first try, pack your bags and head for the nearest casino. The gods are smiling on you.

    Learning to convert third party emails (and the people behind them) into prospects, customers and loyal repeat customers usually takes some trial and error. Which means ongoing investment. Are your pockets deep enough to allow you to climb the learning curve?

    -------------------

    For the poster advocating solo ads instead of buying/renting lists, all a solo ad is is a message sent to a rented list. The only difference is that the list owner handles the mailing.

    Back in the day, we didn't call them "solo ads". We called them "endorsed mailings." Done properly, they worked well then and they work well now. Done poorly, and they were a reliable way to waste your marketing budget quickly.
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    • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
      On the other hand, if you start with a niche-related list and send them a legitimate introduction, perhaps with an offer for a relevant lead magnet, you will convert a percentage of them to your house list. (This is the list many here are telling you to build instead of renting or buying lists.)
      I just thought I would toss in my 2 cents.

      While you can certainly send an offer for a lead magnet and get the user to subscribe. I personally don't do this. I just collect all my opens / clickers...the most responsive users. While some won't be as high of quality compared to someone that actually subscribes. It's just that email is cheap to send, that I just don't worry about it.
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  • Profile picture of the author oadvantage
    very true.

    And if you scrape, you gotta verify.

    It will tear up your sending stats if you don't.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by Aaron Adusei View Post

    Is it a good idea to outright purchase an email list?

    Has anyone done this before? If so, how did it work out for you?
    Bad idea. Stay far away.
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  • Profile picture of the author HellaLeadz
    Never tried this before, but I would still be doubtful if those bought email lists are even legit. On the other hand, you could invest some time and build up your own email list.
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  • Profile picture of the author andyf99
    There are a lot of dodgy list sellers out there who provide nothing but fake email addresses, so be careful what you are doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
      Originally Posted by andyf99 View Post

      There are a lot of dodgy list sellers out there who provide nothing but fake email addresses, so be careful what you are doing.
      This is true.

      Don't ever buy any data that is email only.

      Data should have the opt-in record and source URL.

      You can also buy a data feed, which you then get fresh data each day...all data is from the previous day (under 24 hours old).
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    I am inclined to what Steve says. Unless you have lots of experience with purchasing lists after building one yourself, I would start off building and adding one subscriber at a time with your OWN list.

    It's the best way to develop your "voice" and the best way to get people to really know who you are and what you can do for them
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  • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
    I'm sure if you are like Diablo and have experience and know what you are doing, it can be a good idea and very profitable.

    For someone like myself with a largely affiliate marketing background, I like to build my own lists. Not only is it profitable for me, I actually find it fun to do.

    My answer is if, and only if, you are highly knowledgeable, experienced, and know what you are buying and how to email them properly, then go for it.

    If not, just build your own.

    One thing you definitely need to know is that if you buy lists don't try to use any of the popular AR companies because purchased leads are a BIG no-no with them. In fact, most of them would prefer you to have double opt-in leads only, although most give you the choice to go with single opt-in if you wish.
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  • Profile picture of the author Katie Watters
    Buying a targeted email list is definitely worth it.
    You need to send to the purchased email list with a valid email sending platform. Traditional ESPs won't allow purchased email lists.
    A quick google search will help you find the right sending provider.
    Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    I never built my own email list at any time in a long career. Life's too short for that. I buy lists from reputable list brokers of people that have opted-in to receive third-party emails and have done very well for myself using this method. Since I offered very disparate products and services over the years, one list would have been virtually worthless to me.

    Building a list is only a smart thing if you are going to constantly present them with one type of product that may be interested in over and over. If your next offering is for something completely different that is not appropriate to the people on your current list, what do you do then? Starve.

    You can spend your time building a list, or selling to people on a list you have purchased for a specific offer.

    The belief that it is imperative to spend years building your own list is one of the biggest myths in marketing. Unfortunately, it's a myth that won't die and one that keeps people from even getting started in IM as the challenge of building a good list, especially in a reasonable amount of time is beyond the grasp of most people.

    If you believe that building your own list is the most important thing you can do, then you might as well subscribe to the other bogus belief that as long as you never quit, you can never fail. Good luck with that.
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    • Profile picture of the author nicheblogger75
      Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

      I never built my own email list at any time in a long career. Life's too short for that. I buy lists from reputable list brokers of people that have opted-in to receive third-party emails and have done very well for myself using this method. Since I offered very disparate products and services over the years, one list would have been virtually worthless to me.

      Building a list is only a smart thing if you are going to constantly present them with one type of product that may be interested in over and over. If your next offering is for something completely different that is not appropriate to the people on your current list, what do you do then? Starve.

      You can spend your time building a list, or selling to people on a list you have purchased for a specific offer.

      The belief that it is imperative to spend years building your own list is one of the biggest myths in marketing. Unfortunately, it's a myth that won't die and one that keeps people from even getting started in IM as the challenge of building a good list, especially in a reasonable amount of time is beyond the grasp of most people.

      If you believe that building your own list is the most important thing you can do, then you might as well subscribe to the other bogus belief that as long as you never quit, you can never fail. Good luck with that.
      I won't even begin to pick this apart.

      I'll simply say that building my own list is immensely profitable, and the responsiveness is out of this world.

      And with the new GDPR laws, good luck buying leads.

      If you can make it work, more power to you.

      Personally, I don't need the EU or the FTC knocking on my door because I basically bought a bunch of data that many of the people probably didn't even realize was being sold.

      As far as product offerings, if you are building a list in a specific niche and then you try and sell them a product that has absolutely nothing to do with that niche, then you obviously have no idea what you're doing in the first place.

      I've made more than 50,000 affiliate sales and 10,000 vendor sales to a list that I personally built. Never bought a single lead. They opted in because they wanted to.

      Much better to have people on your list who are there because they want to be there, not because someone just decided to put them there. I despise the entire practice of profiting off of selling personal data. It's one of the reasons why I get 5+ calls a day to my mobile phone with people trying to sell me all kinds of bullshit.

      And then when you ask how they got your information, they instantly hang up, or better yet, they curse at you and then hang up.

      Yup. Sounds like an honest proposition all around
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by nicheblogger75 View Post

        Yup. Sounds like an honest proposition all around
        We have duly noted the fact that you have never purchased a list from a reputable list broker that people opted into to receive 3rd party offerings based on the product or service you are offering.

        You can't 'pick-apart' success. It stands on its own.

        There is more than one way to skin a cat.
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  • Profile picture of the author DIABL0
    You can buy / send U.S. 3rd party data totally legally.

    Been doing it for 17+ years.

    I have never read the entire GDPR, but I highly doubt there is a 3rd party option within it. Makes no difference to me as all I buy is U.S. data.

    Very few understand how buying / monetizing data works. Most that say to never buy a list probably just read it and then preach it as the truth. I'm not saying it's for everyone and for most they should likely just build their own opt-in list. But done right, buying / monetizing data can be extremely profitable.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by DIABL0 View Post

      You can buy / send U.S. 3rd party data totally legally.

      Been doing it for 17+ years.

      I have never read the entire GDPR, but I highly doubt there is a 3rd party option within it. Makes no difference to me as all I buy is U.S. data.

      Very few understand how buying / monetizing data works. Most that say to never buy a list probably just read it and then preach it as the truth. I'm not saying it's for everyone and for most they should likely just build their own opt-in list. But done right, buying / monetizing data can be extremely profitable.
      There's nothing more important than when the successful voice of experience speaks. It's one of the few things that truly gives hope to others as opposed to letting dogma keep them from trying something different, if it is appropriate for their project.

      Folks "reading" something here and then preaching it as gospel is just sad and lazy - and most of all, potentially harmful to those really looking for viable solutions.

      People can either 'build a list' for months on end and maybe never have one they can actually sell to, ever, or start selling to one they purchased, today. That's just a fact of business. Thanks for spreading the word.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    It's one of the reasons why I get 5+ calls a day to my mobile phone with people trying to sell me all kinds of bullshit.
    Data buyers should not be confused with spammers.

    Data buyer:

    I personally acquire fresh / targeted 3rd party email data. Which is data of users that have shown an interest in a specific niche and have provided permission to receive messages from third parties. You get the opt-in record of all the users and it's completely can-spam compliant.
    Spammer:

    There are many crawlers available on the Internet. The software uses specific keywords and searches for email regarding them on google. The keywords should relate to your products. You can create a list from the e-mails gathered and if you are not spammy some may adhere to your newsletters.
    I started selling lists (peel and stick labels) before the Internet even existed. If you provide excellent records the repeat rate of customers is insane.

    But, like a lot of things, there are dishonest people who give it a bad name.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by IGotMine View Post

      I started selling lists (peel and stick labels) before the Internet even existed.
      My, man!!! I started with an IBM Selectric and moved on to a Wang word processor and once the Mac and the Laserwriter launched, it was a new world order.

      I always told myself that If I had a son, I would name him Avery. lol
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by IGotMine View Post

      Data buyers should not be confused with spammers.
      This is the key to the whole build your own list/buy a legitimate targeted list argument.

      I doubt any of the folks who use legit lists would sanction those "$99 for 1MM email addresses" scams. On the other hand, the scum who peddle that trash don't target people that know the difference. They target the ignorant, the naive and the desperate, just like many of the "Get Rich with no time effort or knowledge required, only a working credit card" crowd.
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        I doubt any of the folks who use legit lists would sanction those "$99 for 1MM email addresses" scams.
        I always paid top dollar to acquire the absolute best lists that money could buy. For my entire business career I always operated with obtaining the best of anything I required being my first priority.

        I have never encountered a situation where I actually saved money by trying to save money. I gave that folly up at an early age. Fool me once . . . . .

        You only live once. If you don't consider yourself to be worthy of the best of everything, well, you're probably not.

        That long-running women's shampoo commercial put it best. "And I'm worth it."
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  • Profile picture of the author crackhouse
    Good advice opted in, thanks for clarifying the value of paid-for-data
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by crackhouse View Post

      Good advice opted in, thanks for clarifying the value of paid-for-data
      I live to serve. You are most welcome. :-)
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  • Buying email lists suck. You're better off with lead generation advertising. If you want to buy a list, buy from the SRDS and send a postcard campaign to lead people to your squeeze/landing/free sign up page.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      Buying email lists suck. You're better off with lead generation advertising. If you want to buy a list, buy from the SRDS and send a postcard campaign to lead people to your squeeze/landing/free sign up page.
      If you bought email lists that suck, you either bought the wrong lists, bought from the wrong people, or mishandled the lists.

      Your suggestion for the postcard campaign applies to purchased lists as well. To be completely accurate, though, we should be referring to rented lists, as legit lists are typically licensed for one-time use.

      SRDS is a good starting point for both snail mail and email lists. But nothing beats a really good broker for finding good, legitimate lists.
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        If you bought email lists that suck, you either bought the wrong lists, bought from the wrong people, or mishandled the lists.
        Or he enjoys parroting things he reads about, but has no actual experience with, himself. I see a lot of that, here.

        To be completely accurate, though, we should be referring to rented lists, as legit lists are typically licensed for one-time use.
        True. My broker will rent you a list, but you never actually see it. They take your piece, mail it and supply you with all of the stats associated with the mailing.

        Fortunately, if you are willing to pay a premium, you can purchase the list outright. They will guarantee a successful delivery rate, which varies from list to list, if used within a certain timeframe and will credit you for any undeliverable addresses. In my experience this number has been very small as the do a very good job of cleaning their lists.

        Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ian5
    Isn't good idea to buy email lists. Probably that you buy the list with the people who will not be interested in your product or, perhaps, there will be a lot of "dead" users.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Ian5 View Post

      Isn't good idea to buy email lists. Probably that you buy the list with the people who will not be interested in your product or, perhaps, there will be a lot of "dead" users.
      Probably you don't know anything about buying targeted, opted-in lists.

      Thanks anyway.
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    • Profile picture of the author ProducerK
      Originally Posted by Ian5 View Post

      Isn't good idea to buy email lists. Probably that you buy the list with the people who will not be interested in your product or, perhaps, there will be a lot of "dead" users.
      You have no idea what your talking about.
      If your buying lists that have dead users in them, your buying from a crappy data broker.
      Buying lists works excellent, with the right broker, the right setup, and the right plan.
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  • You can buy email list. but before purchasing ask for samples so that you can check whether the email list is legit or not.
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  • Profile picture of the author ProducerK
    And also, it really gets old reading from a bunch of people in this section that buying an email list is a bad idea.

    These people fall into the following category:

    1) They have failed buying lists themselves.
    2) They have been giving bad information from other people.

    Buying lists works fine, you can generate millions of dollars per year doing it and sending to those lists. I, and some other prominent members in this group are advocates for buying lists and confirm they do work.

    I am always happy to help other members with their strategy on how to email purchased lists. Just post the questions and Ill be happy to provide further input.
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    | Exclusive Leads | Email & SMS Systems | Specialized Consulting |
    Let's Connect On Skype: Kyle.Shea.777
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  • Profile picture of the author joren
    When you buy them, it will be a dead list, I tried before and I had to delte over 200 as they were as dead as they come. build your own, go and write 13 emails and give good value upload it to your auto responder and then get a solo or two to start of with.....
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  • Profile picture of the author mikec2010
    Don't buy email list unless it has been verified by 3rd email scrubber such as Briteverify and MailboxValidator. Strive for quality and not quantity.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ugur DOGAN
    it's bad idea! you should create your own permission email list
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Sanders
    I was always against buying a mailing list. Especially from people that write to your mailbox with this offer. It'd better make a list on your own, there're so many lead generation tools and databases that you can make contacts' lookup, validate emails and then only to send your offer.
    Tools like Snov.io, Reply, Hunter and databases as Crunchbase and Angelist can help you. I mentioned the most popular projects that I know and use.
    But if you decide to buy email lists do it only in email marketing agencies or companies that are checked and have feedbacks from previous customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author ems3 suivi
    Probably you don't know anything about buying targeted, opted-in lists.
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  • Profile picture of the author ProducerK
    People do not buy lists because they have had bad experience.
    Most list brokers out there are selling junk, thats a fact. I would say 90-95% of people selling data are selling you unknown, recycled junk.
    These people have been ripped off before and do not have any understand of how to monetize purchased data.
    First and foremost, you need a reliable list broker.
    Secondly, you need to hygiene and verify the data before using it.
    Lastly, you need to know how to deliver and have offers that convert to those data sets.

    The main reason people still used purchased data is the cost.
    There is no possible way for someone who is running PPC or FB ads or something, that could build a list as targeted at the scale that I do when purchasing data. Its simply not possible.

    If you optimize your costs and processed on purchased data, there is simply nothing as cost effective out there, and the ROI is so much higher then building your own list and/or using managed email servers that have huge CPM costs in order to send that data.

    Purchasing data is not for everyone, but don't listen to all the nay sayers in this forum about it. They simply cannot make it work, but I can attest, and I know a few other reliable and active members on this forum will advocate and agree with me that there is nothing better in terms of ROI.

    I know this discussion comes up a lot, and I am a strong advocate for purchased data. I will also let anyone to come forward and show me some method they have that is cheaper to build your own list then just buy it and run optimized processes to monetize it.
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