5 Potential Risks of Buying Ready-to-Use B2B Lead Lists
January 29, 2021 8 min. read
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The battle of getting qualified leads remains topical — 68% of businesses are struggling with lead generation.
Each entrepreneur and salesperson needs more contact data to reach out to potential buyers. We bet you do as well.
You want them quickly, right? Oh, yes, you need them cheap as well? Under those circumstances, purchasing leads lists seems like a proper solution. Plenty of providers offer you the “complete list” of emails or phone numbers. They have collected them – you can buy them. One click, one transaction, and you have them all.
So, sounds legit, right? And so easy – getting leads’ contacts with one swipe of a credit card. However, such a purchase can backfire and cause endless harm.
Why is it that buying email lists can turn out to be a deadly blow for your email marketing? Here are 5 reasons that explain potential traps and pitfalls.
1. Reputation Risks
Sending emails to random people and companies on the list brings up related privacy issues that hurt your company’s reputation. Since you are sending unsolicited emails by default, they’re mostly ending up in the spam folder. This is damaging your domain reputation across email providers. You may wonder how so? Let us explain.
a) Email providers are dedicated to combating mail spam. They used the so-called honey pot that is included in the email for tracking each and every one of them. It is also used to track spammers when the email has a high bounce rate.
This will happen if the email you send is no longer valid or just old — email bases may have a certain percentage of such contacts. You never know how big a percentage, exactly.
b) The deliverability is just one thing. Following reports, when a recipient tags your email as spam, more severe consequences may follow. Email clients don’t want to be associated with senders and accounts that are frequently labeled as spam. So they lower your IP rating, so your emails land in the spam folder, or even put a penalty on those accounts.
2. Legal Risks
Second, most marketers worldwide are legally bound to allow recipients to opt-out from receiving any mail they don’t want to see. And it doesn’t stop there.
a) GDPR (The General Data Protection Regulation), a European data privacy act from 2018, governs both opt-out and the opt-in sides of the relationships between the company and receiver. And by sending unsolicited emails, you may violate this act.
Your company doesn’t even have to operate in Europe to fall under this act — it automatically applies to any recipient who lives in the EU. By sending your first email to the recipient who didn’t agree to receive information from your company, you become non-compliant with GDPR.
b) There is another regulatory act that regulates spam bulk emailing – the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States.
Want some non-legal reasons to avoid the purchased email list? We’ve got those as well.
3. The Risk of Low Efficiency
Buying a ready-to-go lead base provides you with a tremendous number of emails. Sound like great news? Let’s dig deeper.
What are the chances that those bases, even if bought with identification to be buyers in your field, have reliable information? They are mostly of low quality and may not even remotely fall into your target audience. Among the significant number of buyers, most of them will not be interested in your product as they will never have heard of it.
At the end of the day, you spend your time and effort reaching out to the clients with a meager chance of becoming your lead.
4. The Risk of Buying Invalid Data
Low engagement. As a company, your first interest is to get the highest engagement possible. Bear in mind a sizable chunk of emails falls into the spam category. You are an unknown company sending them a maybe unwanted email in the “received” list to the end-user. You can assume that they will delete such an email instantly without even opening it. There goes your engagement!
Invalid data. Adding to this, you can not be entirely sure that the email list has valid data. Emails can appear as no longer used. They may be changed or even deleted. That increases your bounce rate so much your IP will be flagged by email clients, as we talked about above.
5. The Risk of Buying a “Second-Hand” List
Landing on the annoying side. Providers sell their lists more than once, even if they claim to provide you with exclusive data. The main reason to sell those emails lists repeatedly is profit. This means those clients have already been targeted with an enormous amount of email already. And now it’s your turn to take a shot at them. They may have already set filters so they won’t receive unwanted emails.
Second-hand contacts. To add to that, there is a sizable chance the identical email list will fall into your competitor’s hand. And the data is not exclusive. Sometimes, users even delete their jeopardized account and set up a new one if they acknowledge their data has been sold. Sometimes they set up a wholly different account just for receiving promotional materials, so important emails don’t get lost in the sales pitches.
So, summing up the whole thing, buying a ready-to-go base may seem like a shortcut to successful sales, but the risks outweigh the profits. Potential fines, reputational damage, invalid and inadequate quality data… Creating your own valid list seems like a much better idea, right?
Even though creating your own contact database takes time and effort, it pays off in the long run. Ready-to-go bases are difficult to rely on. Potential risks are too high compared to efforts you put into working with such a base. Opt for creating your database – with fresh, valid, and up-to-date contacts.
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