Can I use Purchased Data for my Email Campaigns?

You may be wondering if buying marketingdata and email lists is your best option for your email campaigns. It would certainly seem like an easy way to boost your mailing list, but is it safe, effective and legal, or are there risks involved?

When your business is first starting out and your mailing list isn’t extensive, it can be extremely tempting to purchase your data – after all it seems like an inexpensive shortcut to growing your list. Email campaigns are a great way to promote your business, but buying your email list to reach out to a larger audience might not be as beneficial as you’d expect and could hurt your business in the long run (Kelly Forst).

Buying data for your email campaign may seem like a good idea, but how much can we really trust this data we are receiving? When purchasing data, companies will generally ask you to provide specific demographics, and based on this, they will select relevant email addresses from their huge database (Oliver Wilkinson). However, you can never be sure where these email addresses have come from, you could be emailing people who have absolutely no interest in your product or service (Kelly Forst). You are trusting the service provider, but don’t have much insight into how they sources this data, and whether it is compliant. This might result in low engagement statistics, and you even risk damaging your domain if your purchased data marks your communications as spam. You also run the risk of compromising GDPR unless the service provider is fully transparent with you on how the data has been sourced and whether it is 100% compliant. So even though reaching out to a wider audience may seem like the best idea to expand your business, it could cause more damage than good. If your final decision is to purchase data, the purchasing process should not be rushed, and you should take the time to shop around, finding the best service provider for your campaign requirements.

Typically, organic data performs higher than purchased data (Jonathan Pryer) so it may seem obvious that organic data is the route to take. However, if you’re a small business just starting out, it can be hard and time consuming to build up your mailing list. To ensure your purchased data isn’t a waste of time and money, you need to be buying data relevant to your target audience. This is where marketing automation can be useful, but be sure to select an automation suite that works with purchased data as not all do (Jonathan Pryer). Adding your purchased data to an automated workflow allows you to gain insight into when it’s the right term to engage with your prospects, and also adds value to the data by tracking habits and online behaviour. This means you gain more opportunities to catch their attention, by moving them through an automated marketing journey (Jonathan Pryer). Email marketing can be very repetitive and easy to ignore, and marketing automation opens new, easy to manage avenues for you to reach out to consumers.

Purchased data can be used for email campaigns and can be beneficial for start up companies to get their foot in the door, but ideally, it should be the last resort. There are risks that come along with buying email addresses – many that can impact your business in a negative way. Here are just a few risks you might face:

  1. Can you trust the quality of the data? You don’t know much about the intent of the data, and they may have no interest in what you’re offering.
  2. Your emails could be seen as spam.
  3. You won’t be the only one with that purchased email list.
  4. It can negatively affect your response, open, and click rates.
  5. Many marketing automation suites won’t let you use purchased data

So, we know that you can used purchased data for your email campaigns, but the real question is, is it worth doing? In short, it can be beneficial to use both purchased and organic data in your marketing campaigns, but if possible, purchased data is best to avoid. Sending emails to contacts who haven’t authorised permission can result in negative reviews about your company and unsubscribes. The last thing you want to do is ruin your reputation before your business has even got started – your online reputation is crucial (Syed Balkhi). The risks of buying marketing data certainly outweigh the benefits – sticking to organic methods of building your contact list may be time consuming, but is more effective in the long run (Oliver Wilkinson).

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Joe Allen

Joe has vast experience and knowledge accumulated and honed as a New Business Development Manager and Relationship Manager. Presently the Director at Belu Media.

Responsible for generating new business clients, looking after existing clients, sourcing new ventures and managing the company.

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