Should I Buy Email Addresses?

Posted by David Chism | Wed, May 18, 2016

 Should I Buy Email Addresses?
I have got­ten asked this ques­tion many times over the years: Can I buy email address­es and then send them emails?” or Can I have a mar­ket­ing com­pa­ny blast my mes­sage to 10s of thou­sands of emails on my behalf?” The sim­ple answer to either one of these ques­tions, in my opin­ion, is sim­ple No. Do not buy or mass email peo­ple. Now, if you would like an expla­na­tion of my rea­son­ing, read on.  There are more and more com­pa­nies pop­ping up today that offer approved” or ver­i­fied” email address­es that you can pur­chase or have them send emails to these con­sumers on your behalf. The prob­lem with this form of mar­ket­ing is that it is not per­son­al and is about as cold as pos­si­ble to find a prospect. I think it is far worse than door to door prospect­ing or pos­si­ble cold call­ing. Why do I think this? Because we all get too many emails to begin with. Many of us have our email address­es sold already. This hap­pened by us sign­ing up on a web­site and for­get­ting to uncheck the box, you agree for us to send you emails with offers from our part­ners.” Or, some­times we do real­ly agree to this to get some deal but then regret it lat­er, because our email is sold to the mass­es! I have nev­er heard any­one at any­time say, I love get­ting mass emails from com­pa­nies I don’t know!” Have you?

But David, It Is So Cheap & It Works

Real­ly? Does it work? Ok sure… I know of a few painters who have done mass emails. They pur­chased a list through an agency and had them email peo­ple who sup­pos­ed­ly were ok being on the list. Yet the amount of leads that come in are so lit­tle. It is extreme­ly rare to get a high qual­i­ty lead when this form of mar­ket­ing takes place.

The Best Way to Do Email Marketing

Get Per­mis­sion

Email mar­ket­ing still works and is and can be very pow­er­ful. Yet the best way for it to work is per­haps the hard­est for any con­tract­ing busi­ness to imple­ment. My blog post get sent to a list of indi­vid­u­als who have vol­un­teered to receive my blog updates. They had to sign up. I rarely get unsub­scribes if any. This is because I do not sell their emails, and I got their per­mis­sion to update them. Sell­ing a home improve­ment ser­vice should be no dif­fer­ent than what I am doing. When you ask first and get per­mis­sion, you’ll cre­ate a stronger list of prospects and repeat cus­tomers who are then will­ing to receive your emails, blog post and so forth. The rea­son this is so hard is that many of you already have hun­dreds if not thou­sands of emails in your sys­tem. It is hard to know where to start. There are sev­er­al dif­fer­ent ways to han­dle this, yet no mat­ter what, it is time con­sum­ing. It will require sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly going through your account and mak­ing sure peo­ple real­ly want to get your emails.

Qual­i­ty, Not Quantity

It has always been about qual­i­ty vs quan­ti­ty. Every­one wants qual­i­ty leads! To get more qual­i­ty leads, you need more qual­i­ty read­ers when it comes to email mar­ket­ing. The more you care­ful­ly nur­ture your email list and get rid of those who do not engage or open your emails, the more qual­i­ty sub­scribers and buy­ers you’ll get over­time. Here is one quick tip if you already have a large email list. This will require a bit of work. Per­haps bite this off over­time or assign to an admin assis­tant. Mailchimp, for exam­ple, rates your email list: 1 to 5 stars. I start with the 1 stars and find out the last time he/​she opened an email. Some­times I’ve found the emails are incor­rect to begin with. Some­times I will find the last time an email was opened was 2 – 3 years ago. When I do a deep dive on that email, I’ll come to find out they hired some­one else and stopped read­ing an email. In that case, I’ll delete them. I want qual­i­ty sub­scribers: peo­ple who WANT to be on the list. You can also see who your top engagers are. Per­haps you can do some­thing spe­cial for these people!

Don’t Just Take My Word For It

I read a post from a well known mar­keter, Jim Con­nol­ly, (that I sub­scribe to vol­un­tar­i­ly) who dis­cuss­es this very same thing and com­pares it to direct mail. There is a lot of talk in the con­tract­ing world today won­der­ing if direct mail (print) is dead! Well, take a moment and read the post I have linked here that might shed more light on that ques­tion and email mar­ket­ing too! His arti­cle is titled A Pow­er­ful Email Mar­ket­ing Les­son from Google and is such a valu­able resource. As always, I val­ue your thoughts in the com­ments below, by email or on Face­book.

About David Chism

David Chism started his business out of a passion for helping small contracting businesses grow, be more profitable and become better known to their target clients. One lifelong hobby of David is using techie gadgets. So this blog is a place where he writes about technology, marketing ideas, just for fun (humor), personal thoughts on small business and more.


Subscribe to the Blog

Please provide a short summary of why you are reaching out today.