Seriously, Stop Buying Email Lists

In the early days of the Internet, purchasing a list of email addresses was a legitimate business tactic. Lists were a new thing, sending an email was basically free, email servers accepted almost all email and spam was not much of a problem.

Spam Unsolicited email that is sent in bulk.

Let me say this unequivocally, if you purchase and use email lists, You Are A Spammer. Any email sent in bulk that was not opted into by the recipient is considered spam. If you have zero prior contact with this email address, you are spamming it. It does not matter if you have a legitimate business and that you are not trying to scam the recipient, your email is still unwanted. Think of email spam as equivalent to the pile of unwanted ads in your regular mailbox. You didn’t ask for it and it wastes your time and resources to get rid of it.

Inbox Providers Have Ramped Up Spam Defenses

The main goal for Inbox Providers is to protect their users by eliminating irrelevant, unwanted and dangerous emails. Over the last 20 years, Inbox Providers have applied multiple layers of defenses around their inboxes:

  • Checking senders against Blacklists/Blocklists
  • Refusing non-TLS encrypted email
  • Checking SPF, DKIM and DMARC configurations and then bouncing non-compliant email
  • Scanning email attachments for malware
  • Scanning email links for potential malware websites
  • Checking content for known spammy verbiage
  • Deprioritizing email campaigns sent to closed, unused, or non-existent accounts
  • Aggregating sentiment across recipients

Now, using Aggregate Sentiment algorithms and AI, Inbox Providers can detect campaigns that have low relevance, start from purchased lists, or are likely to be marked as spam and drop the entire campaign in the spam folder. Further, some senders dependent on purchased email lists have reported all email from their domain being binned – essentially burning out their sending domain.

What can you do?

The first thing you need to do it stop depending on purchased email lists for prospecting, continuing to do so could burn out your domain reputation. To do this, you need to look at other methods for lead generation:

  • Online advertising
  • Word of mouth
  • Social media advertising
  • Opt-in email newsletters

How can MxToolbox help?

If you have burned out your sending domain, MxToolbox can help you setup a new email sending domain, configure email best practices, etc. however, you must change your email practices or this will happen again. DMARC, and a DMARC management tool like MxToolbox Delivery Center will help your sending domain achieve the best possible email delivery. In addition, our Inbox Placement feature will tell you if your campaigns are being dumped into the spam folder or making it to the Inbox and analyze your email for potential inbox placement issues.