Should I Rent or Buy an Email List for my Business?

Posted on Oct 30, 2019 |


It really is that simple. Don’t rent email lists.

Never buy a list. You don’t know where it has been.

Nor is it going to be GDPR compliant as there is no ‘explicit’ consent from the recipients.



If you were to use this list on your email platform (AWeber for example) of choice it is very likely to get you suspended from that platform.

If you use it and send out from your own domain you are in danger of being blacklisted by your hosting company and by Internet Service Providers.


Honeypot (Spam) Email Addresses

Honeypot email addresses are set up deliberately to be decoys. The account is dormant and their purpose is to catch spammers. A spammer will ‘scrape’ addresses from web pages and add them to a list.

You can’t guarantee that the list you rent is free from honeypot addresses.


Gathering email Addresses at Events

It’s a great idea for following up. BUT make sure when gathering these email addresses for the lead / prospect to enter them on a tablet or desktop computer.

Then you can be sure that the address is correct AND you set the subscription to double opt in. That is they have to click on a link from a second email confirming they wish to join the list.

If you don’t do it his way you could end up with a list with some dubious addresses or people forgetting they signed up and hitting the Spam / Junk filter.


Email Platform Spam Tolerance

If you hit a certain level of abuse complaints then an email platform will usually warn you first then deactivate your account. The level of abuse complaints can be quite small 5 – 10 for every 10,000 subscribers on a list.

Content Marketing

Rental Lists

They don’t know you do they? Why should they open your email? These people didn’t opt into your business.


Good Email Lists

They’re not for sale or rent? If you had a list that created revenue for your business would you rent it out?


Solus Emails

I’ve done solus emails without success. A solus email is your exclusive content going out to third party list.

Supposedly that list is going to be the right demographic that is people interested in your business.

The fact of the matter is these lists are built using opt ins for competitions or promotions. People join them in the hope of getting something.

Content Marketing

So What Should I do?

Well, go for a contra deal or buy space on an existing complimentary business email list. A contra deal would be along the lines of  “if you put something on your newsletter then I’ll put one of your posts on my business Facebook page.”

This can work very well with an allied offer.


The Answer you don’t want to Hear

Build your own list so your business has a direct relationship with your ‘tribe.’

It’s hard work but in the long run it will pay off for your business.

Your email list plus your website is the center of everything in digital marketing. Read more about ‘The Hub’ here.

Don’t waste your money. Like I said build your own list and learn as much as you can about creating creative content that attracts subscriptions.

What to know digital marketing terms better? Have a peak at our Digital Marketing Jargon Buster.

Jim Signature


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Understanding Digital Marketing10 emails, 10 suggestions & 10 actions