Updated October 21, 2021
In our original article, we discussed the value of email marketing. But we also said that it’s often a better idea to build your own rather than buy an email list from other companies. Keep reading to learn how to build your own email lists to save money and get more out of your email marketing campaigns.
2021 marks the 50th-anniversary of the creation of email. Since its inception, the popular communication method has grown to reach the must-have status it now holds in our lives. Now, more than 102 trillion emails are sent and received every year. And that number is only expected to grow larger in the future.
With statistics like these, it’s easy to see why companies are beginning to focus more on email marketing efforts. There’s certainly a cost basis for doing so, as some analyses suggest email marketing has as high as a 4,400% ROI.
But to make the most of your email marketing campaigns, you need an ample supply of email addresses to target. Ideally, those addresses should be tied in some way to the target audience for your product or service.
Enter paid email lists. Companies that sell them promise to provide your business with the email addresses it needs to maximize its digital marketing efforts. But can you trust them? Is buying an email list the best way to spend your limited marketing dollars?
We’re here to answer those questions for you. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about buying an email list and whether it would be a good idea for your company to begin investing in them.
What Is An Email List?
An email list is how it sounds. Whether you’ve thought about it this way or not, it’s likely that you belong to a large number of email lists yourself. It’s generally safe to assume that anytime you give a company your email address, it’s going to be added to some type of list. You want to be on some of these lists.
For example, you might sign up for an email list that sends out notifications when your favorite products go on sale. Or you might give a streaming service your email address so they can tell you when new content is released.
As these examples suggest, email lists are generally built around a particular theme. This enables those who create them to craft targeted content and send out via emails that those on the list will actually care about enough to open, read through, and potentially act upon.
What Would Motivate Your Company To Buy An Email List?
To understand why a company would purchase an email list, we need to understand why email lists are valuable. We don’t need to look very far to find an answer. Historically, email marketing has consistently produced some of the highest ROIs for companies that implement it.
On average, every dollar spent on email marketing returns $38. It’ll be difficult for a company to do much better than that, no matter how good they might be at other types of marketing.
But why is that the case? What makes email list marketing so effective? The answer lies in a combination of several key factors.
Emails are targeted and personalized
Key to the value of email marketing is its highly personalized and targeted nature. When someone gives you their email address, it’s because they care about what your company has to offer. And if you know that someone cares about your company’s offerings, then you actually know a great deal about that person and their interests.
You can combine your buyer personas and your email list to craft targeting email content that is based on information you know the person cares about. This isn’t possible with many other types of digital marketing.
You own your email list
Most other forms of digital marketing take place on third-party sites, like Google, Facebook, and Twitter. If these platforms change their policies or algorithms, your marketing campaign could be severely impacted.
But you’ll never run into this problem with your email list. You own it and you’ll always be able to use it to reach your audience in a highly direct way.
Most people use email several times a day
People differ in how much they use social media platforms and various parts of the internet. But virtually everyone accesses their email address multiple times per day. That gives you more opportunities to reach them than what’s possible through other methods.
Exact statistics are hard to find. But at least one recent poll found that about 40% of people surveyed checked their email between 6 and 20 times per day.
To buy an email list or not – is it right for my company?
Given the potential of email marketing, you may find yourself drawn to the idea of purchasing ready-made email lists. These can be grouped around specific industries or demographic details. At first glance, they appear to be an easy way for your company to begin maximizing its email marketing efforts.
However, paid email lists offer less value than you might think. Instead of searching for the best places to buy email lists, your company may be better off investing its marketing budget elsewhere. Here are a few reasons why.
There’s no way to qualify paid email lists
Gaining access to 10,000 new email addresses overnight might sound wonderful. But you have no real way of knowing how many of those addresses contain complete, up-to-date information. A large portion of the addresses that you receive could be abandoned, contain false information, and obtained illegally.
The company that you buy from might assure you of the list’s quality. But there’s little that you can do to verify their claims. So you might agree to a price with the expectation of receiving 10,000 targeted email addresses only to receive 5,000 or less that are actually worth your time.
Your competitors will be using the same lists
This point speaks for itself. Your marketing efforts are designed to give your company a competitive advantage. But if all of your competitors are also using the email lists that you purchase, then that advantage won’t actually materialize.
Your response rate could be abysmal
The average email open rate for a healthy, targeted list is between 19 and 29%. That’s the rate for a list of people who you know care about your company and its products. Email lists that you buy will be full of individuals who have never expressed any interest in your business. So it’s highly likely that your response rate for these campaigns will be far lower than 20-25%.
You risk developing a reputation as a spammer
Your company’s reputation is everything. The last thing you want to do is risk it by embarking on an email marketing campaign that targets people who don’t want to be targeted. But that’s precisely what could happen if you purchase an email list and launch a campaign with it.
You could quickly begin to see negative online reviews popping up, complaining about being spammed by your company. If these reviews are one of the first few things that potential customers see when Googling your company, that would be very bad for your reputation. It could seriously negatively impact your future sales.
Where are the best places to buy email lists?
For all of the reasons discussed above, purchasing an email list is generally not a good decision for your company. But if you weigh the risks and decide to do so anyway, it’s important to buy from reputable vendors. Here are some of the industry’s most popular:
- Blue Mail Media
- Zoom Info
Top Email Marketing Trends for 2022
Email marketing has evolved significantly since it emerged 40 years ago. To keep up with the competition, stay on top of the following trends.
- Customer content: You can build trust with your email list by including customer reviews or photographs of your customers using your products or services.
- Bite-sized newsletters: While fancy newsletters are a thing of the past, your customers will still appreciate digestible news that packs a punch. Send your email list the latest industry updates, sales and holiday specials. Emphasize a visual format that catches the eye – one that can be perused in just a few seconds.
- Hyper-personalization: In 2022, customers are tired of being addressed with mass emails. Various software (like LeadLander) allows you to collect valuable information about your customers that will help you trigger emails based on shopper habits. For example, when a customer leaves their cart before finalizing a purchase, they might receive an email that reminds them about the items left in cart – perhaps with an extra incentive to do so now.
- Interactive emails: Customers are drawn to new forms of entertainment. Try incorporating animated buttons, interactive product carousels, or GIFs to get your customers involved.
- Genuine gratitude. Like we mentioned in #3, customers don’t want to feel like just a number. In 2022, your email list will appreciate personalized thank-you emails and personalized privileges (like early access invites or birthday discounts). When you show you care, your email list will grow to include loyal customers.
You can create your own email lists to save money and better personalize your outreach efforts. When done right, you can reap all of the same benefits as you would with a paid list (and then some).
Enjoy The Benefits Of Email Marketing By Creating Your Own Lists
Most companies only have a finite amount of resources to invest in their digital marketing campaigns. Email marketing is absolutely worth investing in. But if you’re going to do it, the best strategy is to focus on building your own lists instead of buying pre-made ones from an online vendor.
Sure, it will take you longer to put together a formidable list. But when you do, you’ll know that everyone on the list cares about your business and what it has to offer.
Also, creating your own email lists may not take as long as you think. Focus on creating and distributing content that you know your target audience will really care about. You might develop a blog and include a form for readers to fill out so they can be updated via email when the next post comes out.
Or you can create valuable how-to guides and ebooks, allowing users to provide their email addresses before accessing them. Tricks like these will help you build out your own email lists in no time.
How to build your own email lists
Embed signup forms throughout your website
This is the classic way of building an email list from scratch. Simply embed email signup forms throughout different parts of your website.
To do this successfully, the forms need to use an enticing call-to-action and be placed in strategic locations. For example, putting an email signup form at the end of a blog post that gets traffic is a great way to direct that same traffic into your sales funnel.
Try to tie the CTA to something you talk about on that section of your site for better results.
Use welcome popups with special offers
Many companies display a welcome popup ad when someone visits their website. This is a great place to ask for a customer’s email address, but you’ll likely need to incentivize them.
A great way to do that is by offering a discount on their first purchase in exchange for their email address. Even something like a 10% discount can be enough to get people to provide you with their information so you can market to them down the road.
Place valuable content behind email walls
This is another way to incentivize your visitors to give you their email addresses. The idea is to take content that you know they find valuable and place it behind an email wall. Enticing content ideas that motivate might be webinars, ebooks, and whitepaper studies. Essentially, any in-depth content you know is relevant to your target audience can work here.
Many companies are also beginning to gamify the process of getting email addresses from their target audience. A good method is to ask your website visitors to spin a wheel to get a discount. Most people who want to buy something from you will do this if you include some solid discounts on the wheel.
Then, you can ask for the person’s email address to directly send them the discount they just won. These types of gamified experiences can capture your audience’s attention in ways that traditional asks for email addresses can’t really match.
Combine each of these for the best results
Ultimately, it’s best to use several different strategies when building your email list. We recommend that you combine all of these to get as many email addresses from your customers as possible.
LeadLander can help you work towards this goal. Our platform provides you with a wealth of information about visitors to your website. With this, you’ll be able to easily start putting together the content that you need to strengthen your organic email lists.
We’re so confident that you’ll find value in our platform that we’ll let you try it for free. So consider visiting our website to sign up for a free 14-day trial today.