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Why buying mailing lists is a bad idea

If you’ve ever given your email address to a reputable company, you’ll normally get a promise that they will not share or pass your details on. Sometimes they will ask if they can share with their partner companies or something similar.

I understand business is tougher for many today than 10 years ago, but short term gains could lead to long-term pain.

Buying a mailing list generally means that those addresses have been gathered dubiously, if no company shares your email and you don’t knowingly put your email into the hands of the company selling your address, then they most likely have been obtained “creatively”. And if they have not been obtained creatively, if they are being sold on, that is certainly without your consent.

Admittedly you could get lucky and be one of the first to use a list or list service and that is a bit like getting in early to a pyramid scheme, it could pay off.

I bought a list, now what!

Ok, so you bought a list to send out a promotion for your awesomely wonderful product you just have to share with everyone whether they like it or not.

Firstly, these days with so many people using Gmail, Hotmail or a similar online mail service it is becoming easier and quicker to block spammy senders. Say I receive your mail, I know I didn’t subscribe and so I mark it as spam, when enough people have marked it as spam, Google will automatically move further emails from your address to spam.

Secondly, remember that saying about “mind the company you keep” well your brand has now been tainted by your association with a shady partner.

Long-term success

I’ve never seen a bought list help a company in the long-term. [Let me know if you have and how it worked.]

Rather make the effort to keep your list as clean as possible with only people who opted-in, preferably through a double opt-in policy.

Notify them at the bottom of your email how and when they subscribed and people will be less inclined to mark you as spam.

Spam pissing you off?

I recently received a bunch of emails from a company called InboxMarketingZA using the domain CommunityMailers.co.za

Fortunately, as of the 8th March 2016 their domain has been suspended so they’ll probably pop up under another domain name in the near future.

What can I do about it?

You can get informed and educate people to the pitfalls of spam and the dubious nature of the snake oil salesmen.

If it is a .co.za domain you can go to http://co.za/whois.shtml to find out who is behind the scenes and …

ISPA Hall of Shame


You can firstly see who is currently listed as a spammer and secondly report local spammers to the ISPA – Internet Service Providers Assosciation

 SPAM Blacklists


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