Oh the temptation of adding thousands of net new contacts to your marketing database. After all what’s the problem? These people that are a good potential fit for you business. The fact of the matter is that everyone has bought a list at some point in time – but not everyone is doing it today. There are some significant risks and also some pretty fantastic rewards if you know what you are doing.
Why you shouldn’t do it. If you are buying thousands of email addresses to send a huge e-mail campaign then be prepared for disappointment. The entire industry is set up to prevent SPAM inside the US and outside of it you could be breaking the law. If you attempt to email a large list, most likely your email service provider will flag your account for sending unsolicited emails. The recipients will most assuredly report your activities – thus lowering your sender score. Your IP address will be burned and the result is that you can’t get your regular emails into an inbox.
Another reason why you shouldn’t do it is that email servers are very sophisticated these days and are on the look out for emails with too much HTML, SPAMMY language, or similar content to many of the same people. You will be “soft-bounced” as a result and again you won’t make it into an inbox.
The last reason is that laws outside of the US prohibit unsolicited emails. Canada has CASL and Europe has GDPR to protect consumers from unwanted emails. Even in the US – there is the CAN SPAM law that every marketers must comply with when it comes to email marketing.
Why you should do it. Email marketing can still be very effective but you have to know what you are doing – otherwise it just isn’t worth the hassle.
- Know the Law – In the US, you can email someone without their permission provided you respect their right to Opt-Out. In Canada and Europe you need their permission before you contact them so only email new people in the US.
- Know your Tech – Some companies like Pardot, Hubspot and MailChimp will severely penalize you or cut you off completely for emailing people without their consent. Try using a tool like www.clickback.com that will allow you to send outbound emails if you use a company that doesn’t allow for them.
- Know your Domain – Many marketers will create a domain for mass emailing that is separate than there normal email domain. This will protect your regular domain and still do outbound marketing.
- Show me you know me – take small batches of contacts that have similar titles, industries, locations, company sizes, or lines of business and write content that is specific to them.
- Avoid emailing too many people at the same company – this will help you find the inbox to larger companies.
- Warm them up – Never ask for an appointment on the first email – most experts say you should wait until the 5th at least. Invite them to a webinar or share some thought leadership at first.
- Something old / Something new – when soliciting new people you need to ensure it is merged with a list that you have already emailed. This will keep bounces / complaints to an acceptable percentage.
- Buy the Right Data – List building is a hard business because we live in a very transient society. B2B data expires at a 3% rate per month. So if a data provider hasn’t updated their product for 12-24 months, half of it could be out of date before you press send.
- There are no magic bullets – Even if you do all the above – the system is designed to protect recipients from unsolicited emails. You still may not make the impact you want on the first try. But incorporate these new contacts into a comprehensive strategy and you will reap the rewards.
The other reason why you should buy lists of new prospects is to empower your BDR team with contacts they don’t have today. Picking up the phone and calling a stranger still is your best chance of setting an appointment.