Why is purchasing e-mail addresses not advantageous?


The purchase of e-mail addresses is a popular marketing tool – above all in order to conduct aggressive advertisement. For this method is fast, simple and uncomplicated, as well as helpful, to obtain an entire list of contact data at once. However, if you also take into consideration the risks, it soon becomes apparent why this approach also entails many disadvantages, and even achieves the exact opposite. We have summarized the reasons why purchasing e-mail addresses does not yield any advantages.

Reasons why purchasing email addresses does more harm than good

Which company has not toyed with the idea of simply buying a list with e-mail addresses and so easily reaching a multitude of new customers who also purchase from them. Unfortunately, this is not so simple, since the recipient of such e-mails usually has little interest in advertising mail, and deletes it or marks it as spam. Pursuant to this, if e-mail providers receive too many spam complaints, they will put the marketers onto a black list and prevent them from sending further e-mails in the future.
Is purchasing e-mail addresses sensible?  No!
In addition, most data on such lists is false or incorrect and it is already marked as spam before being sent – worst case scenario, the IP-address is even blocked. But the legal aspect must also be considered, since sending e-mails without the explicit permission of the recipient is anti-competitive in Germany and as such prohibited.

Of course some marketers are successful when they purchase e-mail lists and send promotional offers. Nevertheless, this success is mostly short-term, since this method damages the reputation on a long-term basis. The fifth most important disadvantages are summed up as follows:

1st Disadvantage: Purchasing addresses damages the marketer’s image sustainably

First of all, most of the contacted people are not interested in advertising mail at all and label such e-mails as spam. This pushy marketing per e-mail damages the reputation of the company.

2nd Disadvantage: Data is often false and useless

Address sellers promise an abundance of data – which is actually true at first glance. But often the information and the data is just false and as such, useless. On those lists, even e-mail addresses which are not active anymore are likely to appear. If these inactive addresses are then used for a mailing campaign, the marketer is branded as spammer.

3rd Disadvantage: E-mail service provider is impaired

As a rule, e-mail service providers state in their general terms and conditions that customers are not allowed to send spam. However, in case of a mailing campaign, the IP-address leads back to the service provider. This means that by sending spam, not only is the image of the company itself harmed, but the provider’s reputation as well.

4th Disadvantage: Competitors probably acquire the same addressees

There are plenty of other companies, that probably own exactly the same e-mail addressee lists - competitors are perhaps among them as well. Whoever wants to be successful here must do it better and become creative as well as active.

5th Disadvantage: False customisation of data

The objective of an e-mail is to establish a trustful and personal relationship to the person contacted. This is difficult to achieve with a purchased e-mail list, since these lists often contain errors. Whoever customises the e-mail and addresses the recipient personally must reckon that the information is not correct and that the addressee does not have that particular hobby or does not even work where the seller of the addresses has specified. This erroneous information results in the marketer being classified as dubious.


Only if the inventory of email-addresses is monitored and not more than one weekly distribution is carried out, the intrinsic value of addresses is given in the long-term as well.

Frank Große

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