Ask Lisa - The Business Marketing Architect Q & AQ: Is it a smart business move to buy email lists? I have been getting offers to buy lists to expand my reach.

A: My short answer is that I don’t recommend buying email lists. Here’s an interesting and annoying look at why buying email lists and blasting promos to complete strangers is often a bad idea. Often buying email lists is NOT cost-effective. In fact, it can cost your reputation…

I cannot tell you how many random promo emails I receive that are trying to sell me construction, building, and architecture-related products and services. Let’s just set aside the fact that these promos are SPAM and dive right into relevancy and ROI. I am not in the building, construction, or architecture business at least not in the context of designing or constructing actual buildings. It’s true that I am known as The Business Marketing Architect, but I’m not an actual “architect”. I help create content strategy plans and messaging for businesses. BIG difference.

I cannot tell you where my business email address was purchased, that is a mystery. But I do know that many scrape email addresses from LinkedIn profiles. There is a huge misunderstanding around this. Just because an email is publicly listed, doesn’t mean you can send them promos or, sell the email address.

So, the most recent SPAM promo from Bob’s Blasting Company asking me if I’m interested in eco blasting for ship decks, patios, and log cabins was a clear miss. Here’s why. I don’t know Bob. I don’t work in the industry he’s targeting. He spent who knows how much on buying a ‘dirty email list’ (back to ROI and key performance indicators). I, and I am sure, many others unsubscribed and/or reported this as SPAM.

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