I speak to tens of founders and VPs of marketing every week, and what always amazes me is how some of them are still considering buying an email list. Having sent over 500,000 cold emails for over 100 companies in 15+ industries, let me tell you, buying an email list is a one way ticket to getting your domain permanently blacklisted.
Here's a shortlist of the main reasons you should NEVER buy an email list:
With this in mind, it's easy for one to assume that cold email is dead. Whilst old methods of cold email (such as buying a list and blasting them with an email sequence) might be far too risky and not very fruitful in 2018, that doesn't mean to say you can't still get amazing results with cold email.
The key is in the quality of your list. If you can generate an extremely accurate and up-to-date list, and warm the prospects up before emailing them, it is possible to still achieve fantastic results from a cold email campaign. In fact, cold email was the only tool we used to grow our business from $0 - $500k ARR in less than 12 months.
- Up to 15% of people change jobs every year, which makes it very difficult for list sellers to keep their list up-to-date. Also, the software used by companies to scrape the data is often at least 5-10% inaccurate. Despite cliams by many list sellers of 'up-to-date' and accurate data, the truth is, most lists are at least 10% out-of -date or inaaccurate. If you send an email campaign and get a bounce rate of more than 5%, eventually you are going to get blacklisted. Once your domain is blakclisted, this cannot be undone.
- When you get blacklisted, this affects every email address on your domain, not just the email you sent the campaign from. That means your current clients and prospects will stop receiving your emails too.
- Even if you manage to keep your bounce rate under 5%, the chances are, you'll struggle to achieve better than the industry average of 20.95% open rate, 2.29% click through rate and a 0.11% response rate. Even with the best email copy in the world, the people on that list have likely been spammed hundreds of times over, and will likely ignore any cold emails they get. No one knows for sure what stats you have to achieve to convince ISPs that your not sending spam, but in our experience, if you get less than a 50% open rate and less than a 10% response rate, you're eventually going to get blacklisted by some ISPs.
- If you're targeting people in Europe -GDPR. Do I need to say anymore?
So how do you generate a 5 star email list?
In a word - LinkedIn.
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