When it comes to building an audience for your inbound marketing campaign, it's all about audacity.
You've got to be bold. You've got to use best practices. And whatever you do, you must fight the temptation to take the easy way out—even if thousands of email contacts are only a credit card swipe away. Yes, it can be incredibly tempting to buy an email list to support your software marketing efforts. But it's always a bad idea.
If you are thinking about buying a list, don't. If you've already purchased a list to support your software marketing efforts, stop. If you want to learn insider secrets about why buying a list is a bad idea, keep reading.
Buying Email Addresses Only Leads to the Blacklist
Spam. It's insidious. It's an utter waste of time. And it's something you want to avoid—either receiving or sending. If you're buying an email list, there is a good chance your IP address will be labeled a purveyor of spam, and you'll find yourself blacklisted and blocked from sending any emails at all.
There are companies whose entire mission is to identify and eradicate companies that send spam. They set traps. They monitor messages to email addresses that have been dormant for a decade. And once they find the purveyors of spam, they put their IP addresses on a list that can result in blocked emails and a bad reputation. Both can take months or years to bounce back from.
You're Better Than That
Let's face it: nobody likes receiving spam. It serves no productive purpose and just makes the receiver curse the sender. So why would you want to risk being cursed by the people you're trying to connect with?
The truth is, you are better than needing to buy an email list. You know that the right way to build a list is to do it organically by getting people to opt-in to your emails. Don't be the business leader who uses the worst possible way to connect with prospects. Be the business leader who uses the best ways.
Unless They Opt-In, They'll Soon be Opting-Out
Good email addresses are not for sale. People who want to hear from you (as opposed to some random third-party vendor who purchases email addresses) will tell you so by opting in to your email offerings.
Even if you rent a list, which some feel is a way to connect with prospects who want to receive messages because they have sold their addresses to a third-party vendor, you still don't know the people on the list—and they don't know you either.
That means you are essentially cold calling them. And that means they are likely to opt-out of receiving your offerings. People who become annoyed with you or opt-out early on are certainly less likely to ever become a customer in the future.
So what's a software marketing professional to do?
Email needs to be part of your overall inbound marketing strategy—integrated with quality content, keyword ranking, pay-per-click advertising, and LinkedIn relationship-building.
But it can't be dependent on purchased email lists.
You have to build lists organically. Offer webinars, eBooks, and premium content that entices prospects to turn over their email addresses in exchange for access. Start a LinkedIn group and invite your connections and prospects to join. Get incredibly creative with your software marketing email campaigns—so creative that your calls-to-action simply can't be ignored.
Be bold and audacious with your efforts. But whatever you do, don't buy email lists.