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Why You Shouldn’t Buy Contact Lists

You may have seen the opportunity to purchase lead contact lists come through your email inbox, on social media platforms, or via alternate outreach. At first glance, it sounds like a great idea! Having hundreds (or thousands) of contacts in your hands, any one of which may be a potential customer, seems promising. However, it just doesn’t work out that way. This shortcut might seem appealing at first, but it's essential to recognize the numerous downsides associated with buying contact lists.

Outdated information

One of the most significant issues with purchased contact lists is the questionable quality of the data. These lists often contain outdated, inaccurate, or incomplete information. People change their jobs, email addresses, and phone numbers, and relying on outdated information can lead to wasted resources, ineffective outreach, and potential damage to your brand's reputation. Business success hinges on accurate data, and purchased contact lists simply can't guarantee that.

Brand reputation

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful business-customer relationship. Sending unsolicited messages from purchased contact lists can damage your brand's reputation and erode the trust you've worked hard to build. Word spreads quickly in the digital age, and negative experiences shared by recipients of unsolicited messages can tarnish your brand's image, making it harder to win over genuine customers in the long run.

Losing potential customers

With the combination of annoying unsolicited emails and a damaged brand reputation, most of the leads within paid contact lists will be unlikely to check out your products. Those emails are also more likely to be marked as spam, which can lower your visibility to future prospects.

Legal risks

Sending marketing messages to individuals without their consent can have legal implications, especially with data protection regulations like GDPR and the CAN-SPAM Act. These regulations require explicit permission to send marketing communications, and violating them can result in hefty fines and legal troubles. By using purchased contact lists, you expose your business to unnecessary legal risks that could have been avoided with more ethical and compliant marketing strategies.


Many offers you may see to purchase contact lists are fraudulent. Often, people will reach out with offers for the contact details of people who attend certain events or purchase similar products to your own. However, many event organizations and businesses do not hand out this kind of information. Be wary, as some contact lists may be full of stolen or unethically sourced information.

Our thoughts

We highly recommend staying away from buying contact information; it is far more hurtful than helpful. No one wants their inbox flooded with emails they did not sign up for! It’s much better to curate your own email lists with consent from the customer. Here are a few more tips on creating a good, solid contact list:

  • Spring cleaning: Screen and clean out your contact lists often. Removing inactive emails will give you a better idea as to who is interested. Strive for quality over quantity, always. By looking over click rates and reading times, you can see how engaged a contact may be.

  • Discount offers: Offer a discount in exchange for signing up for email subscriptions. These can entice customers or leads to join your mailing list.

  • Newsletters: Keep your customers updated! Some businesses opt for weekly newsletters, while others go with monthly or bimonthly newsletters. These newsletters can include helpful information on sales, discounts, company news, blog posts, and more. Doing this will keep your subscribers in the loop and raise engagement.

With all of this in mind, it is more than possible to retain prospective leads and current customers without resorting to such unethical tactics.



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