The Perils of Email List Buying – Rookie Mistakes 101

David Fowler Featured Image The Perils of Email List Buying – Rookie Mistakes 101

If I were advising a political candidate (any political candidate) on the appropriate behavior when purchasing list data, this would be it, in four words:


As you can see from the rookie mistake the Trump campaign made – an obvious list purchase, with no list cleansing – the outcome is a foregone (unhappy) conclusion. (Full disclosure: I am neither for or against the Trump candidacy. But I am firmly against sloppy email campaigns, and this is a glaring example.)

Here’s the issue: Batch and blast a bought list; that’s so 2003.

Beyond the risk of breaking international laws with a poor quality list, this is a sharp-focus illustration of the most common problem with buying lists:

People who don’t expect your email may not like receiving it.

That dislike could range from mild irritation to extreme disgust, and could get your email marked as spam. That, in turn, will harm your deliverability – possibly even to people who did opt in the receive your commercial email.

Predictably, the Trump camp encountered some negative feedback from the recipients on their purchased list.

One example: As the BBC, Daily Kos and others report:

‘Conservative MP [Member of Parliament] Sir Roger Gale calls for Donald Trump campaign emails to be blocked on the House of Commons email system.

‘Sir Roger raises a point of order to complain that many MPs have been “bombarded with emails from Team Trump on the behalf of someone called Donald Trump”.

‘While he is in “all in favour of free speech” he does not wish to be “subject to intemperate spam”, adding that “efforts to have these deleted have failed”.’

Another example: English MP Natalie McGarry posted the email the Trump camp sent her on her Twitter feed:

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