Should I buy an email list?

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Breathe BlogA client recently asked me “Should I buy an email list?” They have a small email list of potential customers but want more as they expand their services.  You may be in a similar position, perhaps you’re a new company and don’t even have a customer base.  We all have to start somewhere.

Email marketing is still a low-cost and effective method of promotion.  Growing your email list organically is always the best way to go.  But if you don’t have time or you’re entering a new market where you have no contacts, it is possible to buy an email list from a reputable list broker.  Just before you do that though, make sure you are Spam Act compliant.

The Spam Act states that in Australia, commercial electronic messages sent to you must be sent with your consent. There are two types of consent. These are express consent and inferred consent.   Also known as direct or implied consent.

Express consent means that you have intentionally opted to receive messages from the sender.  Examples include:

  • Entering your details into a website, such as a phone number, email or address
  • Ticking the box next to a statement seeking permission to send you marketing messages
  • Entering your email address on an entry form or ticking a box saying you are happy to receive updates from the business
  • Contacting a business to ask for information to be sent to you on an ongoing basis.

Inferred consent is when there is a connection with the person being sent the message.  An example of inferred consent is if you subscribe to a certain service, it is inferred that you are open to other services provided by that company.

If you are planning to purchase an email list, they can be bought through companies online, such as list brokers.  BUT, check with them first if there is any consent in place.  For example data can be sold with implied consent already in place providing the content you are sending is of direct relevance to the person you are sending it to.

Just before you click ‘send’ remember:

  • All commercial electronic messages must contain clear and accurate identification of the sender of the message and information on how you can contact the sender.
  • Your emails MUST have an unsubscribe option. This means there must be instructions on how the receiver can opt-out of receiving messages.

If you need any help with email marketing, let me know!


Anna Nixon-Smith

All stories by: Anna Nixon-Smith