The Costs of Buying Bad Mailing Lists

Posted on: May 10th, 2016 by IDG No Comments

In this article we look at mailing lists, a service we provide here at IDG. This article though focuses on bad mailing lists, something we certainly don’t provide!

The perils of a bad mailing list

Here are some of the risks associated with buying a bad mailing list:

  • Blacklisting risk – Finding offers of 100,000 Email addresses for £100 is not too hard to find. This sounds like a great deal until your ISP blocks your Email account for spamming tactics
  • Email campaign not sent – If sending a campaign with sub-standard Email addresses the ISP will block the entire batch. So insist on a minimum 95% live rate for Emails sent. Otherwise the ISP may block all Emails due to a lack of quality
  • Business reputation damage – It’s harder to build a business reputation than to tarnish it. Do your utmost to protect your business reputation by only using high-quality business data
  • Inaccurate data – Using low quality inaccurate data is like building a house on poor foundations. Marketing projects based on inaccurate data can never fully succeed
  • No ROI – Ultimately the costs of low quality data will impact campaign ROI negatively
Being put on an Email blacklist, one of the perils of buying a bad mailing list

Being put on an Email blacklist, one of the perils of buying a bad mailing list

It’s better to have quality than quantity – although you can have both!

If you have a set budget in mind always opt for a quality first rather than quantity first approach where mailing lists are concerned. Quality mailing lists, which are opted-in and are appropriate to the niche of an organisation, are well worth paying for. The old adage of “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” most certainly applies.

Remember quality counts over quantity

Remember quality counts over quantity

Questions to ask a mailing list provider

First and perhaps the most important point is always speak to the company providing the mailing list, to make sure you are speaking to a real person!

Other questions to ask, include:

  • How old is the data and how frequently is the data updated? – Data decays; so recent data, which is opted-in is required. Certainly data which is 2+ months old is not likely to be of a suitable quality
  • What data guarantees do you offer (check IDG data guarantees here)?
    • Money back guarantee if not satisfied
    • All undeliverable Emails replaced
  • Are the following data fields included (as an absolute minimum)?
    • full business name – check through the data to make sure you’re only getting a business name once (and not duplicated with many Email addresses)
    • full postal address – again this can be tested to see you are getting unique data
    • telephone number – call a sample of the telephone numbers to verify the Email address is valid and that the person still works for the business

Having the above data fields will enable de-duplicating. It’s important to de-duplicate before sending out a batch.

Great quality data from the Intelligent Data Group

Having read the perils of buying bad mailing lists you’ll know what to avoid! Contact us here at the Intelligent Data Group, suppliers of quality B2B data and mailing lists.

Call us on 0333 030 6636 to discuss your needs or if you prefer Email IDG at, to start discussions.


Image Credits: Black Box Insurance a

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