Selling E-Mail Addresses is one of the things you can encounter when you are entering the email marketing world. The question is why? A successful marketing strategy, regardless of the type of business you have, begins with an email list.

With these lists, you can market your business and advertise your products. As well as convert subscribers into paying customers. This is why people buy email lists. It is also why some people sell email lists.

Companies can rent your email list to promote their products. Emails can be created by advertisers and sent directly to your audience. You can also monetize with surveys. Establishing relationships with third parties directly is best, but networking is also an option.

But naturally, there is a big privacy concern here. Can you really sell or rent your email addresses to other people? Is it even legal?

We will take a deeper look at this here today. But first off, what exactly is an email list? Let’s find out.

What Is an Email List?

Having just started a business, you probably wonder how to market yourself. In today’s time, there are a lot of social media sites you can market yourself.

A few of them are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other popular platforms. But it’s without a doubt that Email marketing is still the best.

Email List

Email lists are a collection of email contact information from individuals. The individuals agreed to receive updates and promotional emails from the business. To put it another way, it is a list of email addresses of prospects and leads. Digital marketers use it for email marketing.

Benefits of Having an Email Lists

Email marketing is one of the biggest and most effective ways of marketing. Hence, having a list and subscribers of people’s email addresses is important.

You Are the Owner of Your List

The search engines people use to find you and the social media sites you use do not belong to you. Your email list, however, does belong to you. You can never lose it, so even if your social media sites disappear, your business can still operate.

Costs and Time

A mailing list will save you time and money in the long run. With an autoresponder, you can even send an automated email without having to check your email every day. You don’t need employees, offices, or stationery. 

Lead magnet Example

You can even grow your email list with a lead magnet. It sends your emails globally if you set them up in advance. With this, you can promote your brand by sending newsletters, invitations, and offers. 

The good news is that you can reach everyone, no matter where they are. By using email marketing, you can send emails whenever you like, as often as you like.

Emails Are Preferable

When it comes to receiving information about services, people do prefer email. They prefer email to text messages and other forms of communication.

Most people check their e-mail frequently. Hence, leading to more responses and more customers for your business.

Trust is Built This Way

Because so many people use email, and emails are so simple to use, they’re a great way to establish trust. Give each email message a personal touch, so it seems as if you’re talking to them individually. 

Your customer will become familiar with your business after a few emails. This can build trust. Additionally, people are more likely to consider your business first when it comes to meeting their needs. 

For an email to be more personal, you can customize the subject line. To make it more customized, segment your lists according to gender, location, etc. 

Customizing your lists will allow you to reach a diverse audience and build trust.

Is Measurable

Your email list is an excellent way to track your progress and see what sorts of ideas work. With an autoresponder, you can send a message and receive real feedback from those who receive it. And you can also find out what products and services they are interested in. 

Marketing analytics provide valuable information on how many people click on your emails. Among other things, you can see which links are most clicked, and how many people unsubscribe. And last but not the least, what kinds of complaints there are, and so on. 

By using this type of information, you can create the best subject lines, segments, and content. Identify what people are most interested in and how effective your marketing is. As a result, you can grow your business and make decisions that will be in line with what your email list wants.


You send out email lists primarily to generate sales. Passive income increases and your costs decrease. Enhancing your brand reputation and promoting your business will help you achieve this. 

The result is a higher demand and more visitors. By pitching your product every now and then, you can make quick money as long as you have the right amount of trust too. In fact, emails have the highest ROI compared to other marketing techniques.

Increase Traffic

You can actually use emails to drive visitors to certain pages that may be of greater value to them or to you. You can also make the emails feel more personal by referring to specific areas on your website.

Is Selling E-mail Addresses Legal?

An important part of advertising for online businesses is building an email list. However, this can be costly and time-consuming.

Selling Email Addresses

So many people opt to purchase or rent email addresses. Hence, there are many people today selling e-mail addresses. Solo ad vendors. But, is it actually legal to do this? When it comes to laws and legality, it can be quite complicated. 

It’s always best practice to be transparent and honest with your audience, regardless of whether it’s legal. You will build brand loyalty and affinity if you are forward-facing with your subscribers.

Consumers and subscribers deserve to know who is contacting them, why, and how their contact information is being given to brands. As highlighted by best practice guidance, new legislation-like the EU’s GDPR and the CCPA in California-reinforces the need for transparency.

A simple email can easily traverse borders. Your brand should consult its own legal counsel on which regulations it is subject to, and how it wishes to deal with these regulations.

The reason is that the nature of the internet itself is complicated. To add up to the fact that laws may differ depending on every country. There are privacy concerns regarding the sale of email lists. 

There are no clear laws regarding the sale of email lists. A law prohibiting the sale of email lists does not exist in the United States. Though spam mail is regulated by law in the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. 

You may be guilty of conspiracy if you sell an email list to someone who uses it for spam. You may be committing fraud or conspiracy if you misrepresent the list. The UK has laws prohibiting the sale of people’s emails without their consent. 

Two Kinds of Email Lists Exist

Those gathered without the consent of the people on the list. And those that were compiled by people who opted in to receive email.

What is an Opt-in list? When people sign up for new services or receive emails, they check the boxes at the bottom. Any person who checks one of those boxes has opted-in to receive the email described. Take a look at this example. 

Email Opt-In

All jurisdictions allow the sale of opt-in lists. For email marketing, collect email addresses only from people who have opted in. It’s also important not to misrepresent in any way the nature of the list. 

Users of the Internet have different considerations. Think twice before checking an opt-in box if you do not want your email address sold. Opt-in lists can be valuable if they are valid. 

It may be helpful for those on the list to receive more information if they are interested in receiving it. Getting information about clothes on sale is beneficial for someone who opts in to receive it. Besides, these lists can benefit the purchaser for they can reach potential customers.

Why Is Selling E-mail Addresses a Thing

Having read the benefits of having an email list, you can guess why selling e-mail addresses is a thing. You can also use email marketing as an effective yet affordable marketing strategy. This marketing method is also a very popular strategy for businesses. 

This is due to the high ROI of Email marketing compared to other marketing channels. Aside from that, Email marketing is one of the most preferred ways for consumers to be contacted. 

You may also wonder, having that said, will email marketing be effective for your side? Large companies find them very effective. But for many start-ups and small businesses, it can be ineffective. 

But why would it be ineffective? Since you are still a starting or small business you do not have a large audience that you can send your email to. Another reason why selling and buying email addresses is a thing. 

You want to reach a large audience to spread the word about your business. Yet you do not have E-Mail addresses you can contact. This is why you’ll buy an email address to make things easier for yourself. 

Because people buy email lists, there will be people who will be selling email addresses for some cash. But if you’re planning on doing this, it’s better to remember that it will do no good for your business.

Some Challenges You Can Face With Email Marketing

Here’s another reason why email marketing can be ineffective and challenging. Email marketing is not just creating an email and sending it to your recipients. The truth is, many parts of email marketing aren’t under your control. 

Things that you cannot control are your email deliverability. Sometimes you fail to receive feedback or engagement with the email you sent. The reason can be because it wasn’t delivered or received. 

Not only that but IP reputation and inboxing are some of the things you cannot control. Also, add the fact that email marketing can be quite complicated. With that being said, should you give up on email marketing? No! There is software out there that can make things easier and more effective for you. 

It may cost you some bucks but at least your email marketing is effective. Why? Because software like Mailvio takes care of the complicated things for you. 

Aside from that, Mailvio makes sure that your Email will be landing in your customer’s inbox. When your emails are received by your recipient you’ll be able to engage with them. Thus making your email marketing effective. 

Aside from that Mailvio has a lot of services they can offer that are very helpful. Email segmentation, A/B split testing, and automation are just some of the services they offer. They also have great customer support, reasonable prices, and a 7-day free trial to see all this for yourself before you commit.

The Downside of Selling E-Mail Addresses

Try to put it this way. There was a party where you met someone who you thought would be a great friend. You gave them your phone number, so you can contact each other. 

After some time you receive a message from an unknown number. You asked if it was the person you met at the party. They replied no, it’s a friend of theirs, and I asked for your number. 

After that, you received multiple unknown messages from other numbers. Following that, you received a message from that person whom you thought was a great friend. They are reaching out to you. 

But because of all the trouble, they caused you, giving out your number to other people, you just blocked them. That’s how your customers would feel if their E-Mail addresses were sent out to people or businesses they did not consent to. 

Consequences of Selling E-Mail Addresses

When you sell Email addresses you lose your credibility, you can lose your customers. As well as you can even face legal consequences. It violates your customers’ trust when you sell off their email addresses. 

You can expect your customers to take action as soon as they become aware of unwanted spam in their inbox. More messages might be marked as spam, including yours, when spam-blocking features are on. 

They may even change email addresses completely. Eventually, they’ll stop registering for new email lists and stop reading yours too. Your email subscriber list can be destroyed by any of these outcomes. 

You shouldn’t be concerned about a big drop in email open rates after selling a list though. If customers find out the source of a sudden flood of spam, they may be angry with you. Your business may get bad reviews from customers.

In fact, they may report your behavior to the authorities. You could suffer serious consequences if you share their information without their consent.

Now that you know that Selling E-Mail Addresses is not the best option, should you try buying an email list? Clearly, buying is not the same as selling. So buying an email list is not as bad as selling, is it?

Why Buying Email Lists Is a Bad Idea

Yes, buying and selling are two different things but buying an email list is as bad as selling. Buying an email list does more harm than good.

If you buy a list of email addresses, you do not know whether anyone else purchased the same list as you. You also don’t know what list or content those subscribers originally signed up for. While the company selling the list may say it’s “Opt-In” or “Verified,” you have no idea what content the users opted in for.

A large number of people purchasing the email list will result in a lot of spam sent to the email addresses on the list.

There are privacy concerns regarding the sale of email lists. It is imperative to know that a lot of people do not want to receive spam messages online.

There Won’t Be a High Engagement Rate

A key aspect of email marketing is engagement. To begin engaging people, you must convince them to open your emails.

The fact is that if they delete your emails or place them in spam folders, you won’t have a chance at engagement.

There is no guarantee that engagement rates will plummet if you purchase an email list. 

Purchasing an email list does not provide you with subscribers. It provides you with contact information. The differences are enormous.

Subscribers are the people who sign up for your content. Contact information is just info about people whose responsiveness to your content may not be guaranteed.

Contacts Won’t Be Qualified

Contacts who are qualified are already familiar with your business and would like to learn more about it. You can still count on them to purchase your products, even if it takes a few weeks.

Buying an email list can’t give you that, no matter how targeted it is. They are not necessarily suitable as prospects because they don’t know your brand.

Sure, sometimes you’re lucky enough to catch a few. It’s true in any game of chance. 

If you develop your contact list naturally instead of buying it, you’ll have a much stronger, healthier list.

You’ll Increase the Chances of Getting Marked as Spam

If people mark your emails frequently as spam, Gmail and Yahoo! will place them in the spam folder. It will lead to a plummeting rate of open rates and many contacts will not see your emails.

Bought Email Addresses can mark you as spam

In most cases, people won’t recognize your name in their email inboxes if you buy an email list. The result is an immediate trip to the spam folder for many consumers.

You Will Not Have Exclusive Contact Information

A buyer of an email list is not buying exclusive rights to those contacts. 

Selling the same contacts over and over again is how companies that sell email lists make money. Marketing messages are often sent to people on these lists.

These contacts may close their old email accounts and open new ones in order to reduce the volume of emails.

Furthermore, some people create email accounts just to receive marketing content. They have a different personal account, just so it won’t clog their mail.

When an account is for marketing purposes you might have your emails sent to recipients’ promotions or updates folders. Most people don’t open these folders as much as primary inboxes.

The message is likely to contain other business messages, too, since the email is for marketing purposes. If that is the case then your messages will be buried in the hundreds of other messages. 

Bought Email Addresses Can Have a Negative Impact on Brand Awareness

The content of unsolicited emails may not interest recipients, but your brand’s name may stick in their minds. That’s risky. It can cause damage to a brand’s reputation and awareness.

Consider the company around the corner that bombards you with poorly designed flyers. The intrusion might be enough to make you avoid that business.

The same applies to email marketing. In the case of sending unwanted emails, consumers might refrain from doing business with you after experiencing a negative first-time experience.

To Sum It All Up

The only reason to be selling e-mail addresses is that you can make a quick buck. Businesses who sell to them believe it’s okay to let their followers down for a little extra short-term profit.

Yes, at some point selling e-mail addresses is somehow legal. Email addresses that are opt-in are the ones that can be sold. Yet by doing so, there are a lot of disadvantages that follow. 

It is unethical and ineffective to buy and sell email contacts, so no credible digital marketing expert will suggest it. In addition to violating your customers’ trust, selling off their email addresses reduces the value of your list as well.

Instead of buying email lists, build them naturally. You should only email people who are interested in what you have to say. Since they are interested in hearing your brand voice, they won’t waste your time spamming you.

It will take you a long time to achieve an email list, but it’ll be worth it. The time you spent building it and the effort you put into it, will all be paid off. 

Taking the easy road isn’t always the best option. You have many options when it comes to building your email marketing. Choosing the right software to build your foundation shouldn’t be a problem since there is so much out there.

Neil Napier

Neil Napier is the co-founder of Mailvio. Neil started his entrepreneurial journey in 2012 out of necessity to keep his visa in the UK, when he failed to keep his visa he moved to Finland and started his career as a serial entrepreneur and super affiliate. With over $10 million USD in revenue generated, he is a sought-after expert entrepreneur, copywriter & product creator.

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