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6 Reasons Not to Buy an Email List

When you’ve taken the time and dedicate yourself to the success of your travel business, it’s not uncommon to feel tempted to try out a shortcut or two. This can especially be true when attempting to acquire new leads into your marketing funnel. You’ve tried sending out email blasts about exciting new travel packages, but your existing email list just isn’t taking the bait.

Six Reasons Not To Buy An Email List

This is where some business owners would admit defeat and contemplate buying pre-existing email lists.

You heard that right! There are some companies that sell email lists to despite business owners and marketers merely looking to throw new leads into their marketing funnels and hope that at least a few of them follow through to the other end.

Six Reasons Not To Buy An Email List

1. Recipients May Not Want Your Emails

When you make an effort to purchase an email list, you’re probably woo’d by claims that these people are dying to hear from you or that they want to learn all about your agency and the travel adventures you offer. But unfortunately, none of these promises are true.

A majority of the subscribers on these purchased lists simply clicked a box to receive additional information from affiliates or partners and are now forced to live with the constant bombarding of irrelevant emails that don’t reflect their wants of needs.

2. Your Reputation May Suffer

Depending on how tech-savvy your email recipients are, your unsolicited emails could directly lead them to your address, and who knows how they could use that information to damage your brand and its reputation. Now imagine if multiple recipients go to these lengths to try and discredit everything you’ve worked so hard for.

Another way disgruntled recipients can impact your reputation is by posting negative feedback or reviews on social media or forums. Sending spam can look bad to anyone, but reading about it on your public pages from past recipients can cause you to do some severe damage and cost you leads and even returning clients.

3. The Data in these Lists Aren’t Always Accurate

To piggyback off the previous reason and the impact it can have on your reputation, the companies that are willing to sell email lists and other personal information could honestly care less about how they come off. And because of this, it’s perfectly natural for these lists that they sell to you to be full of partial or incorrect data.

In some cases, these companies dedicate a large chunk of time scouring blogs, websites, and even author bios looking for any string of characters that can be perceived as a valid email address.

4. Your Sender Score Will Suffer

In most cases, email service providers offer security tactics to weed out what they consider to be spam or fraudulent emails. In some cases, your emails can go directly to the spam folder, or a recipient can manually flag your email address to avoid future disruptions.

These actions can directly impact your sender score, meaning that your future campaigns could be compromised. If you’ve sent spam to returning clients, they may manually flag your email address, meaning they may never hear about that new discount on hotels or receive your email about new tips and tricks for traveling abroad.

5. It’s Illegal

Did you know that there are laws put in place to prevent the sales of personal information and email addresses in place? The CAN-SPAM Act is a legislative law put in place to protect the rights of consumers. If a consumer or recipient of your emails feels that it violates the Act, you could face a fine of up to $300 per email, with the possibility of federal jail time.

The two stipulations of the Act are 1) A recipient’s email address cannot be bought or sold, and 2) the recipient must opt-in to receive emails.

6. It Could Compromise Your Marketing Funnel

If you’re using a CRM system to help flesh out your marketing funnel, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that uploading tens of thousands of unverified leads into your funnel can cause problems down the line for your sales team. Being able to separate genuine leads from fraudulent ones can also help make it easier to determine the overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

But don’t fret! There is an alternative out there that can help you to find legitimate, new leads. If you're seriously considering building a marketing funnel for your travel business that will bring you a consistent stream of new clients, check out Travel Marketing Revolution.

Be sure to post any questions you might have below, and we'll get right back to you! And if you like this blog, give us some love by clicking on the . We also encourage you to join our Facebook group for travel entrepreneurs, where we provide more great content.

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Sandra McLemore is a digital marketing & business growth expert who got her start in the travel business over 20 years ago as a retail travel agent for STA Travel in a busy campus store front. She then worked her way into VP level in marketing, media and PR roles for the world's biggest cruise lines and travel brands.


Sandra is now the owner of TRAVEL MARKETING & MEDIA (formerly Village Girl Marketing), a marketing agency for travel brands specializing in content creation, design and media.




Each service and program helps travel agents to get a consistent flow of new clients through smart marketing strategies.


Over 12,000 travel agents have taken Sandra's online training, and signed up for her digital marketing solutions.

Sandra lives in Los Angeles and hosts a number of travel programs on cruise line and airline TV and can be seen on network news programs as a leading travel industry expert.  Heading off to the best travel trade conferences? You'll most likely catch her on stage there too!

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