I had a client who owns an IT Services Business ask me a question that comes up a lot and I thought I’d share my response.
The question was “If I want to get email names and addresses for marketing purposes, where do I go to buy that list?”
First of all let me say, I do not recommend cold spam email for prospecting, particularly for IT support and IT services businesses because of all the phishing scams and whatnot that are out there.
I know many of you have heard of the CAN-SPAM Act, a set of rules for US companies outlining how you can send commercial emails. The Act states that you can’t spoof the address or make the subject line misleading or misguiding about who you are, while honoring any opt-out requests.
So, for example, I can’t send an email from my domain pretending I’m David Jones or anybody else that I’m not.
Now, the thing that surprises many people is it’s not illegal in the US to email somebody who hasn’t given you permission to email them. But I will tell you, if you start emailing people who have not given you permission to sell them IT support, you will get hate mail back like you’ve never seen.
The other problem you’re going to run into is when you try to do an email broadcast, you’ve got to use a tool to do it (an example could be your own server or any marketing automated platform). However, they will not allow you to upload some random list and start spamming people who have not given you permission, have not opted in, or don’t even know who you are because they’re going to mark you as a spammer, and then they’re going to shut you down.
I had one client who owns an IT Services business, upload a list of almost 2,000 names and email addresses, then just went to town sending emails to everyone, which immediately got her shut down. To make matters worse, all of her regular emails were not going to clients because her domain was blacklisted. So I’m telling you guys, it’s not good.
It’s not a good idea to buy or rent an email address list because they’re spam. They’ve somehow gotten that information, and now they’re selling it to you. So now you paid money, AND you pissed a bunch of people off.
So the correct way to build an email list is to put out different content and offers.
An offer could be a free report, a IT Services industry webinar, a seminar that you promote via direct mail, telemarketing trade shows, Facebook ads, LinkedIn feed, referral campaigns, or newsletters. The list goes on, but however you choose to promote those offers out people will come and put their email addresses and opt-in to be on your list. And once they do that, you have permission to email them until they opt-out. Just know that if they opt-out, you need to honor it.
So you can still get people’s email, company title, mailing address, phone number and compile it to make your own list.
Another great benefit to this method is once you have someone’s information, you can use it to connect with them on LinkedIn or even use it for custom audiences on Facebook. So there are many ways you can use it without email spamming them. This is the legitimate way to build an email list- not to buy it, rent it or scrape it and then spam the hell out of everybody. Instead use marketing to get people to opt-in and give you permission to email them and eventually lead to a sale.