Why Your Plumbing or HVAC Business Shouldn’t Purchase Email Lists for Marketing

Aug 7, 2023 | Email Marketing

Imagine that you’re a plumbing or HVAC business owner who’s struggling to attract email signups (sound familiar?). One day, you come across the seemingly perfect solution: buying email lists for marketing.

“Aha,” you might say. “Why should I waste time building my own email list when someone else has already done the hard work for me?”

Purchasing ready-made email lists may look like the answer to your problems, but don’t fall for it! As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. And when you purchase email lists for marketing, what you’ll probably get is a whole lot of trouble.

Below, our email marketing services team explains why buying email lists for marketing is a terrible idea.


Top Reasons to Avoid Buying Email Lists for Marketing

Pre-built email lists give you hundreds, sometimes thousands, of email addresses to use however you see fit. When you buy one, you might think you’ll have customers beating down your door in no time.

Think again.

At best, purchased email lists are nothing more than a waste of money. The more likely scenario is that you could get banned by Constant Contact, Mailchimp, or whichever email marketing platform you’re using. You could even end up running afoul of the law.

Not convinced yet? Here are a few more reasons why you should never consider buying email lists.


You’ll Get Damaged Goods

Think about it: if that email list is any good, why would the owner want to sell it? Like anybody with a lick of business sense, they’d keep that list all to themselves.

Purchased lists nearly always consist of undesirable email addresses that have no value. Many of them have been abandoned, which means when you send out your offer, you’ll hear nothing but crickets.

When you purchase email lists for marketing, you have no way of knowing the quality of the addresses you’re getting. You can’t verify names, phone numbers, or anything else.

For all you know, those email address owners could live on the other side of the world. If your plumbing or HVAC business is in Nebraska, people in China definitely won’t pick you when searching for a “plumber near me.”


Your Emails Will Probably Go Straight to the Trash

Purchased emails aren’t exclusive to you. If you can buy one, so can dozens of other businesses. That means those email owners are going to get a ton of emails, and nothing annoys people more than receiving a bunch of offers they didn’t ask for or want.

It’s almost certain that recipients will trash your emails as soon as they hit their inboxes, and that’s if you’re lucky. Many of them will mark your messages as spam, and we’ll explain why that’s a problem next.


You’ll Be Treated as a Spammer

Most major email providers allow people to mark messages as spam with a single click. When that happens, the messages bounce back to your email marketing platform. Email marketing platforms really hate spam.

If a platform sends too much spam, email providers can choose to limit the amount of mail the platform is able to send. Sometimes, it may block mail coming from them altogether.

Not only does this harm them, but it also hurts everyone else who uses the service. Needless to say, your email platform wants to avoid spam complaints however it can.

If your account generates too many spam complaints, your email platform could suspend your account or even ban you from using the service completely.


You Could End Up in Hot Water Legally

In 2018, the European Union adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to give people more control over their sensitive information. As a result, any business that serves customers in the EU must get explicit consent to send those customers emails.

If you’re caught violating the rules, you could end up with fines totaling more than $20 million or 4% of your annual revenue. Very few plumbing and HVAC companies can afford to take a hit like that!

Even if you don’t serve people in the EU, you could still run afoul of the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act. Sending emails to purchased addresses isn’t illegal under CAN-SPAM, but it’s very risky. 

One reason why is that you may inadvertently send emails to people who have already opted out with you, which is a big no-no. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can slap you with a penalty of more than $50,000 per violation if you keep sending emails to people who’ve opted out.


How to Build Your Email List the Right Way

Now that you know why it’s never smart to purchase email lists for marketing, you’re probably wondering how to develop an email list that’s 100% legit. Try these tips:

  • Create an appealing lead magnet and give it away in exchange for email signups. For instance, Pollianna’s lead magnet is a PDF called “Five Secrets None of Your Competitors Know That Will Win You Customers.” You can download it here if you’d like to check it out yourself.
  • Promote your lead magnet or offers on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter give your business a much bigger reach than simply using your website alone.
  • Encourage subscribers to share your offers with their friends.
  • Offer must-have exclusives that subscribers can’t get anywhere else. For instance, you could give special discounts on your services that are only available to people who sign up for your list.


Reach Out to Us for Help with Your Email Marketing Plan

It can seem like a fantastic idea to purchase email lists for marketing, but in short, just don’t do it. For the best chance of success, you need to build your list the slow and steady way. That’s where Polianna comes in.

If you’re upset because you’ve spent thousands on other marketing services that didn’t work, you’ll love Polianna. We have years of experience helping plumbers and HVAC contractors grow their businesses, so we know exactly what it takes to get results.

To talk with us about your email marketing objectivesbook a discovery call with Polianna today.

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