The Ultimate Guide to Cold Emails and Purchasing Email Lists

When it comes to email marketing, one of the most frequently asked questions is whether purchasing an email list is a good idea. While it can be a viable strategy in some cases, there are several factors to consider before diving in. In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of purchasing an email list, how to legally and effectively use these lists, and best practices for growing a valuable email list.

Is Purchasing an Email List Worth It?

Purchasing an email list can be valuable if you are certain that the list comprises your target audience. However, there are significant challenges and legal considerations. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Legal Restrictions:

   – CAN-SPAM Compliance: The CAN-SPAM Act prohibits sending unsolicited emails to consumers. Simply buying an email list and sending mass emails can result in hefty fines and damage to your brand’s reputation.

   – Email Service Providers (ESPs) Policies: Most ESPs, like Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Klaviyo, have strict policies against uploading purchased lists. Violating these policies can lead to account suspension.

2. Effective Utilization of Purchased Lists:

   – Remarketing Campaigns: Use platforms like Facebook and Instagram to upload your purchased email list. These platforms allow you to create targeted ads for the email addresses on your list. This strategy can help get your products or services in front of potential customers without violating CAN-SPAM laws.

   – Subscription Campaigns: Encourage those on your purchased list to subscribe to your email list. You can offer incentives such as a free ebook, a giveaway, or an exclusive discount to motivate subscriptions.

Using Cold Email Service Providers

Another way to reach out to a purchased email list is through cold email service providers. These services have mechanisms to deliver your messages to the targeted email addresses without directly violating CAN-SPAM laws. However, there are drawbacks:

– Lower Engagement Rates: Cold email campaigns typically have lower open and click-through rates.

-Cost-Effectiveness: While these services can be inexpensive, they require repeated efforts to see significant results. One or two emails won’t suffice; you need to consistently engage with your audience.

Best Practices for Growing an Email List

1. Leverage Existing Customers:

   – Current Shoppers: Utilize email addresses from customers who have purchased from your website. These are your most valuable contacts.

   – Lookalike Audiences: Upload your existing customer list to Facebook and Instagram to target similar users. This can help attract more subscribers who are likely to be interested in your products.

2. Offer Valuable Incentives:

   – Free Resources: Offer a free ebook, checklist, or other valuable content in exchange for email subscriptions.

   – Contests and Giveaways: Run enter-to-win contests to attract new subscribers.

3. Create Engaging Content:

   – Blog Posts and Articles: Write informative and engaging blog posts that provide value to your audience. Include calls to action (CTAs) to encourage subscriptions.

   – Social Media: Promote your email list on social media with compelling CTAs and content teasers.


While purchasing an email list can be a part of your marketing strategy, it should be approached with caution. Legal compliance and the effectiveness of your campaigns are critical factors to consider. Focus on building an organic email list through valuable content, engaging offers, and targeted advertising. This will not only ensure compliance with laws but also result in a more engaged and valuable audience for your email marketing efforts.

By understanding the nuances of cold emails and email list purchases, you can make informed decisions that align with your marketing goals and legal obligations. Remember, the goal is not just to grow your list but to cultivate a list of potential customers who are genuinely interested in your products or services.