2023-11-30 2:57 pm
2024-06-07 5:54 am
2024-06-07 5:57 am

Is It Legal to Buy Email Lists? How Can Your Business Benefit From It?

If you’re wondering about the legality of buying email lists, you’ve come to the right place! Why? We’ll walk you through the legality and benefits of purchasing email lists, ensuring you get the best possible outcome for your business.

While it may seem like a legal gray area, providing you take adequate precautions, purchased email lists can help grow your business significantly.

In this article we’ll be working through:

  • What email list marketing is
  • 7 benefits of purchasing email lists
  • 5 things you should bear in mind when purchasing email lists
  • What you need to know about regulation and legal compliance
  • 7 key steps for purchasing email lists
  • Frequently asked questions.

Let’s get into it!

What Is Email List Marketing?

Email list marketing, or email marketing, is a method of marketing where you contact leads using their emails. Typically, marketing emails are sent in bulk to a mailing list of many possible clients or customers (i.e., subscribers).

Email marketing can be one of the best tools for businesses that need to increase their product reach results with minimal effort, especially for those offering B2B services or products. Using it alongside social media can be an effective way to increase the chances that someone will see more of your content, which could lead to an increase in cash flow — ie, money in your pocket!

Legality of Buying Email Lists

While there are a variety of restrictions around email list purchases, most notably the GDPR in the EU and the CAN-SPAM Act in the US, purchasing email lists is not necessarily illegal. You are entirely within your rights to do so in the US!

In practice, however, it can be confusing to distinguish legal regulation from widespread opposition.

One of the issues is that email list purchasing is questioned for its legitimacy and is regularly challenged by data rights advocates. However, unless the purchase breaches privacy standards or infringes upon them, you can buy as many authorized email lists as you like.

However, the legality of purchasing email lists (or how you use ones purchased) depends heavily upon the jurisdiction you operate in, and sometimes the jurisdiction in which your recipients operate.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with your local laws, in case purchasing an email list is restricted by provincial legislation so that you can make sure you comply and abide by any of these rules or permissions. If not, you may find that your business faces penalties for non-compliance.

However, our research indicates that as a general rule for the US, it is not forbidden and you will not be transgressing by purchasing email lists for marketing purposes!

Benefits of Purchasing Email Lists

Purchasing email lists can come with various business benefits, giving you plenty of reasons to make it something you add to your marketing tactics. 

It doesn’t require too many additional resources, so you can keep your accounts team happy!

Quick Access

Purchasing an email list is a great way to “instantaneously” expand your brand's reach and allow you to send your marketing messages to a broader audience.

Email list purchase is much quicker than other more traditional methods of growing your audience, such as direct acquisition through a digital sign-up form on your web page.

Targeted Prospects

Email lists often do the hard work of filtering through potential prospects for you. They can refine the contact details for businesses and individuals down to the fundamental connections, i.e., decision-makers like purchasing managers or executive officers.

They also often focus on particular industries or sub-categories to allow you to sidestep the problems of trying to find relevant companies.

Potential for Increased Sales

A larger audience means, in theory, a larger prospect pool and, therefore, an increase in sales. While having a more extensive mailing list is not the be-all and end-all for sales success, it certainly helps! 

If you are writing high-quality marketing emails, ensuring that the contacts you are reaching are decision-makers interested in your product, and offering a high-quality service or item, expanding your mailing list may increase your sales.

Launch Campaigns Faster

Our analysis has shown that a fast acquisition of more contacts means that you don’t have to do much digging around for more relevant leads before a campaign starts. Simply sit back and observe as the leads come to you.

Moreover, the customization features that good email list providers include help you easily segment and target your campaigns to the people who need to see them.

Competitive Advantage

If you’re competing with other businesses in your niche, having an available email list can help you significantly enforce your advantage over your competitors.

While the natural advantage of contacting more prospects is clear, you can also use email lists to expose you to new businesses you may have yet to think were in your niche. Business profiles in some databases may also help you identify market trends to prompt further campaigns.

Testing and Research

Email lists can help you test different kinds of marketing emails, and enhance your ability to see what types of people respond to your communication. This is in line with industry best practices, too.

For example, if you’re looking to diversify your market to a new audience (eg, begin selling toasters to businesses as well as individuals), you could purchase an email list containing relevant contact details. This will allow you to rapidly A/B test email impact on your audience, work out what they respond to, and conform.

Expand Market Reach

A more extensive email list base can expose you to new potential markets you may not have considered before!

Databases often provide a variety of tagged contacts, allowing you to find new areas to expand your business into, increasing your overall market reach and diversity.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Email List

Like any investment, it’s sensible to consider various factors when deciding whether or not to purchase a particular dataset to add to your mailing list.

Quality vs. Quantity

While it can be attractive to purchase an email list with as many email addresses as possible with the thought that this will give you the most bang for your buck, our thorough assessment has revealed that quantity in an email list is only sometimes the most critical factor.

Quality of information is also critical when purchasing the list. Unscrupulous list providers may include bad data from outdated addresses or even blatantly incorrect contacts.

As a result, balance quality and quantity when buying a list rather than immediately going for the largest possible number of addresses.

Accurate Targeting and Segmentation

A high-quality, high-quantity email list is useless if it doesn’t effectively target individuals who fit your customer profile.

There are two things you should check here:

  1. Whether the database you are purchasing from has the companies and people you want to market to
  1. What degree of targeting parameters are offered by the service.

Segmentation is an essential part of any modern email list and crucial to more successful email marketing. 

While it’s not uncommon that certain marketing groups endorse a big-name provider, if the service or provider does not offer many (or any) segmentation and tagging features for purchased data, you are better off looking elsewhere.

Relevancy and Timeliness of Data

Contrary to popular belief, based on our past experiences, data doesn’t last forever. Sellers must ensure they are selling you good data — but it is always a good idea to check! This can be as simple as asking the data provider how often they check and update their data.

Bookyourdata has a 97% data accuracy guarantee, which you should also see from reputable email lists and contact information providers.


Relevancy is also important — if the list doesn’t contain any details about the people and businesses you want to contact, it is of no use to you.

Unsubscribe Rate and Delivery Rate

Delivery rate and unsubscribe rate are important metrics for any email list, and they are the same for an email list provider.

Delivery rates relate to how many emails are successfully delivered to contacts on the list. A higher delivery rate is better, and providers emphasizing deliverability will increase your effectiveness.

Unsubscribe rates relate to how often people on the list-unsubscribe from emails sent to them. A list that touts low unsubscribe rates usually has good targeting abilities and a more direct method of address gathering.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of ROI

Consider how much you invest into the list and what you aim to get from it. 

If you are looking for a relatively small benefit, it doesn’t make sense to sink thousands of dollars into an email list provider.

Instead, match your possible benefits with the cost outlay as best you can. This will ensure you get a good deal for your particular purposes.

Compliance with Regulations & Laws

Depending on the provider you choose and the country you operate in, the regulations and laws applicable to you when purchasing an email list will likely vary.

Email list purchase is subject to legal scrutiny in various jurisdictions, and a business that does not stay on the right side of legislation will likely face penalties for non-compliance.

While email list purchase and marketing are loosely regulated in the US, you must still include some essential additions to your email. Email marketing is contingent upon user agreement and so must consist of explicit declarations that the message is an advertisement, easy unsubscribe options (so that it is by opt-in policies), and more, as governed under CAN-SPAM.

No one is exempt from specific regulations. Other countries require much more stringent compliance — for example, New Zealand prohibits unsolicited email in all cases. At the same time, in the EU, the GDPR places various regulations on data collection and use.

In short:

  • Email list creation and purchase is governed by regional laws and is sanctioned by certain jurisdictions

  • In some jurisdictions, email contact requires explicit consent

Unconsented email violates data protection laws and can lead to the sender facing sanctions

  • You should investigate the laws of your jurisdiction and the jurisdictions of your recipients

This will ensure that you do not face penalties for non-compliance.

How to Buy a Quality Email List

So, now you know the importance of legal compliance and factors you should consider when purchasing a list, how do you buy a quality email list?

Determine Your Needs

As with any product, you should determine exactly what you need it for. You can break this down into two categories:

  1. What do you need to satisfy your marketing requirements?
    This could include (but is not limited to):
  • The number of addresses provided
  • The cost of the list
  • Whether the information integrates seamlessly with your CRM or email platform.

  1. What does your ideal customer look like?
    This helps determine whether particular email list providers suit your target audience. Creating an ideal customer profile ensures you have the best image of your target and can quickly evaluate in an email list provider.

Research Providers

The next step is searching the internet for reputable email list providers. Make sure that you consider their reputation as well as cost and output.

Positive reviews and reputation are important indicators of whether or not you should work with a particular provider. They should be used to temper (or reinforce) the opinion you reach after comparing their services with your needs.

Here at Bookyourdata, we’ve been around since 2015, have hundreds of thousands of happy users and paying customers, and are the top-ranked platform by G2. Our track record demonstrates that we work with big brands and small, innovative startups, making us the best choice for your business, regardless of size.


Ask About the Source

Checking on data sources is a crucial step to ensure that you are receiving accurate data and purchasing from a compliant provider.

You may also have concerns about a particular data collection method that is at odds with ethical considerations. This is a good point in ensuring you are happy with your provider’s collection methods.

Working with Bookyourdata, you’ll know you’re GDPR and CCPA-compliant, covering your bases regardless of the market. You need to be sure you can trust your provider, and that’s what we’ve built our business on.

Check Compliance

You should ensure that your provider is compliant with regulations in your area. If you’re in the US, it adheres to CAN-SPAM Act requirements, or if you’re in Europe, it falls under GDPR guidelines.

If you’re operating in multiple regions, you must check that the provider is on the right side of the law in each jurisdiction.

While the internet is beautiful, it does mean that you may come across providers that intend to sell only to buyers in a particular region, so they will not comply with legislation in other areas.

If you ask, the provider should be forthcoming about data compliance (and many display compliance on their websites as a marketing advantage). If they’re not, it’s a sign to steer clear.

Request a Sample

Asking for a sample of the mailing list helps you get an idea of what kind of data is included in your purchase and how useful it is. Depending on the terms of the sample, you may be restricted in what data you can access or use, but any information is better than none.

When you sign up for Bookyourdata, you’ll receive 10 guaranteed free leads without ever having to enter your credit card information. That way, you can decide for yourself if we’re as good as we claim to be.

When looking for a data provider, many guaranteed test leads should be your minimum. If you get a sample of 10 emails that all bounce immediately, then the provider you’re investigating doesn’t pass the Bookyourdata test and probably isn’t up to scratch!

Checking the validity of emails you receive is very important, as well as simple email verification.

Inquire About Freshness

While it might feel uncomfortable, it’s always worth checking data “freshness” directly. 

You can ask about this in various ways — for example, you could simply ask, “How fresh is the data you provide?”

You could also ask how often the provider vets and updates its data and when its last data purge was.

Segmentation Options

Be sure to check the segmentation options provided by the email list vendor. Better segmentation is an advantage and may be the deciding factor in your choice of provider.

You’ll want to ensure that the segmentation options you have access to are relevant to your business. There’s no point in segmenting by gender if your product is aimed at company training sessions on using Excel!

Frequently Asked Questions

How does purchasing an email list work?

How to purchase an email list depends on the provider. While some sell email lists in batch form, others trade on a rolling basis, like here at Bookyourdata. Some providers lock you into their database system, while others will provide much more accessible access.

What is a consumer email list?

A consumer email list contains various personal email addresses, aiming to target individuals rather than businesses. These are particularly useful for retail email marketing.

Is it legal to send emails to purchased email lists?

The legality of sending emails to purchased email lists depends on the jurisdictions in which the data was collected, in which you operate, and where your clients are based. However, in many major world regions, it is legal.

How accurate are mailing lists?

The accuracy of email lists depends on the provider and its strategy for keeping the data fresh and up to date. However, most are up to 95% accurate. Excluding here, BookYourData is confident in the 97% accuracy of email lists.

Recap: Essential Points to Remember If It’s Legal to Buy Email Lists

Email list marketing is a marketing method that involves contacting key personnel via email. Using other marketing methods directed at the correct people can be constructive and beneficial for your business.

To help grow your lists, you may choose business email lists. Though sometimes considered controversial, purchasing email lists is permitted under specific conditions in many major jurisdictions, including the US and EU. Ensure that your local laws (and those of your contacts) permit you to use these, and query email list providers as to what jurisdictions their data is legal in.

There are several factors to consider when purchasing email lists, not just legal compliance. This includes:

  • Your business needs
  • The validity and trustworthiness of the provider
  • Data sources and freshness
  • Options for segmentation
  • Deliverability guarantees.

Do your research thoroughly to ensure that the provider chosen provides everything you need for compliance.

Ready to start with Bookyourdata and take your B2B prospecting to the next level? With our comprehensive and massive GDPR and CCPA-compliant database, we have something for everyone, no matter what niche market you target.

Sign up today and receive your 10 free leads, all with built-in real-time verification, so you can spend less time looking for leads and more time growing your customer base!



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