I wanted to write this post to clarify something that I speak with a lot of people about in person. When you are just getting started with bulk emailing, it is very common to think that you are supposed to buy an email list from someone and begin sending out messages. This is a poor way to establish your brand and can damage your profitability in the long term. The better way is to use purely permission based email marketing campaigns.
In this article we will look at the reasons why using direct email opt-in is a better approach, and how you can succeed with permission email marketing.

The simplest and most important reason not to use purchased email lists for your newsletter campaigns is that you are likely to make a bad first impression. And the more well-targeted the email list you buy is, the more crippling a bad first impression can be. You may be giving some of your best potential clients the wrong impression by sending them what they will perceive to be an unsolicited email. After all, when was the last time you purchased anything that had been pitched to you in this way?
A much better way to build your brand is to leverage your existing clients by encouraging word of mouth advertising. This can be as simple as offering bonuses or discounts to clients who refer their friends. You can also run contests, publish new or extremely useful content to attract new traffic, and produce free gifts for new subscribers to your email list. Building up your readership legitimately may seem slower, but you’ll actually find that you conversion rates are much, much higher than they would be if you were sending unsolicited “opt-in” email newsletters.
People are much more receptive to marketing emails when they have actually agreed to receive them. And when your message if well-received, it will not only result in direct sales, but also indirect sales through word-of-mouth.
The easiest way to build up your list naturally is to use permission based email marketing software to add a subscription form to your own web page. The software handles all the grunt-work of managing your list, so that people can subscribe or unsubscribe all by themselves. This also helps you to be in compliance with all the anti-spam laws. Then you can focus your efforts on attracting email list subscribers and converting them into buyers.