Where can I buy an email list?

Opinions vary on this topic, should you buy an email list or not?

Personally, I’d say buy a list, but be smart. I’ve generated thousands of dollars from sending cold outreach emails. But don’t confuse this with annoying spam. And yes, some people will say cold outreach emails are a form of spam but really that's subjective and depends on how you go about it.

Number 1 always follow the Can-Spam Act if you're mailing in the United States or of course follow any legislation within your region. Make sure you send relevant information within your emails to appropriately targeted prospects.

So where can you purchase a list?

In the past, I’ve used data brokers, such as:

At the time I was looking for a list of HR Managers - so I thought it’s got to be worth giving the list a go. So I purchased the list. It‘s way too big to open in a Google Spreadsheet so I imported the list into a MongoDB Compass on my Mac and then ran a query to find ‘HR Managers’ in the US. I got back about 150,000 contacts, I then processed the file again to remove role-based emails, info@ sales@, etc, and then filtered out all free email addresses like ‘Yahoo”, “Gmail” etc. which reduced the list size again, it was now around 80,000 contacts.

I then sent an email (no sales pitch, it was a professional introduction email). Each email address was validated just prior to sending ensuring I only sent to valid email addresses. I didn’t send to ‘catch all’ emails. The email address had to be an email address assigned to a user.

In the end, I managed to build an accurate list of around 40,000 contacts of current HR Managers. The total cost was just $99 to buy the list and $240 to validate the list, and of course a little bit of effort on my part.

The total cost for 40,000 contacts worked out to be just $8.40 per thousand as opposed to $100 per thousand had I purchased the data at say just 10 cents per contact.

Now, remember the list is 43 million records and includes many job titles, eg. President, owner, CPA, Dentist, Doctor, Sales Manager - you get the idea.

So it’s not just where can you buy an email list, it’s where can you get the best value.

If someone offers you a huge list only consider it if you can process the data, never, never just mail a huge list and hope it's ok - it won’t be - and will probably just lead to your email account getting blocked.