Caveat Emptor – Watch Out for Internet Scammers When Buying Leads for Your Business

When you buy email lists, many of the less reputable sellers are getting the addresses they sell you buy scraping them off old lists, picking them off web sites, and collecting contact lists from conferences.

And some list sellers create their own squeeze pages and collect opt-ins, then turn around and sell them to other marketers.

The problem is that the people who opted-in did so for that company, not for yours. So when you contact them, they don’t know who you are and are more likely to mark you as a spammer.

Another problem is the way these lists are put together … hodge-podge, if you will … many of the addresses you receive are going to be misspelled, abandoned or even phony.

This is actually really common, so the legitimate companies that sell lists will usually give you a refund for these types of addresses up front. That’s another indicator that you are buying from somebody legit.

So when your autoresponder sends out your emails to these addresses, they are going to be kicked back. This is also a red flag to email providers like Gmail and Hotmail and it could cause them to block all future emails from you.

So once again you could find yourself having to start over again.

Know Your Intended Audience

Then there’s the ultimate objective of your email campaigns. Sometimes that gets lost in the shuffle.

Remember: The whole reason you are sending emails to prospective customers is to sell them your affiliate products.

When you send emails to people who don’t know who you are, haven’t asked you to contact them, and aren’t expecting to hear from you, how open do you think they are going to be to your sales message?

It’s like taking a shot in the dark. That’s why the conversion rate is so low with purchased lists. And the risks are high.

So you are almost always better off simply building your list the organic way. While buying a list may seem like a shortcut, it’s generally too costly and too high risk.

And it can actually set your sales program back because if you get banned you have to start over anyway.

Put Yourself in Your Customer’s Shoes

How do you respond when you get an email from somebody you don’t know?

Odds are, you didn’t even open it, but instead either deleted it right away or sent it to a spam folder. You don’t know what’s in that email. It could be a computer virus that is going to damage your computer.

At the very least, it’s an unsolicited offer that you are probably going to dismiss out of hand anyway.

So if even YOU aren’t going to open emails from people you don’t know, how do you expect other people to react when they get an unsolicited email from you?

A better plan is to get your sales message in front of people by organically growing your list through squeeze pages, sales letters, SEO, social media marketing, blogging and all the other free methods we have discussed so far. Or to use the paid methods, such as PPC and other ads.

Being careful when dealing with people you don’t know is as important in business as it is in the rest of your life. Keep in mind that your customers aren’t familiar with you the first time you meet them, either. So you have to take steps to build their trust.

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