For B2B companies that want to produce more sales and engagement, effective email marketing campaigns can offer a platform for success. Purchasing email lists offers a much faster alternative to gradually building a list over time. But finding an email list that's clean and open to your messages can be difficult. So can crafting that perfect message.

If you're going to conduct a successful email marketing campaign to a purchased list, it's important to master the basics and avoid common mistakes. Fortunately, it's easy to avoid these mistakes and create a email campaign your target audience will be receptive to.

Here are 7 tips your business can use to increase responses from purchased email lists.

Tip #1: Find a Service you Love

If you're purchasing email lists, you might not be able to use popular email services like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Active Campaign to create and send your message. Be sure to check your email vendor's terms of service before sending your campaign. Some email providers don't allow you to send to email addresses that you bought. Consider a self-hosted service like Interspire Email Marketer or Sendy.

Tip #2: Buy, Don't Rent

Make sure you buy a list rather than sending to a rented list. For example, some professional associations rent their mailing lists, but there are disadvantages to this approach:

  • A third party sends the email for you, so you don't have as much control.
  • You rent the addresses, so it doesn't allow you to build your master list.

You shouldn't rely on purchased email lists for all of your business development efforts.

Learn how to generate new business using your website

Tip #3: Clean Your List Ahead of Time

You might also want to set aside some budget for list cleansing before you hit send. Using a list cleaning service like Impressionwise or LeadSpend before sending your first email will clean out the spammy or dead email addresses.

Tip #4: Purchase a Large List

Some data companies will offer bulk discounts, and it's wise for marketers who are getting started with purchasing email lists to buy a large list of at least a few thousand contacts. Open rates will be lower than your "house" list, and click rates will usually be in the single digits. You'll want the larger list so that you get several good responses. Hint: if you track response metrics, you can work backwards from the number of contacts you need to determine list size based on historical open rates, click rates and conversion rates.

Tip #5: Know The Legal Considerations

Because of CASL legislation, you can't send cold emails to prospects in Canada, but you can legally email people in the United States. Just be sure you adhere to CAN-SPAM legislation here in the States by including an unsubscribe link in all your emails. This isn't meant to be legal advice, so consult your attorney if you have specific questions.

Tip #6: Give 'Em What They Want

Rather than sending promotional messages and heavy sales pitches, give the recipient information they can use. We've found that emailing content offers like a guide can improve your response rate significantly. Avoid:

  • Information about how long you've been in business
  • Long narratives about your products or what services you provide
  • Asking for the sale without first providing helpful information
  • Information that's too general or not relevant to their industry

Tip #7: Send, Resend, Repeat

The average email campaign is only opened by 20-30% of the audience. As you continue to send direct email to your audience, however, you can weed out non-responsive contacts. We'd also encourage you to run some A/B testing to improve your open rate and click rate.

Purchasing email lists can be an effective way to grow your list and provide business development opportunities, but it should just be part of your marketing mix. Eventually, your contacts will find their way back to your website. Will they find information that will further the sale?