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Why Buying Leads for Your Business is a Terrible Idea

Why Buying Leads for Your Business is a Terrible Idea


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As a business owner, whether it be the focus on a local business or one that has no limits, you need to keep in mind that reaching out to potential customers is essential for business growth. Customers need to know who you are, and they need to know you’re relevant too! But you also need to keep in mind that the approach you take can make or break your reputation, oh yes, you read that right! 

Your marketing is everything. This is basically going to be the beginning of the customer journey, so everything has to be right and perfect. One common but misguided strategy is buying email lists, mailing lists, and phone number lists. 

While it might seem like a quick and easy way to build your contact base, it’s a decision fraught with pitfalls. Sure, it can be tempting to use black hat strategies, but seriously, it’s just a bad idea! So, with that said, why is it? Well, here’s exactly why you should avoid this shortcut and instead focus on curating your lists organically.

There’s the Spam Trap

The first and perhaps most immediate consequence of buying lists is the risk of being marked as spam. When you purchase a list, you’re acquiring contacts who haven’t given you explicit permission to reach out to them. This unsolicited communication is the very definition of spam. Now, no one wants to be labeled as spam! 

Damaged Reputation

When recipients see your emails or calls as unwanted, they are more likely to flag them as spam. You have to keep in mind that, over time, this can significantly tarnish your brand’s reputation. Just think about it for a moment; customers might start associating your business with annoyance rather than value- this will immediately destroy any potential of your business. 

Spam Filters

Believe it or not, even if you buy multiple phone numbers, you’re still not going to be able to defeat the spam filters- AI is especially taking over, and so thanks to patterns, it’s going to be easy to detect what’s spam and what’s not. 

But what else? If your messages are frequently marked as spam, these filters will begin to preemptively block your communications. This means your future messages, even to legitimately acquired contacts, might never see the light of day. It’s not just with phone calls and texts either, but it’s the same for emails, too. Speaking of which….


Now, this is the worst of the worst, and no business wants this. Persistently sending spam can lead to your domain or phone number being blacklisted. This is a serious setback, as it can take considerable time and effort to get removed from these lists. At this point, it’s next to impossible to do anything. 

There Might Be Legal Repercussions 

Buying lists doesn’t just harm your reputation—it can also land you in legal trouble. It’s usually going to depend on where you are, but most countries will have some legal repercussions for doing this. For example, laws such as the GDPR in Europe and the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States set strict guidelines on how businesses can collect and use personal data.

You can definitely count on dealing with some fines, but is that it? Violating these laws can result in hefty fines. For instance, Well, the GDPR can impose fines of up to €20 million or 4% of your global turnover- can you actually afford that? 

Even the CAN-SPAM Act can be pretty brutal, as this can cost you up to $43,792 per email. So, that alone is a massive nightmare, right? But beyond fines, you may also face lawsuits from individuals or consumer protection organizations. It’s just not worth it; you’re going to massively destroy your business and end up in so much debt, just don’t do it. 

The Leads are Always Poor Quality

While there are plenty of reasons why this is a bad idea, another one would be that you’re getting poor leads, so you’re basically wasting your money. 

Low Engagement Rates

Contacts who haven’t shown interest in your business are less likely to engage with your communications. This leads to lower open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates, rendering your marketing efforts ineffective.

High Bounce Rates

Usually, the info is pretty inaccurate, and that’s not what you’ll want to deal with. Believe it or not, but this can be really bad for you, as email platforms track this metric, and a high bounce rate can lead to your account being flagged or suspended. Seriously, email platforms don’t play around do you can really risk hurting your business by doing this. 

You’re Wasting Your Resources 

At the end of the day, time is money! So, do you really want to waste time, money, and effort spent on crafting messages, calls, and campaigns? It’s not worth wasting any of this for a list of uninterested or non-existent recipients. Your marketing budget could be better spent targeting an audience that has shown genuine interest in your offerings.

You’re Better Off Building Trust Organically

Think about all the genuine engagement you can get. You’re way better off focusing on that instead. When you build your lists organically, you’re reaching out to individuals who have shown interest in your business. This alone is definitely going to result in higher engagement rates because these contacts are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

But there’s also the whole aspect of loyalty, and this goes with what was said directly above. Customers are willing to support your business, but they need to know they’re not getting scammed or having anything negative happen to them. Customers who feel valued and respected are more likely to become repeat buyers and advocates for your brand. 

This long-term relationship is invaluable. There’s basically no long-term when you buy leads; there’s nothing good that can really happen there; honestly, it’s only one bad thing after another, after another. You really don’t want to have that in your future; it’s just not worth it! 

Why Buying Leads for Your Business is a Terrible Idea