Thinking of buying or renting an email list of potential investors? Sounds tempting. Might be a great way to pump the pipeline. Don’t do it.

Growing your email and prospect list the inbound way is a remarkable way to grow your lead list, assets under management, and capital raise sales.

Here are six reasons why you don’t want to buy the list that could get you blacklisted as a spammer:

1. Your names on the list don’t want to hear from you

Don’t you love being interrupted by unsolicited phone calls and emails? Everybody wants spam, right? Yet…people on purchased email lists don’t know who you are, what your company does, or how you got their contact information.

2. Your list people have not “opted in” to get emails from you

List providers may say that the names on their lists “opted in” to receive emails. Not necessarily true. Some people may have unknowingly signed up to receive promotional emails. Others may have had their emails collected by automated web crawlers that scrape websites searching for contact information.

3. Your data is wrong

Purchased lists are packed with bad email addresses, phony phone numbers, old job titles, and unreliable demographic data. Sounds like a waste of time, right?

4. You’re violating your ESPs’ terms of service

The email service provider (ESP) you use to send out your missives will require you to not send spam, and not use purchased, rented, or third party lists of email addresses. When you send mass emails through an ESP, the email is routed through a common IP address. If too many ESP customers are sending bad emails, it damages their credibility, too.

5. Your email doesn’t get delivered

Bad email addresses means you’ve wasted your money on a message that never gets delivered. What’s more, ESPs red flag your email activity for high bounce rates, unsubscribes, and junk or spam notations.

6. Your sales people hate you

You’re not the first firm to send to the same list. Whether you or your sales team are doing the follow up phone calls, you can count on hearing the ever lovely “Stop emailing me,” or the buoyant “How did you get my contact information?” or the terse “Not interested.”

What’s the solution?

Yes, legitimate firms with reputable lists exist. As always, do your homework before making a decision.

The answer, though, is to build your own opt-in email list. As marketing guru Seth Godin said, “Interactions rarely happen with people we don’t trust.” Do you trust an email spammer? 

Instead of blasting your message to hundreds or thousands, inbound marketing focuses on attracting people who may be searching for information, for example, about better investment strategies, higher yields, and more clear risk management guidelines. Consistently produce valuable content for your prospects, and visitors will opt in to hear from you.

Opt-in email addresses are the result of earning the trust of your prospective investors because they think you have something valuable and helpful to say. Your list is a valuable asset.

Don’t waste your time and money chasing poor quality or non existent contacts. Instead, consider investing long-term in inbound marketing that shows you can deliver solutions that meet your prospect’s investment needs.