March 26, 2009 – Email marketing is probably one of the most effective and dangerous tool in the marketing world.  It is one of the most effective methods because if you have a large and a quality mailing list, you can get a lot of traffic and conversions to your website.  On the other hand, email marketing is one of the most dangerous methods because it can give you a bad online reputation and you may be accused of spamming.

How to build an enormous email list is a question that is often asked by many marketers and businesses.  Building a list involves a lot of time and hard work which is why some company may decide to go the easy way by purchasing an email list.

I strongly recommend against purchasing an email list unless you know exactly where it is coming from and you know exactly what kind of information the people on the bought list are looking for.

Another drawback of purchasing an email list from someone is that you will never know the quality of the list until you try it out.  The most common scenario when purchasing an email list is that the opt-in information for that list was fake and because of that you received an email from your service provider that you have been dropped by them for spamming people.

Another case scenario for using a purchased email list is that your domain name has been reported as a spammer and now every time you send an email to an individual email or part of a mass email blast your email goes directly to the receiver’s junk mail box.

The last worst case scenario is that you send out 500,000 emails and none of them converted to a client because no one on that list is interested in your product.  In the end, you just wasted time, money and resources.

Even if your email list is not a purchased one and is an opt-in list (visitors willingly signed up for it and you have the records to prove that they did sign up for it) they are still some dangers involved.

The first one is not having an unsubscribe link on each email.  Not having one means that you are spamming which is illegal in many countries and could get your website in trouble

The second and most important is that do you really want to use your domain name to send out mass emails whether you are sending out an opt-in list or not?  Here is what can happen.

Since spamming laws are starting to pop up in many countries, internet service providers are very careful about watching for website usage.  This means that if your internet provider is used to seeing you send out 300 emails a month and all of a sudden it sees that you are sending 1 million emails a month it will raise a red flag.

Basically, when you start sending out emails from your website server you have to do it gradually.  Start out with 100 per week and then slowly double that amount every month.

The alternative to that would be to simply hiring a company to send out emails for you.  Just keep in mind that a legitimate email sending company will require proof that your mailing list is legitimate by asking for opt-in proof.

They are several other ways to send out emails but the other methods tend to run in a gray area in terms of morality and legality.

In the next article, we will talk about how to build a mailing list.

Fred St. John is an internet marketing consultant with over 10 years of online marketing experience and has worked for some of the top Fortune 500 companies in the world.  You can contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..