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Build, buy, or both? Every sales team must decide how to create a highly targeted lead list to enhance their marketing efforts.

The fact that 68% of businesses still struggle with generating qualified leads forces them to resort to questionable practices. In other words, they end up buying business leads to support their marketing campaigns.

After all, why not take advantage of a perfectly good shortcut to make lead generation easier, right?


Finding B2B leads is a comprehensive process. More so, because you need the contacts of actual decision-makers who you can convince to try your product or service, and while buying lead lists may sound like an excellent alternative, it frequently isn’t.

Read on as we discuss buying lead lists — when it’s right and when it isn’t — and how you can find high-quality sales leads through organic prospecting via cold email outreach.

What Is the Lead List, and How Does It Differ From an Email List?

A lead list is a crucial part of direct marketing campaigns. It provides organizations with the contact information of potential customers that fit the former’s ideal customer profile.

The list provider includes the details of organizations and individuals that might not discover your business through your own marketing efforts, and hence, allows you to expand your reach faster and more effectively.

Additionally, there’s a common misconception that lead lists are similar to email lists when that isn’t the case.

You see, an email list is a collection of email addresses of current and potential customers to who you can send material about your marketing services. In comparison to lead lists, an email list is more narrow.

There’s one prominent similarity, though. Both can help you generate more business leads to ultimately boost conversion rates.

Buying Lead Lists: Right or Wrong?

Many people are strongly opposed to the practice of purchasing custom lists to land new customers.

But, the thing about marketing is: Things aren’t black and white.

Lead generation strategies have to be formulated after considering your business goals and available resources, which is why there are situations where buying lead lists could be good for your business, but it can also be very risky, costly, and have dubious accuracy.

So if you don’t get it right, you might find yourself in troubled waters. That said, lead generation still needs to happen, and sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

When It’s (Strictly) Okay To Buy Lead Lists

Buying a B2B lead list can be a good solution for your company if your marketing team isn’t generating enough leads or isn’t fully developed, meaning they lack sufficient experience and expertise.

Budget can be a limiting factor too. You see, lead generation strategies involve considerable investment — something that not every small business can afford. You’ll be able to expand your marketing outreach quickly when you buy leads in bulk.

You can also consider buying a lead list if your brand message isn’t resonating well with your target audience, restricting your ability to close deals. This will help you understand your ideal customer’s pain points better and then adjust your brand’s image accordingly.

Why Purchased Lead Lists Are Still Harmful To Businesses?

Lead lists may look like they can help you achieve your business objectives faster and with less effort, but the thing is such lists don’t build relationships, which translates to non-existent customer retention. *Strike 1*

In addition to this, buying leads can severely harm your business reputation. Since business decision-makers haven’t given you permission to put them on your direct mail pipeline, they might view your emails as spam — no matter how well-drafted your cold emails are.

Some may not even read your emails at all, which again won’t help you get in the good books of internet service providers (ISPs) since they may view your IP address as spammy. *Strike 2*

If many people end up reporting you as spam, it will negatively affect your deliverability, putting you on email blacklists. And finding yourself on an email blacklist is something that you want to avoid at all costs since all your future messages will end up in the spam folder. *Strike 3*

With three strikes, you can very well say goodbye to business growth and more revenue. Therefore, if you ask us, buying lead lists is definitely not worth it.

A Step-by-Step List Building Guide for Successful Cold Email Outreach

There was a time when cold calling and telemarketing were the best ways to create awareness to land more sales, but things have changed now.

Email marketing is much better, especially considering you can expect an average ROI of $42 for every $1 you spend.

Here’s how you can nail cold email outreach:

Step 1: Choose a Good Domain and Work on Warming It Up

First things first, there is no need for you to create a new domain for your cold email campaigns. It’s a blacklisted domain that’s a problem, not an old one.

You can continue using your current email service provider (ESP), but instead of Gmail, we would recommend Outlook since the latter has much better deliverability.

Work on warming up a cold email domain by using safe email practices to build up your sender reputation, which includes lowering your spam complaint rate and bounce rate, and boosting your engagement rate.

Send your first email to a known contact to get started on the right note. The other option is to use auto-warmup tools. For instance, MailFlow, an email warmup tool that integrates natively with QuickMail, contacts random people in a group to send automated messages.

The received emails are archived and removed from spam and even replied to automatically.

In turn, this will increase your chances of landing in your recipient’s inbox.

Step 2: Know Your Target Customer

Building a lead list is only possible when you know your target customers and their likes and dislikes.

If you already have an existing customer base, analyze them to understand their behavioral patterns and unique attributes. In case you don’t have an existing clientele, conduct industry research to get to know your potential audience better.

Step 3: Start (Smart) Prospecting

Research isn’t the same as prospecting, especially for cold email outreach.

LinkedIn is excellent for B2B businesses and other industries, while Google Maps and Yelp are better suited for brick-and-mortar stores. Nevertheless, whatever way you choose, make sure you focus on your ideal customers and scrape the web thoroughly to your list of prospects.

Step 4: Ensure Your Email List Is Up-to-Date

Just like you need the right phone number before calling your prospect, you need the right email address. But before you begin sending your first batch of emails, you should ensure that every email address on your list is valid. Check for spelling errors, inactive accounts, and spam addresses.

The best way to ensure email validity is through verification. Using tools like NeverBounce and BriteVerify can be a great way to clean your email list, which in turn, will help you avoid spam traps and reduce your bounce rates.

Step 5: Personalize the Heck Out of Your Email

The next thing on your list should be to learn your prospects’ (right) names, their company’s names, and their pain points.

Try to show the recipient your efforts are genuine by learning specific information about them and incorporating it into your email copy. You can, for example, mention their podcast, a recent blog post with their byline, or a recent tweet by them.

Step 6: Work on Your Email Copy and Always Follow-up

The purpose of sending cold emails is to get the conversation started, which is why your email copy needs to be friendly and clear. Work on the body of your cold email to tick off the following three things:

  • Communicate the reason why you’re contacting them.

  • Leverage the value of your proposition while keeping the focus on the recipient.

  • Include a call to action to tell them how to proceed next.

With that done, simply press the send button and keep your fingers crossed.

If you don’t hear from your recipient, don’t abandon them — instead, follow-up. Send a follow-up email reminding them about your previous email, but don’t sound too aggressive or frustrated. Space them out with a gap of 1-3 days.

When It Comes to B2B Lead Lists, Go Organic

Buying B2B leads is tempting, but try to resist. We aren’t going to shame you for it since everybody loves a shortcut. However, if you want more sales and success, you’ll have to put in organic efforts and build customer relationships.

Launching an email marketing campaign can be your best chance for long-term growth — provided you do it right. Sign up for our free QuickMail trial and follow the steps above to start growing your lead list.