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Why you shouldn't buy emails database


The risks when you buy a database

RGPD and email database purchases

Since May 25, 2018, the RGPD (General Data Protection Regulation) establishes new rules regarding prospecting :

It is forbidden to cold prospect with a B2C customer by email: your recipient must have given his consent before receiving one of your emails.

In B2B, it is recommended (but not mandatory!) to have the consent of your target. But you still have to respect some rules:

• Your activity must be related to your prospect's activity. For example, if you sell software, you can address a target that uses a computer for business purposes.

• The purchase of contact databases is forbidden, you do not respect the RGPD with this practice and risk being sanctioned by the CNIL. The RGPD stipulates that the storage of data is prohibited.

• It is mandatory to include an unsubscribe link in your email (in any case in all those you send without opt-in).

Little tip: you can change its title to make it more fun instead of the simple "unsubscribe" mention 😉

Before buying or renting an email database, ask your DPO or your legal department for advice 😉


Obsolescence of purchased data

Did you know that between 25 and 30% of data becomes obsolete after 1 year?

There are multiple reasons for it:

• Change of position and change of company

• Saturated email address: leading to hard bounce

• Change of company name, this case is less common but is possible (for example in the case of a merger-acquisition).

By purchasing an existing database, you take the risk that the contacts are older than 1 year and are therefore... obsolete.

If you decide to buy a database, be careful about the date of the last update to avoid data obsolescence.

Inoperable data

Beyond the purchase price of online databases, which can be exorbitant considering the number of contacts, they can be filled with unusable data. Obsolescence, invalid e-mails, it is very likely that a part (even minimal) of the databases on sale on the Internet is unusable, in addition to the loss of money generated.

As for the data considered as "valid" whose users are still active, you could face a significant number of unsubscribes due to the absence of the usually required opt-in for receiving mailings/newsletters.

Furthermore, the source and origin of the purchased data is sometimes unclear and unknown. Ask yourself where this data comes from: was it collected via third-party forms stating "I agree that this data may be shared with partners"?

Or worse, the use of data from the DarkWeb could lead to heavy penalties against you.

detective gif

Finally, buying data does not guarantee that there are no duplicates.

Some of them contain tens of thousands of contacts, can you be sure that some of the contacts do not appear in duplicate?

However, if you decide to purchase an online database, Dropcontact updates, detects and merges duplicates, corrects, cleans and verifies the email addresses present in them.

This avoids duplicate mailings, or mailings to invalid addresses that could taint your deliverability 😉

NB: Dropcontact does not take any legal responsibility for the use of illegal and/or corrupted data.

A wide range of data

When you buy your database, you are usually offered to buy it based on the number of contacts it contains.

But do they really correspond to your activity? No (or not that much) sorting is done by the providers and sellers, so you will have to perform a segmentation of the purchased contacts in order to target prospects that are concerned/correspond to your activity.

Mixing different activities and industries can be detrimental to your mailings. Your contacts will decide to unsubscribe from your communications, or even report you to the CNIL. Be careful to target the right prospects: you are not going to sell computers to a farmer!

The risks of buying an email database

  • Damage your deliverability and the reputation of your IP address: if your emailing platform detects a "spam", soft/hard bounce or black listed address, your deliverability will suffer the consequences. Your sending address can then be automatically considered as spam. Your emails will then land in the junk box, or worse, they might not be delivered at all without your knowledge.
  • Being sanctioned by your emailing tool: providers such as Gmail, Outlook take into account the number of "spam" reports you may have been subjected to. In case of abusive behavior and too many reports, you could be sanctioned.
  • The recipients can bring a case against you to the CNIL: in case of suspicion of non-compliance with the GDPR, the recipients of your communications can file a report with the CNIL. The penalties can be very heavy: "the amount of the pecuniary penalties can be up to 20 million euros or in the case of a company up to 4% of the annual worldwide turnover." (source: cnil.fr)

How to build your database efficiently and legally?

Create Lead Magnet and grow your lead base

To generate leads and traffic on your website, you can create content such as Lead Magnets.

Concretely, creating a Lead Magnet consists in offering a quality/value content to your prospects "in exchange" for their data: professional email, first name, last name...

For example, you can offer them a white paper that provides them with prospecting techniques, tips, tricks to manage their business, etc. There are many possibilities, it's up to you to come up with a type of content that is interesting for your prospects (at least interesting enough for them to consent to give you their contact information 😉 ).

Create impactful content to generate leads

In addition to creating lead magnets, any other influential content such as blog posts and social media posts will help boost your visibility and influence.

Our tip: carousels, which consist in integrating several visuals/videos in a single post, are a good source of visibility on a network like Linkedin 🤘

If individuals interact with your content, for example by sharing it to other users, they will also be influencers by encouraging new leads to subscribe to your content.

gif influencer

Also, organizing combined live events, for example with speakers external to your company, is a good way to gain notoriety and get people talking about your company. Taking into account that a live event gathers your community, as well as that of your speaker(s), the number of participants can quickly grow, up to double or even triple 🚀

Scrape LinkedIn

Finally, to strengthen your database, social networks can become your best ally 👯‍♀️

Did you know that LinkedIn is the largest public professional database? In 2023, LinkedIn currently has more than 25 million members, and among them, 12 million are active every month!

The optimized use of LinkedIn and its Sales Navigator tool allows you to generate highly qualified lists of prospects based on hyper-precise search filters! By segmenting and then scraping your leads, your database immediately shifts into high gear.

👉 To learn more, we introduce you all our tips regarding the LinkedIn Boolean search

Most frequently asked questions

Is it allowed to buy personal data?

What risks does buying a database entail?

Tarnishing your deliverability and the reputation of your IP address: if an emailing platform detects a "spam", a soft/hard bounce or a black-listed address, your deliverability will suffer the consequences. Being sanctioned by your emailing tool: should there be any abusive behavior or too many reports, you may be sanctioned. Your recipients can refer to the CNIL against you: if you're suspected of not complying with the GDPR, the recipients of your communications can send a report to the CNIL who has the power to fine you.

How can I create a lawful database without buying data?

Create Lead Magnets and expand your lead base Create impactful content to find prospects Scrape LinkedIn‍
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