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Should you buy an email list?


When Does It Make Sense to Buy an Email List? – Gary Vaynerchuk

Today’s post is part one of a three-part email marketing series sharing the always bold, always opinionated FUTURE CASTER – Gary Vaynerchuk.

My wife and I had the privilege of meeting Gary and having dinner with him in Vancouver when he was the keynote for Real Man Talks organized by Connor Beaton

Love him or hate him, you know where he stands on the topics he discusses.

  • No BS, the unvarnished truth (as he sees it)
  • Not trying to be a people pleaser.
  • No hiding behind wishy-washy answers.

What I found interesting about this three-part email marketing series, are the email marketing predictions/advice that Gary shared years ago, are pretty accurate today!

Click on the Video below

Listen to Gary Vee answer the popular question.



For those who prefer reading, please find the “should we buy an email list?” transcript below.

Speaker 1:          Next question is a Snapchat video.

Robin Norgren:                Gary Vee, my question is, if we wanted to start a subscription box service, should we buy an email list? Thanks, Gary Vee.

Gary Vaynerchuk:    That’s a great question. I mean look, anytime you start any business, an email list, email’s one of the great ways to convert them. The answer is yes and no. Yes, if it’s a quality list that has open rates and click-throughs, and people that are interested in your cookies of the month club because it was an email from cookie lovers. But if you buy a list that has a million people on it, and it was part of a photography list somewhat, or just random fuckin’ emails they found around the internet, and nobody opens it, and they are into photography, and you’re trying to sell them a cookie subscription thing, the answer’s no.

Gary Vaynerchuk:    That’s a very easy play. If you want to buy a list from somebody, force them to do a test for interest around what you do. Force them, “I will not buy your list unless you do this.” And it’s a pre-sell to be on the invite list for your up-and-coming business. And if you see a bunch of people signup for it, well now you buy. Now, they may say, well that’s like selling the milk without the cow, that whole thing? You know girl … You know, like I get that. But just say no, there’s a million lists out there. You’ve got the leverage. They want your money, don’t forget that.

READ MORE – Last weeks post covers this topic a little deeper.

Buying Email Lists – Email List Rental – Sponsored Email

What is Email List Rental and Sponsored Email Advertising?

 … and what it’s not!

  • So in its simplest form, email list rental or sponsored email as it’s sometimes referred to, is really another form of influencer marketing, leveraging the influence of a chosen brand or publisher.
  • Renting email lists or having a solo sponsored email sent by that publisher or brand provides the advertiser access to both individual consumers (B2C) as well as businesses (B2B) who have self-identified specific areas of interest or problems based on the publisher’s email list that they have subscribed to (permission).

Buying Email Lists

  • The clear downside to purchased email lists is that these are not opt-in names to your brand or company.  The risk of using email lists that aren’t opted-in can mean that you put your email reputation, and that of your IP address, and domain name in jeopardy.


Check back next week for Part Two – Is email marketing more or less relevant today? – Gary Vaynerchuk

Make sure you join me every Monday to receive “real executable marketing tactics, techniques, technology, and tips delivered directly to you”


Doug Morneau is an Author, Speaker, Podcaster, and Media Buyer – specializing in Email List Rental & Sponsored Email.

His first book “THREE BIG LIES – The Real Truth About Renting Email Lists to Generate Targeted Leads and Sales” became an International Best Seller.

As a podcaster, Doug currently hosts the “Real Marketing Real Fast” Podcast.  He interviews top marketers, industry experts, and SAS vendors.

He works as a Media Buyer, he has helped venture capital and investment banker clients raise in excess of $100 million dollars in the USA.  He does this by leveraging email marketing, renting/sponsoring third-party permission-based email lists, online PPC advertising, and paid influencer marketing.

This made him one of the nation’s largest media buyers of sponsored email and rented email lists.

In his spare time, you can find him in the CrossFit box, Olympic weightlifting, and chasing his grandsons around.

You can get more information about his best selling book.

Three Big Lies: The Real Truth about Renting Email Lists to Generate Targeted Leads and Sales

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"Being a visionary in business means seeing the potential where others see obstacles, and turning that vision into reality."

Doug Morneau