What Happens When You Spam Your Contact List

What happens when you send spam to your contact list?

Email marketing is a powerful sales tool. But, like with all marketing and sales tools, there’s an element of the numbers game; the more marketing you send, the more sales you’ll achieve.  Therefore, there are those organisations who are willing to ignore laws and email etiquette and send copious amounts of emails to subscribers or to email addresses they’ve had no contact with.

This is called spamming.

While this might sound like a good way to grow your customer base, it’s not. There are significant ramifications associated with this practice. Here’s what could happen if you spam your contact list.

1. You Get Fined

If your contact list didn’t give you permission to contact them, then you could be fined. Many nations have laws against unsolicited marketing emails, and the fines can be high. While most people ignore spam, the more you send out, the greater the chance you will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Never buy an email contact list and always seek permission of any website user, consumer, etc. before you send an email.

2. Higher Unsubscribe Rate

The more people you have on your list, the more profitable your email marketing campaigns are going to be. That is why this loss can be so devastating, but 53% of consumers say they get too many emails from the brands they subscribed to and this has led them to discontinue their subscription.

However, don’t send too few emails, as this can also be a reason for unsubscribing. According to research, once every two weeks seems to be a good frequency.

3. Poor Open And Click Through Rates

If you continually email your contacts, they are going to get bored of your marketing messages, especially if you are sending the same message all the time. This often results in your marketing messages being ignored, binned and forgotten. Statistically speaking this can mean that your business’ open and click through rates plummet against industry standards.

There are two ways to solve this. Firstly, reduce the amount you are sending emails to your contact list. Secondly, change the message of your email marketing campaigns, so they become more useful.

4. Your Server Gets Reported

If you are using your own mail server, then that can be reported, and this can make it difficult for future campaigns. A black-listed mail server can sometimes be prevented from sending emails to other servers altogether, so future campaigns will never reach their intended audience.

There is only one way to solve a blacklisted server, and that is to start again with a new server. This is an expensive, time-consuming task.

5. Your Reputation Is Ruined

Organisations that spam their contacts are often remembered, especially if they are known to the audience. This can have a devastating impact on a brand’s reputation both online and offline. One example could be the damage it can do to the referrals your brand gets from subscribers. Many people won’t recommend a brand that spams them. So, you’ll lose a sales avenue.

You’ll also find that you will have to manage your reputation more carefully if you send spam – dealing with negative comments all the time on social media, in your inbox and other marketing avenues. Customers you contact for a follow-up phone call will also be more hostile to your approaches. Therefore, your sales team will find it harder to sell.


Email marketing is a powerful tool for any business to use to collect information and sell to a specific audience. It is also a tool that can be abused with spam. However, this will always end badly for the company sending spam emails.

Be mindful of the number of emails you are sending to potential customers to ensure you aren’t spamming your audience. It could help you make more sales.

How often do you send emails to your marketing list? Have you tried reducing the number?

Let us know in the comments below.

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8 Tips To Growing Your Email List Without Spamming!

email list building

Don’t build your email list by spamming.

The money is in the list. This is the advice of most marketers, and the statistics support it. Email marketing has had the highest ROI of any digital marketing platform for the past decade and with limited costs, endless design options and being easy to monitor – email is perfect.

There is a challenge, however – growing your email list, and this is where people can often feel compelled to cheat, either by spamming their way to longer lists or by purchasing them from third parties.

Both are less than desirable. Buying an email list is illegal, and you can be fined if someone receives a marketing message from you that they didn’t give you permission for.

Spamming, while not technically illegal, annoys your potential customers and makes it harder for you to build trust with them.

So, what options do you have for growing your email list without spamming? Here are eight for consideration:

1. Smartphone Apps

Smartphone usage has now reached over one billion, so not utilising Smartphones within your list building is a wasted opportunity.

One option is to allow people to use an app you’ve created simply by entering their email address.

2. QR Codes

While QR codes aren’t new and adoption is slow, they are still useful and can help you grow your marketing list without issue.

Simply create your QR code and attach it to your marketing materials (leaflets, business cards, posters, etc.).

All potential clients need to do is scan the code with their phone and they’re sent through to a signup form. Simple, easy and far-reaching.

3. SMS Marketing

If you’ve got the mobile number of a prospect, then you can send them an SMS message. In this, ask them to respond with an email address if they want to receive marketing messages from you.

This is a fantastic way to cross-market platforms and gain more interactions with already engaged prospects.

4. Run A Competition

A competition is hard to resist, especially if the prize is something of value.

Having the prospects signup to your newsletter to enter the competition is not just easy, it’s also a great way to grow your list. Remember a good competition has several components:

  • A clear deadline for entries.
  • A prize that is related to your business and valuable to your potential customers.
  • Easy ways to enter.

You can make your competition more valuable by offering prospects further chances to win by following you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.

5. Give Them A Gift

Free gifts are just as hard to resist as competitions. They also offer you a chance to demonstrate the quality of your product or expertise of your service.

You should give away something that will be valuable to your customer such as an ebook to solve common challenges, case studies, whitepapers on the latest trends or to-do lists for your potential clients.

6. Be Subtle

Don’t plaster your mailing list everywhere on the web. Some companies make every social media update and blog post about their mailing list.

Instead, be subtler and attract people with offers, competitions and good writing rather than demands and heavy promotion.

It’s Not Just About Adding Names To Your List

The average annual churn rate for email is between 25-30%. This is high because so many companies don’t follow best practices and lose a significant number of subscribers every year.

By following the tips below, you can reduce your churn rate.

7. Don’t Email Too Frequently

Emailing too frequently means that people will get bored of seeing your emails in their mail box. At the very least they will delete your emails without opening them or just unsubscribe.

Try to minimise email marketing messages to one or two per week at most.

8. Don’t Always Promote

Sometimes the best marketing message can be about the client. Giving them some information that can help them solve a challenge or improve their life/business. If you prove you aren’t just going to talk about yourself, then people will remain subscribers.


Email marketing is great. It has a substantial ROI and can be tailored to your business. However, sustainably growing your email marketing list can be a challenge. It doesn’t just mean attracting subscribers to your list; it also means keeping them on it. Use the tips above to increase subscriptions and reduce list churn.

What is your subscriber churn rate? How do you attract prospects to your mailing list?

Let us know in the comments below.

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