In the email marketing industry, there’s a lot of conversation about using purchased data and whether or not this practice should be allowed. The good news is that with CMAdvantage, you’re not restricted to only being able to upload organic data, we allow purchased data too.

You might be thinking, why do you allow purchased data when other ESPs don’t?  The reason being our platform automatically manages and cleans data which lets our clients upload purchased lists.  If the email address is not valid, for example; it does not contain an ‘@’ symbol or has a space in it, it will be rejected. After all, there’s no point uploading data if it is not going anywhere.

As a bonus to users, we don’t reject the entire list – only the invalids, saving you time filtering out your lists, trying to determine what’s valid and invalid.

So, the benefit here is that you can go back to your data supplier and give them the invalid list and ask for your money back or a top up of new valid email addresses. The same goes for duplicates.  The platform will automatically de-dupe the list upon upload and give you a list of any duplicate addresses.

Furthermore, we also don’t have a problem with you uploading generic email addresses such as “info@” or “team@”. These could be genuine email addresses with a team of people who receive them, so why should they not be allowed? They are GDPR compliant too. However, a custom email address will always be better, but many businesses use a generic mailbox and we have seen many legitimate examples in schools, universities, agencies and more.

Now, sending to a purchased list you’ve never had before, the likelihood of emails bouncing could be higher. We also filter and remove continuous bounces from your data to ensure this does not damage your sender reputation. 

Bounces are undelivered emails and you get two types – hard and soft. A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure such as a wrong or inactive email address. A soft bounce on the other hand is a temporary delivery failure, which could be a result of the recipient’s mailbox being full, or the receiving server being temporarily down. Fortunately, we have an automatic resend feature to re-target soft bounces at a later date – we recommend waiting at least 4 days!

As CMAdvantage differentiates between hard and soft bounces, you could once again go back to your data supplier with the hard bounced addresses – especially if you were guaranteed that the email addresses purchased were active, live mailboxes.

The good news continues because you can even set the thresholds for the number of times you continue trying to send to bouncing emails. We recommend 4 consecutive sends for soft bounces and 2 for hard bounces.

But you might be thinking, why would marketers want to purchase a list? The obvious answer is that organic growth may not be as fast as you expect, so you will expand your reach faster and cast a wider net for a potential new target audience.

These new leads that start off cold could turn warmer with nurturing campaigns and hopefully result in conversions.

However, with all this said we strongly recommend you select a data supplier very carefully and ask the following important questions before purchasing data:

  1. Obtain proof of opt in. How was the data acquired? You need solid evidence as if you get numerous complaints or are blocked, you stand a better chance of being de-listed if you can present this proof.
  2. Only send your campaigns to relevant audiences to comply with the GDPR’s legitimate interest basis.
  3. Ensure you obtain a multi-use list if that is your intention. Purchased lists can have a one-time use stipulation and if used more than once could have serious consequences.
  4. Ask for a percentage of expected hard bounces. If you’re under that’s great but if over you can contact your supplier.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this… We follow best practise and give you the best chance in deliverability with our solid infrastructure. So, with a deliverability team on your side and sending from a trusted sender, we give you the best start so it’s just down to your data performing well for you, which can be said for all businesses of course.

Organically grown data will always be better than purchased data, but we will try and help where we can, without compromising our great deliverability record.

If you would like a tour around CMAdvantage and discuss our data management service, please get in touch at