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Why You Should Buy an Email List


In the world of marketing and business growth, email marketing is anything but a thing of the past. It can be one of the most cost-effective and scalable ways to build strong relationships with potential customers and trust in your business. In fact, according to Hubspot, “ generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI, making it one of the most effective options available."

With the accessibility to detailed data and analytics of any niche audience, targeted email marketing campaigns can be more advantageous than ever. However, building those organic email lists can be exhausting, and feel like you’re getting lost in the sea of content out there.

As an artist, you probably wish there was some quick way to have those contacts at your fingertips but heard that buying an email list could be a risky solution. We’re here to tell you that there are big reasons why you should still buy an email list and how you can make sure you choose a quality one.

Why Buying an Email List Has Been Unfairly Maligned and Stigmatized

Regardless of the controversy of buying an email list, it absolutely does have its place in a successful photography marketing strategy. However, it comes down to evaluating and thoroughly vetting providers and their lists before ever purchasing.

Gary Vaynerchuk, an influential mentor in the business world, has a quick and simple explanation of this. For example, if you have a cookie business, you want to make sure that the list you buy is full of contacts that are, in fact, interested in cookies and that the provider has the data and proof of that list to back it up. If you buy a list with a million contacts on it, it won’t do a thing to grow your cookie business if those million contacts are actually interested in photography and not cookies.

So, what are the first steps in buying an email list? Research. Ask questions to the providers and request the data that falls in line with the targeted audience you’re looking to acquire. If they don’t have it or won’t provide it, move on to the next. Remember, there are thousands of lists for sale out there, so take your time to find the right one.

Reasons You Should Buy an Email List

We all wish we could have the time and energy to organically build an email list that is always 100% engaged and ready to click through on each email promotion we send. As artists, we know that our time is often spent elsewhere. Purchasing an email list that is thoroughly researched and tested for your audience can save you time and free up resources to accomplish other necessary tasks to grow your business. These can be activities such as concepting new shoots, networking, and staying prolific.

Another great way an email list purchase can help is that it can increase your reach to new audiences. If your business is just starting out or you are delving into new photography services, an email list can give you a jump start on building a contact database and alleviate the unfamiliarity of a new market. Not only does this save you time, but it gains you entry into new markets much faster.

Even if you’ve worked hard to build a strong organic contact database on your own, it is almost guaranteed that you’ve missed some creatives, markets you didn’t consider, or relevant email addresses. If even a couple of leads from purchased email lists turn into clients, the cost of the list will be more than offset.

How to Organically Grow and Build Your Email List

Whether or not you make the decision to buy an email list, you can still grow your existing contact database with methodical list-building strategies. The following are ways you can organically attract website visitors to your site to view and/or sign up for your content:


Tap into your network, whether it’s colleagues or previous and current clients. Reach out to people in your network and invite them to meetups, seminars, and other events to take the opportunity to connect, create, and build on relationships. Maybe this leads to getting their contact information, but sometimes the conversation is enough for them to remember you. When it comes to getting someone's contact information or email address, don’t just add emails to your list without making sure they are okay with receiving promotions first.

Signup Forms

Include signup forms throughout your website, including in the footer, to give visitors a chance to make the decision to sign up for your content (i.e. your newsletter, business announcements, etc.) on their own. You may want to add these types of forms to highly trafficked site pages as well.

Build a Reputable Brand

Ask your clients to write reviews and testimonials about their experience working with you. Create high-quality marketing materials that tell your brand’s story in a clear and modern way. Most importantly, provide quality work that will build a reputable brand.

The go-to marketing tool that will forever hold strong? Word of mouth. Once you build a brand that your clients love and to which they will refer their own network, new leads will come to you on their own.

Include Sharing Buttons

Encourage your current email subscribers to share your emails with their network by adding share buttons to your newsletters and email campaigns. One way to do this is to add social media buttons that prepopulate captions with a link to your content for them to post to their social network. As well, you can add an “Email to a friend” button, so they can forward your content to their email list.

While you work on organically building an email list with these strategies, it’s important that you also begin to segment these contacts into highly targeted markets. Using tools that provide you with a way to build targeted lists with contacts relevant to your creative audience can save you significant time and money.

Agency Access’s List Builder can help you create a targeted list in just minutes with the use of our Creative Directory. Our Creative Directory is constantly up-to-date, which means that every list you create contains the most relevant information. With our List Builder, you can also automatically print mailing labels; we scan each list for duplicates, so you never have to worry about printing multiple labels. It’s that easy.


Buying email lists has been controversial for years. Doing the research and taking time to find a list that fits your photography niche can expand your reach, fill your lead-generation funnel, and grow your profit.

Building an engaged and highly converted email list, whether through buying a list or with organic strategies, will always take time. So be patient, be thorough, and get ready to boost your commercial photography business.

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