One of the most foolish things that people are induced to do is ‘buy leads’. A really good motto is ‘never buy leads again’, and the mantra for that is ‘buying leads is like pouring money down a black hole’ (aka the drain).
It is so tempting because buying leads is one of those things that would seem to be able to cut years off the time it takes to build a list and get some action going. That is if it weren’t such a scam. The reason that many autoresponders and email services do not allow ‘purchased leads’ is due to the fact that they are rife with spam complaints (spam is highly illegal and businesses are held accountable).
It doesn’t seem to matter if the leads cost 1-cent or 1-dollar, or whether they are purported to be ‘premium’ leads (which can mean they are surveyed) – it is the same reaction: ‘Who?’ The email addresses and/or phone numbers may have been regurgitated for years and years.
Maybe somebody may have requested information about home business 5 or 10 years ago, but they certainly do not remember by this time and so it is likely the most favorable reaction to you contacting them will be ‘Who?’ (It can be worse if they have been hounded to death by people contacting them over and over for all those years).
Phone calls seem to have less legal regulation than email as with or without ‘do not call’ lists and etc., the phone is always ringing off the hook with unsolicited calls from ‘telemarketers’ and lately even some online companies have resorted to ‘robotic’ (automated) calling systems (which are highly illegal).
The best way to get real leads is to have lead capture portals where people are invited to opt-in to receive email from you or request a phone call from you. This can be a web form on your website, or it can be a web page aka ‘squeeze page’ that does nothing but invite people to sign up to receive something (in exchange for providing their email address). It is implied that this is legal permission for you to contact them.
This can take a lot longer to build a list the legal, free way, unless you are highly consistent and aggressive in your marketing and advertising so that you attract attention to your site. You should be doing business this way anyway because the point is to get direct sales and then in the meantime to build your list. Or second best build your list and somebody on the list may transact a sale in the future.
You should be able to document these ‘opt-ins’ because even in this ideal situation of ‘ethical, permission-based email marketing’ there will be people who ‘forget’ they opted in and may complain. That is why you should always use a professional autoresponder program that records the time and date and IP address (physical location) of people opting in.
Being accused of spam more than a few times can mean serious trouble for you and your business. Your autoresponder may cancel your account (without refund), even your host could cancel your hosting and probably in extreme cases of 1000s of complaints, the domain may be suspended or actually reclaimed by the domain registrar. So was it worth it to speed it up? Not likely.