Email marketing data providers – take care!

9:30 am Email Communications

Email marketing can be a wonderful way to attract new people to your website and typically, a good email marketing campaign sent to numerous recipients over a period of time, will build interest and business.  But when selecting the company to supply you with the email marketing data,  how do you know who to trust?

A recent experience of a client, who had the sense to ask us, helps to highlight why certain steps should be taken …

The client was offered an email marketing list of people in roles that should be interested in his type of service.  It was reasonably priced for something that appeared well targeted.   We advised him to get some sample data from them so that we could assess the quality of it.   From the data samples received it became clear that the email data was way out of date – by chance, one of the people listed was known to the client and their role and location ceased to exist 5 years previously!

So we recommended that the client contact the email list provider to get clarification on how often the data is checked.  They came back and said that ‘We telephone verify the data on an ongoing basis and all records are less than 21 days old at any one time.’

Spot the difference: 21 days vs 5 years (since the data was verified).

So the client responded to the email list provider highlighting this fact and didn’t hear anything back afterwards.

Blatant lies from that provider of data (please do feel free to ask us who the provider company was!).

So what can you do to have the best chance of good quality data?  Here are some tips …

  1. Ask any data provider for a good sized sample of data, including all fields such as email address, postal location, phone number etc.  If they want your business enough and are confident enough in their data, then they should supply that to you.
  2. Look through the data to see if there are any contacts you recognise and then assess whether the data is accurate.
  3. If you don’t recognise any of the contacts, enter some of the company or individual names into LinkedIn and see if you have any connections to them.  Then ask the connections between you and those people to give you a viewpoint on the data accuracy.
  4. If you find data inaccuracies then ask the email data provider for confirmation of how old the data is.   If they claim that it’s regularly checked then you’ll know to avoid that provider of data (unless they’re going to give you a really good deal of course).

Can you still gain leads/business from an email list that has many entries that are out-of-date?  Yes you can – as long as your email marketing campaign is strong enough to capitalise on all the ‘good’ ones on the list.    However, your chances of success are higher in the first place if you properly assess the quality of data from the potential supplier.

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