Cheap imitations taint the industry

Cheap imitations taint the industry

In recent years there have always been a few self-titled “data companies” who focus their efforts on supplying an extremely large amount of UK B2B email data at a ridiculously low price. These are known to most list brokers and avoided like the plague…

These files tend to be offered along the lines of “1 million emails for £399” or similar and are promoted extensively across the internet. Instead of this being a benefit of economies of scale, it relates to purchasing a bulk batch of very low quality data. As an indication the best performing UK B2B lists tend to include 250k-850k emails for all UK, and include around 75% personal emails and 25% generic.

At this price level in the real world, the actual number of recently verified and reliable opt-in B2B email leads you’d expect to receive is around 2000-4000. Certainly not one million!

These rogue companies tend to operate with questionable credentials and websites without any company address or contact details. Additional alarm bells ring if the businesses are being run from a gmail or yahoo etc email account, who seem to amass huge amounts of data overnight.

Traditionally there were only a handful of these types of list provider in the UK, but recently it seems they have been multiplying at a very fast pace, and ramping up their online advertising.

Unfortunately we are hearing more instances of companies being tempted with these offers, and subsequently being left with a number of problems, instead of a number of enquiries.

There are several issues with these “pile it high and sell it cheap” lists, including a distinct lack of compliance, quality control, opt-in permissions and data integrity. The lack of variables available such as company size and sector types, job roles, site types etc means the data can’t be manipulated for a targeted approach, and users are restricted to a “carpet-bombing” mass-marketing approach.

Empty promises are often given in terms of accuracy rates, validation procedures etc, but unfortunately as many clients find out to their cost, bounce rates are extremely high and the data includes a high proportion of info@, enquiries@ generic emails. A recent client complained of having to deal with significantly more complaints than enquiries generated, and experienced a 25% bounce rate.

Many of these rogue list compliers state their data has been collected via varying methods, publicly available sources, online research and “third party” feeds etc. This means in reality the data has very rarely been obtained legally and is essentially a SPAM list.

Using this type of database has several negative impacts on a company’s reputation and project conversion rates. They also create an increase in negative opinions towards e-mail marketing and data providers as a whole – which taints the direct marketing industry and dilutes the email channel as a viable route to market for many products and services.

The main points to be observed when sourcing data for email marketing projects include:

Data needs to be opted-in. B2B email data we supply has been “double-opted-in”, initially verified via telephone then with a follow-up email sent to the prospect, informing the contact they are on a marketing list, with the opportunity to remove their details if this isn’t suitable. All intelligence is re-verified in at least a 12-monthly rolling cycle. This is a costly and time-consuming process, but a minimum requirement for reliable UK email data, worthy of your marketing communications.

Enquire about collection methods, how the data is validated, if calls are recorded, if records are kept that prove the emails have been acquired legally. If still in doubt request a random sample and perform due-diligence checks on the data integrity.

Email addresses need to be associated with the right contact. Sending emails to info@, sales@ addresses produce extremely diminished returns. Especially if marked for the attention of someone who left the business 3 years ago, or without any contact point.

Intelligence needs to be obtained from reputable sources that can provide ongoing customer service and advice in terms of how to maximize response rates. Also to assist you in the rare occasion a complaint is received, or a prospect requests to be removed from the master list with immediate effect.

Please help us rid the industry of these rogue data traders who are trying to make a quick buck at the expense of innocent businesses, and wasting already stretched marketing budgets.

A couple of clichés spring to mind “if you buy too cheap you buy twice” and “quality not quantity”….!
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