Buying marketing lists often is considered after the rest of the marketing campaign is prepped, yet using wrong data will result in your campaign failing.

Below I have given my top tips on how to buy the best marketing list for you.

1)   How is the data collected & updated

Commercial lists are built using various methods, with varying degrees of quality.  Where this data comes from, as well as how it’s collated is integral to the quality of the list.

When you are talking to a list provider, they should be able to tell you where the data is sourced, and how it is then subsequently updated and managed.  The more detail a data supplier can give you about the list, the more likely the list is reputable.

2) Is the list fully compliant with the law and industry regulations?

When you purchase or rent a list it needs to be legally compliant, and it is YOUR responsibility to make sure you adhere to the law.

The laws ruling data use are becoming stricter, punishments harsher & ignorance of the law is not a defence.  Some of the laws that will affect you are:

Data Protection Act 1998 - The 8 Principles

3) Select the data the way you want

A list is not a fixed product, it should be tailored to fit your needs.  Selecting a list that lets you target your specific audience will ensure your marketing is to the right person.

Depending on the database possible selections will vary, but some of the more common ones are:

B2B (business) lists generally available selections include, industry, company size by number of employees or turnover, job title / function, geography.  Much more specific selections can be found in more niche databases.

B2C (consumer) lists have a wider variety of selections but some standards selections include age, gender, geography, income, marital status, number of children.  There are hundreds of more detail selections available on specific databases such as hobbies, holiday information, interests, shopping habits, insurance renewals, vehicle information and many more.

If you cannot target the list the way you want, maybe that particular database is not the right one for you.

4) Straightforward advice and detailed answers

A reputable list provider should know all about the databases they sell and be able to provide you with specific & clear answers to all of your questions.

If you feel that the provider is been vague or elusive, that is a red flag that maybe all is not as it seems.

5) Question and discussing your needs

For a data provider to recommend a database or which selections to use, they need to have a good understanding of your products / services & your business objectives.

If they have not taken the time to discuss these things and show no interest in understanding more, then how can they offer legitimate advice and provide the tailored list that you need?

Even if two data providers had exactly the same database, it is the expertise of the provider that will get you the list that you need.

6) Data Usage

Commercial lists are an asset that data provider’s invest thousands of pounds on to ensure that they are continually cleaned and updated.  As such lists are generally sold as rental allowing for a certain number of uses normally on a per channel basis or on a strict time limit.  This method of renting allows the data owner to maintain some control over the amount of times that data is used, stops the data from being abused and ensuring it’s responsiveness.

If you are offered a list for outright purchase this should raise questions as to the lists quality, and the provider’s credibility.

7) Does it sound too good to be true

When your data provider offers you a price, does it seem too good to be true?  How is it possible that they could offer the list at this price?

Data costs a lot of money to maintain with an estimated database decay rate of 25-30% per year.  This take constant investment in the data to keep the data accurate, legal and to grow to compensate for lost and changed records.

These providers will offer many explanations, but the simple answer is you get what you pay for in the data industry and that amazing offer will cost you more in the long run.

7 Steps For Buying The Perfect Marketing List
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7 Steps For Buying The Perfect Marketing List
Purchasing data for marketing your business can define the end result. This is a quick guide on what to look for to get the best data for your needs.
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