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Why invest in data? - Sarah Eglington February 2013

Whether you are undertaking a market research project or a multichannel marketing campaign, identifying and reaching the right customers will be critical to your business's ongoing success. So where do you get the contacts from that you need to compile a high quality, targeted list?
You could use internal sources to compile a list of both existing and prospective customers, but need to consider the amount of time and resource that you’d need to do this comprehensively to start with, and then potentially on an ongoing basis to keep it up-to-date. Putting together a list of viable prospects and ensuring that information about them is accurate and relevant, can be a time-consuming and daunting task. Inaccurate data, as well as limited list filtering and segmentation, all negatively impact a campaign's response rates.
40%* of business data decays every year through contacts moving or telephone numbers and addresses changing and far too often campaigns are sent to substandard lists.  With the postage increase last year and shrinking marketing budgets in the tough financial climate, we all want to see a better return on our investment and now is not the time to waste print and postal budget, valuable time or energy on poor quality data. By investing in third party data lists you can:
  • Get the most up-to-date, accurate and verified contact information
  • Find new customers and prospects to grow your business
  • Target specific customer groups using  a variety of selection criteria
  • Fuel your call and telemarketing campaigns with fresh leads
  • Save valuable time and money
  • Achieve high response rates and low return rates
  • Get the best results for your marketing spend.
The overall success of your campaign will depend on factors other than data, such as the effectiveness of your message, marketing collateral and strategy. However, using a third-party data provider can often improve the chances of success, and you may even get some tips for getting the most from your campaigns!
What to consider when purchasing data?
You need to know the data you buy is up-to-date, correctly targeted and legal so there are some important points to consider when buying and using third party data:
  • Explain your product/service to the data provider. The more they know about your product/service the more likely they can recommend mailing list segments that you’ve not considered and provide a targeted dataset that suits your exact requirements and budget
  • Ask the data provider how often they update and cleanse their lists; outdated lists will cost you money
  • A reliable data provider will use their own in-house research team to regularly verify and update their contact information
  • How is the data sourced? Do they have close relations or work in partnership with major organisations within their industry? A supplier should always be able to tell you how their data is collected
  • Don’t be fooled by cheap mailing lists, cheaper sometimes means you are buying out-of-date data.  If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
  • Whilst ‘money-back’ schemes appear attractive, they mean the supplier is concerned about their return rates
  • Are they Data Protection compliant? A company that acts in accordance with legislation is a company that values and protects the integrity of its data
  • If you are looking to purchase email addresses check to see if the supplier offers a managed e-communications service under a signed license agreement. They are more likely to pride themselves on protecting their email addresses against misuse or overuse.  It is because of this that they are seen as a trusted and reliable source of information and why people are happy to give them their email addresses to use
  • Know how you can use the data and make sure that you abide by the terms and conditions. Have you purchased the data for one-off use or under an annual licensing agreement? Some data providers include sleeper names and organisations in their data as a means of monitoring quality, usage and safeguarding against misuse
  • Do they offer any additional services to help facilitate your mailing campaigns? Some providers offer mailing and fulfillment services covering full campaign management, from targeting and segmentation, to response handling and data capture. Plus, because of the large volumes of mailings they can do, you can benefit from postal discounts up to 30%!
So, why invest in data? The answer is simple, paying for high quality data will improve the accuracy of your data, drive marketing activity, save you money in the long-run and maximise your ROI. 
*Source: Marketing Week
If you want to find out how Binley's can help you with your data or mailing list requirements then speak to one of our Database Team on 01268 495600 or email

Press contact:
Marketing Department E: T: 01268 495600

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