Marketing Lists FAQs Part 1
There are several questions I get asked when talking to people about Marketing Lists, so I thought I’d share them with you, along with my answers. See next week for part 2 of 2 …
What is Direct Marketing?
Direct Marketing is the method of making direct contact with existing and potential customers, to promote your products and services, events etc. There are a variety of different channels to make direct contact, including direct mail, telephone marketing, text messaging, email marketing, face to face, to name but a few.
What are Marketing Lists?
Marketing lists are exactly what their name suggests – lists of names and contact details relating to businesses and individuals, to be used for marketing. This could include your own list of your existing clients, or it could be a list that you have purchased.
How are Marketing Lists created?
There are many ways lists are compiled. Contributing sources of lists include the likes of business directories, telephone research lists, trade attendees, warranty registrations, membership lists, consumer surveys and many more.
Can I use Purchased or Rented Marketing Lists legally?
Yes. However, you need to take care to ensure that any data purchased has been collected and screened in accordance with the latest legislation and that you are satisfied that the list owner has all the correct permissions and opt-ins in place.
Unfortunately, due to the ease of data collection / harvesting via the internet, there are still vast amounts of illegal data being offered by less-than-reputable parties. As a rule of thumb, if the price of a Marketing List seems too good to be true, it probably is. For example, beware of one-off offers of “1 million records for £500” as it would cost significantly more than that for a reputable company to obtain, screen, clean and gather opt-ins for such an amount of data. As such, it is likely to be out of date, non-compliant and possibly therefore illegal.
How Accurate are Purchased Marketing Lists?
If you purchase from a reputable supplier, the data quality ought to be very good. However, as with anything, the quality of lists available in the market place varies.
We recommend you purchase data which is no older than 12 months. Furthermore, check that your supplier will replace any out-of-date records before making your purchase – a supplier who believes in the quality of their data ought to offer such assurances.
One thing is for sure, you need to be certain of the data’s accuracy, as this is an extremely important element to the success of your campaign.
How are Marketing Lists maintained?
Telephone verification is the main way list owners update their files, though it may also be a case of a new enquiry, a survey or a new order. In addition, monthly matching to industry standard files is also carried out i.e. Companies House, BT Osis, plus the Deceased and Gone Away files, to name few.
Please bear in mind that no marketing list is likely to be 100% clean, since people and businesses are constantly changing. People move house, change jobs, companies close down … You need probably look no further than your own customer list to see that! As such, there are accepted industry tolerances for these inaccuracies and 5% tolerances tends to be the acceptable limit.
How specific can Business Marketing lists be?
Depending on the list, you can make very specific selections, though each list has its own pros and cons:
Standard business selections include Industry, Number of employees and Geographical location. Certain lists then offer different job titles within the company i.e. Senior named contact, Finance, Sales, Marketing, HR Training, to name but a few.
There are also some very specific databases available, such as the Importers and Exporters Database, the Travel Buyers Database, the Fleet Database (contains companies that have a fleet of cars, vans or trucks), Hotel database etc. Remember though, the more specific a database is, the more likely it is that it will be priced at a premium.
How specific can Consumer Marketing lists be?
There are many selections available within Consumer Lists – everything from standard demographics such as age, income and geography through to home owner status, hobbies and interests.
With both consumer and business marketing lists, we recommend your starting point is your absolute ideal prospect – from that, we can advise what you can and can’t have, so you can make an informed decision about your purchase.