If you’re thinking about buying data, here are a few pointers to help….
Is a data count free of charge?
A data count should always be free of charge. For a B2B data count you will need to identify the geographical area, industry sectors, numbers of employees/turnover, and the type of contact you need (ie MD, senior decision maker etc). For B2C you will need to identify the geographical area, household income, whether there are any children, and whether you require phone numbers/email addresses. In addition there may be other filters that you need, car ownership etc. Once you have your ‘wish list’ then a data count can be compiled.
There are 3 ways to obtain data; single use (ie one time use only), outright purchase and multiple use. Single use is very restricted, you can only contact prospects once, either by phone or email or mail, so it might look cheaper but it’s not much use. Outright purchase is massively expensive and then you have the problems of ownership of the database, keeping it up to date etc. For most companies that are looking to buy data, multiple use is by far the best option. Multiple use enables you to contact prospects many times by phone, email, mail etc, although there is usually a maximum of 12 contacts by email broadcast so you need to be aware of that.
Minimum orders and samples
For B2B data the minimum orders range from 500-2000 records dependent on the provider. You should be able to request a free sample of around 20 records. For B2C data the minimum order is usually 5000 records and samples are generally not available.Expiry dates and ‘seeds’
Expiry dates and ‘seeds’
All data comes with an expiry date. It’s important that you don’t order more records than you can handle because technically speaking you won’t be able to use them beyond the expiry date. How does the data provider know if you break the rules? They plant ‘seeds’ into the data and monitor these ‘seeds’ which will be flagged if the terms of the data purchase is breached.
It’s vital that you get written accuracy guarantees. With B2B data look for 98% accuracy for postal addresses and CTPS telephone numbers and 95% accuracy on email addresses. With B2C look for a 95% accuracy guarantee for postal, email and TPS telephone contact.
Refunds and exchanges
If the data does not reach the accuracy guarantee levels then there should be a refund or exchange policy in position so that you receive replacement records. You will need to provide documentary evidence in support.
What is TPS and CTPS?
The TPS is the Telephone Preference Service which is a register of UK residential telephone numbers for consumers who do not want to be marketed to by phone. Anyone can register for free and it’s a one time registration. The CTPS (Corporate Telephone Preference Service) is a register of businesses that do not wish to receive marketing calls. Again it’s free to register, but the registration only lasts for one year and then companies would need to re-register.
How regularly is the file worked?
This is a really important question. The last thing you need is to buy data and find that all the prospects have been contacted dozens of times about the same subject and are totally resistant to your approach.
Your new purchased data might not comply with your email broadcast platform, eg you can’t email broadcast to purchased data using Mailchimp so it’s definitely worth checking out.
Find out what enhanced data options might be available. With B2B data you might want to speak to HR managers or IT managers so it’s worth checking to see how close you can get to the right prospect, it will save a lot of time.
Hope this all helps, please get in touch if you have any specific questions.