I can tell it’s the New Year because we’ve been inundated with database offers for half-price lists, discounts to buy early, and incentives to share information. I’m sure you have been, too.
Sounds good, right? Upon closer inspection, maybe not. Here are three things to look for when purchasing an email database:
1. Source: You want to engage with a domestic company, even if your market is international. Foreign companies are not held to the same standards (CAN-SPAM) that US companies are, and therefore are more likely to operate on the fringes of US ethical standards. You want to maintain your internet reputation as well as your company’s values. A clue to knowing where the company is based: read the website and look for grammatical and syntax errors (you don’t have to be an English major to spot them).
2. Verification: Have the emails been verified (recently) to ensure that the record is deliverable? Some database sources openly admit that records have not been updated since 2007. In this economy, people change jobs almost as often as they change clothes, so make sure that the most recent update has been performed, well, recently; ideally, within 7 days of the list purchase.
3. Segmentation: You know your prospects best. Make sure that the database includes prospects in your market – industry type, revenue, geography, employees, and any other demographic descriptors you can identify to drill down your list. A list full of prospects who aren’t interested in your business won’t do you any good, no matter how cheap it is.
And, as a business mentor told me, there should be no reason to discount your service – if it’s a high quality service. Don’t accept less than the value of your product. Remember, you get what you pay for.