Why there are no wins to be had from using purchased data

5 minute read

Permission Marketing is a very powerful tool when used correctly and for this, great quality data is key. Every business would like a great customer base from the get-go, but building your contacts can take time. You might think the quick option to building your database is to ‘acquire’, or let’s be honest, buy a database. Well hold on there!

What is permission marketing?

We like to think the permission marketing ethos is pretty clear – communication should be with those who have ‘raised their hand’ and requested to hear more from your brand. Subscribers may have:

  • signed up or subscribed via a data capture form to receive your mailings
  • been a recent customer
  • asked to receive regular mailings from you

With the above in mind, you will get a much better return on your investment by contacting those who have already shown an interest in your brand, rather than trying to force your way into the inboxes of those that have never heard of you and have no interest in you. Sorry to be a killjoy, but it’s actually illegal to send mailings to people who haven’t directly given you their permission.

Why purchased data shouldn’t be used for permission marketing

While purchasing data to gain new leads isn’t a new concept, this kind of data should not be used for bulk mailings. Purchasing or renting data from companies or data brokers and using it for email marketing is against the law, as the individuals have not opted in directly to your company. On top of this, you have no idea of the quality or origin of the data, so the data could be:

  • false
  • inactive or out-of-date
  • spamtraps
  • gathered via robotic email harvesting methods that scour the Internet for text containing ‘@’
  • gathered from surveys or competitions via online banner ads

All in all, the data could have come from anywhere at any time, and not be of any relevance to your product or target market. Not only will you be wasting money by buying and then sending to poor data, you also run a much greater risk of damaging your delivery reputation, your brand reputation and even incurring legal action.

On many occasions we have heard “the data company told me it was an opt-in list, so why can’t I use it for marketing mailings?” Although these addresses may have opted in to someone at some point down the line, they haven’t opted in to hear from you, so again there is nothing opt-in about this data.

Why third-party data shouldn’t be used for permission marketing

Third-party data follows the same principles as purchased data. The data has been given to you by someone else so there’s been no opt-in process to your company. At Sign-Up.to we don’t allow the use of third-party lists as we don’t believe that consent is transferable between organisations. The same theory applies to swapping data with other companies in return for their business or taking data with you to your next place of employment when you leave a company. If you ever have personal contacts that you want to take with you to your next company, get in touch with them and ask if they are interested in hearing from your new company.

For great quality data, grow your database organically

There are so many ways to gather great permission based data yourself, be it via subscription forms on your website or social media channels, by offering incentives or even via text-in services.

Growing your database organically really is the only answer to effectively building your subscriber base. Purchased or third-party data is a no-go area; it will waste your money, ruin your reputation and leave you in the dog house. If you are ever unsure about your data or if you would like any tips or advice on how to gain new subscribers, please do get in touch.