Data On Large, Dynamic Companies Needs Updating More Frequently

I have always accepted the industry standard that business-to-business data decays at a rate of 30% a year and good sceptic that I am, assumed that the data industry was talking this up to encourage repeat orders.

Last week, we were pricing a list research project for a client and we happened to put this to the test.

We took a data file from June 2013, ran the exact same search again, compared the two files and found that 50% of the records had changed. Whether this was companies moving offices, email address changes, new phone numbers and most often, people switching jobs, we found that over the course of a year, this file of Electric Marketing data had decayed at a rate of 50%. Can’t be right (there’s that sceptic again), so we tested another, larger file of data. Same result. We tested a third file. Same result.

Why are we so far off the industry standard?

Theory One: the industry standard has not been tested since before the dawn of email. Email addresses are changed more frequently than postal addresses and these are pushing the rate of decay up from 30% to 50%. This was my first thought but I reckon that our more profit-focused competitors will have tested their rate of data decay within the last 12 years and I assume found no change in the rate of 30% data decay.

Theory Two: The focus of Electric Marketing email data is on large, dynamic businesses where staff are promoted and switch jobs more frequently; where merger and acquisition activity makes for more office moves, company name changes and email address changes.  Dynamic companies where change is frequent make good sales prospects as they are receptive to new ideas and changing suppliers.

Theory Three: 30% is an industry average which would include all the micro-businesses employing under 5 people. They are characterised by people setting up a business and running it for 30 years until they retire; change in these businesses runs at a slower pace – they may still be dynamic businesses but the contact details for the MD are likely to remain static for longer periods. These small businesses are not included on Electric Marketing’s datafile.

Theory Four: The changes to our data included all the new managers and directors we had added to the data file over the year. Our cycle of updating and researching new names is more aggressive than other data providers.

So the bad news is that if you bought a file of data from Electric Marketing in summer 2013, half of it is probably incorrect. And this likely applies to any data you hold on large businesses.

If you’d like to fix this, Electric Marketing offers 50% discount on any list which you have bought within the last 12 months. But if you are reading this thinking about buying new data, consider our LeadStream service where we alert you to changes in email addresses on your datafile and send you new contacts that we’ve added to your datafile every month. See http://www.electricmarketing.co.uk/leadstream.html

Should I Buy An Email List? | When Buying an Email List is the Right Thing For Your Company

It is not hard to find a business which has had a bad experience of buying an email list. And there are plenty of bloggers who preach building your own email list organically by getting people to sign up on your website. This is good eMarketing practice but building a sizeable list of clients, prospects and interested parties can take years.

If you aren’t sure whether buying an email list is right for your company, ask yourself if your business fits into any of these categories.

Your business is a new start up with a handful of happy customers and you want to find more customers. Quickly.

Your business is an established business which has surplus stock or unexpected spare capacity to take on new work.

Your business is looking at expanding into new markets eg a conference company runs events on HR issues is moving sideways into conferences on health & safety. The company sells places at the new conference to its existing client base of HR managers and wants to tell health & safety managers about the conference too. The company buys list of email addresses of health and safety managers.

Your business has ambitious growth targets and wants to expand. Companies which use email marketing lists include Google, IBM, HP, Oracle, Dell, Fujitsu.

Email lists and mailing lists are essential for businesses which want to attract new customers. For a small business or a start up, email marketing is the cheapest way to tell more people about your business.

You need not buy a million email addresses and overload yourself and your email server. Email marketing, like direct marketing* can be done in small, manageable chunks. A good email list provider will not insist that you buy the entire list at once. You can start out with a campaign to 500 or 1,000 email addresses. Take it steady while you learn what sort of emails work for your business and your marketplace.

If you have not bought email lists before, read our handy guide to the basics of sourcing an email list from a reliable company and avoiding the email list cowboys.

 

 

*for younger readers, direct marketing was widely practised in the last century and involved marketing using leaflets, envelopes and postage stamps.