Many contact database vendors selling targeted email lists will spend plenty of time and effort trying to win your business: showing you videos, offering demos, and making big claims about their solution.
There’s nothing wrong with a company educating its prospects, but as a business owner or sales leader, you’ve still got to think carefully before buying a list of email contacts. Asking questions of your prospective vendor is one of the best ways to determine which database is right for you. We’ve identified seven of the most important things to inquire about before you buy a list of contacts:
What is the source of your data?
A lead gen company’s source for contact data must be reasonably aligned with your target customer. If you are selling to medical companies, a list of people with A+ Certification probably isn’t the best source for data.
How do you define a duplicate entry?
Not only is it embarrassing to reach out to the same person twice, but it can also damage your reputation. Some companies allow for duplicate records for personal and work addresses, so make sure you know whether or not you might run into the same person on one list.
Do I get a copy of the list?
Some companies don’t allow customers to download and edit their email lists, only allowing access to a proprietary online portal. The type of access you have to your email list could affect how it integrates into an existing sales process.
When was the entire database last contacted via email?
The best email list vendors test their data frequently to determine its accuracy. They will have an idea of what percentage of their correspondence received a hard bounce, what percentage received a soft bounce, and what percentage was able to transmit.
Do you include catch-all or web-based email addresses?
Catch-all addresses like “sales@[company].com” are an easy way to get your email outreach marked as spam: it’s never a good idea to send to them. Some people use web-based email addresses for professional reasons, but these are primarily personal addresses and should be excluded from professional contact lists.
What supporting fields do you provide?
An email address is great, but by itself, it doesn’t mean much. There should also be supporting information that can help you verify that the contact is who the list claims they are – a phone number, job title, etc. Lists that only contain email addresses are harder to use effectively for sales and marketing outreach.
- How often is the list updated?
This question determines whether you have an ongoing or a “one-and-done” type of relationship with your email list vendor. If the list is never updated, there’s no reason to continue purchasing from them.
As you choose which targeted email lists to purchase, be sure to consider the quality of the vendor and the data they offer. The best email lists are accurate and extensive enough to help you take your online sales efforts to the next level.
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