Beware Of The Dog

happydogA trend I’ve noticed of late is an increase in the number of prospects coming to us with large lists of purchased email data they are anxious to start emailing to.

Some marketers are being offered huge 3rd party prospect lists very, very cheaply by data suppliers and they’re looking to send to these contacts equally cheaply.

What I am wondering is… how far is the credit crunch impacting on businesses like these that are looking for very cheap data? And how far is it impacting on the suppliers – the list sellers and email service providers?

At dotMailer, we’ve found that marketers have maintained if not increased their digital and email marketing budgets in the face of the recession – because the trackability and ROIs they get from online channels are so much better than those from traditional marketing.

But are there some companies feeling the squeeze so tightly that they are ignoring all industry best practice advice about the data they send to?

Are data companies selling data at a massively reduced rate just to survive? And are some ESPs sending any emails, to any data, at any cost – just to try and keep their heads above water – regardless of the effects on their sender reputation? (I’ve noticed a number of ESPs tell their clients that they have been blocked by the regulators these last couple of months – not dotMailer of course!).

Here at dotMailer, we carefully monitor all the data uploaded to our system using our Data Watchdog tool.

The Watchdog makes use of a complex set of algorithms to determine whether the data that a client is loading is ‘bad data’ – at which point the watchdog starts barking, and we contact the client to discuss the data they are using.

We also require our clients to accept terms and conditions that ensure they are only sending legitimate emails that comply with current regulations and codes of best practice.

Times are hard out there, and it could be that some businesses are seeking cheap data and cheap email marketing as a short term, last ditch attempt to make enough sales to stay afloat and avoid administration.

The conclusion to all my questions? Beware email data and email service providers selling off their products and services at reduced rates, and abandoning best practice – just to maximise their short term turnover.

Make sure you check out the state of their financials before engaging with them and be sure that they have your long term business well-being as a priority, as opposed to their own short term survival.

Remember too that it’ s not always ‘the size of your list, it’s how you use it’. Here at dotMailer we like to talk about ‘narrowcasting’ rather than broadcasting, and to show you how targeting your emails for relevance will drive and delivers results and ROI.

In short – choose your email suppliers wisely and not just on price.

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