How To Ensure Buying Data Gets The Results You Need
Over the years, many customers, contacts and delegates have asked questions about how best to buy telemarketing data for outbound campaigns or similar activities like e-mail marketing.
Brilliant telemarketing data is a fundamental part of our business, we tend to buy more than most companies and with the data we acquire on behalf of our customers on top, it’s a lot of records to say the least!
Here are some of the tips we give our customers when they are sourcing quality data for their campaigns.
Your Campaign – 3 Fundamental Questions
Prior to finding a data supplier, it’s always worth asking yourself three fundamental questions. They help ensure the data you acquire can be used to fulfill all of your requirements and the results expected will be clear in your mind.
1) How are you going to use it?
It may be needless to say, but having a clear understanding of how the data will be used is paramount. When purchasing a contact database for Telemarketing or E-mail campaigns, you need to check what base information is provided with each record.
Additional information such as telephone numbers, fax numbers or email addresses may not be included so you should always be thorough with your specification and make sure this information is included on all records when they run the data count.
2) What do you actually need?
Generic databases have lower base rates compared to highly qualified telemarketing databases with in-depth company and contact information such as IT Infrastructure, fleet information (e.g. Number of vehicles) or Financial information (e.g. Turnover & Profit Margins).
The standard rates of a database should be considered alongside any additional database costs such as selection fees or minimum order value. Make sure you research these as it can affect how far your overall budget will go.
Costs will fluctuate according to the type of selections, information provided and size of database so make sure you’re not paying for more information than your business needs. If there are more records than you need available with your specific criteria, refine again where possible to get the most relevant records from the selection available.
3) How frequently will you contact the database?
Databases are typically sold with different licenses. Be aware of this. Your database costs vary dependent on the number of times you want to use it.
If you plan to use the database more that once, play it safe and make sure you enquire as to what type of license you’ll need to purchase. The most common licenses you’ll come across in the quest to find the right data are:
- One-off campaign use – mail plus telephone numbers
- Limited time multiple use – use as many times as needed within a certain time frame
- Eternal use – use the data as many times as need without a time limitation.
Building a Database Profile
Look at your Customers, Pipeline, Prospects & Competitors
These areas will give you a good insight into the types of companies that you have found success selling to in the past.
You should be looking at key criteria such as geographic location, company size, industry sectors but most importantly the job titles of the Key Decision Making Contacts you’ve dealt with in the past. This helps ensure you’re at the right authority level with the records you purchase.
Now you’ve done your market and customer research, which should have been easily available in your CRM, you should have a good idea of the kind of organisations and their relevant attributes you’re looking for.
There are essentially, four key areas to consider first when choosing data:
1) Target Industries
2) Target Geography
3) Target Company Size
4) Target Decision Makers
Now more than ever, it is mission-critical to ensure the data you use is of the highest quality. Anything less means you risk jeopardising the success of your whole campaign.
Attempting to contact businesses that have closed, or personnel that are no longer there, simply reduces response rates and eats in to your return on investment.
As a telemarketing company, data is essentially the fuel that the engine burns when we’re doing our appointment setting and lead generation campaigns. The quality of our data has a direct link to the overall performance of the business.
The perfect marketing database would allow you to reach every single contact on your list, but due to various factors, this rarely happens. Far too often, campaigns customers are supplied substandard lists where as many as 25% of the contacts listed will be incorrect.
In today’s economy, any investment we make needs to produce good returns, so here’s some tips to help you minimise your risks and get the best returns from purchasing calling data for your business.
Always ask these key questions:
How is your data collected?
If you don’t get an answer that fills you with confidence – don’t proceed. Really what you want be hearing is that they have regular telephone contact with their databases to keep them fresh as opposed to contactless web harvesting.
How is your data kept up to date?
Certain types of data like trade show lists etc are rarely updated after acquisition and web harvested data is often inaccurate due to people inputting exaggerated information in order to obtain something.
What you want to hear in this instance is that the companies you’re dealing with have proper contact cycles in place that should preferably be conducted by phone.
How old is the data?
Most data companies claim that their information is updated on a daily basis. Although this statement is correct it can be misleading with the actual age of marketing data varying considerably from 6 months to a whopping 3 years.
Ask the average age of the database taking into consideration the types of businesses and contacts you will be targeting and you will be able to ensure that the oldest record supplied will still be relevant to you.
What you really want to be hearing is an average record age of 6 months or less. (Ensure the figure they give is the average age, not the age of the last updated record!)
Data is valuable
Be wary of companies offering heavy or regular discounts. It’s worth noting that like the rest of us, these companies are subject to economic pressure that can affect the quality of their product. You also tend to get what you pay for in this market.
Is their money where their mouth is?
Most reputable data companies will offer a full refund on all dead records or ‘Gone-Aways’. Some even offer a 2 4 1. Look out for companies who make bold statements regarding their quality by guaranteeing you replacements or refunds on these records. Again, if the company isn’t filling you with confidence that they’ll do this, and they’ll do it willingly if necessarily, don’t proceed.
So there it is, some basic guidelines to keep you on the right tracks and help you ensure you can get the results you need when buying telemarketing data. We’re fortunate that due to our purchasing volumes, we’re able to access below market rates for our customers. If you have a a requirement for well specified data, we can probably help. Just give us a call to find out!
With thanks to our friends the team at Corpdata, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of quality data for insights into buying telemarketing data that generates the results you need.
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