Your Data Purchase could be the start of something beautiful for your business, especially if it’s used correctly. Ensuring you get the most out of it begins even before your purchase, though continues way afterwards too.

We regularly preach that the most successful campaigns are those which deliver the Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time.

Here are a few tips based on our experience and feedback from our clients, that we hope will help you to maximise your Data Purchase.

Part 1 focuses on the pre Data Purchase considerations, whereas part 2 is about what to do with your data once purchased.

Get Your Target Market Right

This may sound obvious to some, so apologies if you’re one of those. However, for many, targeting the right audience can be a real minefield.

A reasonable starting point is to ask yourself “Do I know my current client demographic?” Don’t be afraid to say no, because there are plenty out there who would say yes and be way off the mark. Think about what industries you have a good success rate in, what size of companies you attract and in what part of the country. Is there anybody specific within a company that you’re better off targeting, such as the HR manager, Head of IT, or simply the most Senior Decision Maker?

Once you know this, think about how to expand within that demographic – i.e. if you’ve got good penetration in the Midlands, is there more you can do here? If you’re hot in Manufacturing, look to contact other manufacturing companies that you haven’t yet contacted.

Next, think about how you can take that knowledge of your demographic and broaden your horizons. If your products work for printing companies and you have Yorkshire sewn up, how’s about crossing the border into Lancashire (I know, scary huh! LOL), or Northumberland? You get the drift.

What Channels Should I Consider?

For the purpose of this article, I will focus on mailshots, email broadcasting and telemarketing, although other channels do exist.

Choose your Contact Channels Wisely

Firstly, think about your target audience. To give you a very simple example, there is a much higher percentage of young people than old who use the internet, therefore, is an email broadcast the right way to contact the older generation?

Think about your product or service. A mailshot would be a great way for a printer to get their message across, for example, since the recipient would have evidence of the end product.

Telemarketing is a fantastic tool, though if your target audience is professionals and you intend to call during the day, what percentage are going to be at home to take the call?

A prolonged campaign could involve multiple channels and this approach continues to prove extremely successful for many of our clients.

How many records should I buy?

Assuming you have the budget taken care of, then volume of records needs careful consideration. For example, it’s pointless purchasing 10,000 telephone records if there’s going to be you, you and only you making calls. Similarly, a Data Purchase of just 100 records when you have 10 people ready to start calling is nowhere near enough.

How many records?

With mailshots, you need to consider the additional costs of printing and postage and, as with emails, the likely response rate. Making telephone calls out is likely to generate a steady influx of work, whereas a bulk mailshot or a bulk email broadcast can bring a sudden influx of enquiries in a very short space of time. Assuming the campaign works well, can you handle receiving a high volume of enquiries all at once?

Also consider whether or not you are able to exclude any existing clients. It’s pointless buying records you already own, so if you do have a client list already, find out if you are able to exclude those from your purchase. Note, whilst this may be possible before your purchase, it’s unlikely to be possible afterwards. Data Bubble does offer this service for all databases and it is completely free of charge.

What type of licence should I go for?

By this, I mean how many times do you intend to use the data?

Most business data licences are sold on a 12 month multiple use basis. In other words, you can use the data several times in one year. This is great in that it allows you to make repeated attempts to persuade your prospect to get in touch and, hopefully, buy from you. That said, if you intend to issue just one mailshot, a multiple use licence, which is likely to be more expensive than a single use licence (if single use is an option – not all data has this option), would be largely wasted on the campaign. If one use would suffice, make sure to ask if this is an option.

How seriously is data security taken?

On the subject of security, it is worth finding out how seriously data security is taken by your supplier. Ask how data is transferred to (and from) you? Do they simply send it by email, or do they use a safe and secure file transfer system, such as an FTP site? Email is not secure in itself and whilst encrypting emails or password protecting spreadsheets adds a barrier, there are far more secure ways of transferring data.

This ought to play a major part in anyone’s decision when it comes to purchasing data so ask the question regarding the data transfer process. There has been a lot of publicity recently about security breaches with regard to data – data hacking, data loss and processes to protect from such incidences are increasingly under the spotlight. You don’t want to find that you become a victim, as you have responsibilities for ensuring you retain data in a secure manner just as much as your data supplier does.

We use a secure file transfer process which allows us to both send data to and receive data from our clients. This avoids sending spreadsheets by email and thus removes any fear of loss, mis-sending or interception.

Is the data compliant?

Finally, compliance is a big thing for us and ought to be for you too. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is becoming increasingly tough on companies that flout the laws (not just the suppliers, but those who use marketing data too) and regulations regarding the Data Protection Act (DPA), the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and registers such as the Mail Preference Service (MPS),Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS).

Firstly, ensure that the data is opted in for third party marketing. This applies to all marketing data – postal, telephone and emails – so don’t be fooled by anyone who claims that an opt-in isn’t required.

Secondly, if conducting telephone calls, ensure the data has been screened against the TPS / CTPS registers.

Thirdly, whilst not essential, it’s a good guide to make your Data Purchase from somebody who is a member of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). This gives further assurances as to the data’s provenance by virtue of their need to adhere to the DMA’s code of conduct.


Joanne Clayton

If you are looking for new customers, I can help.

I help companies to get more new business by providing Business Data for Direct Marketing campaigns such as Postal, Telemarketing & Email broadcasting campaigns.

If you need any information, call me on 01274 965411 or visit

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