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When a data offer is too good to be true

June 6, 2012

Alarm bells always start ringing when a potential client comes to me saying, "I’ve bought a million email addresses for £600 – can I use Extravision to send a campaign?"
For one I can’t believe there are data brokers out there who are willing to rip people off by selling such a large amount of data at such a ridiculous price. Secondly I can’t believe people buy into these deals and don’t realise that if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

If someone is serious about email marketing, wishes to do it correctly and professionally, they need to understand that it is highly likely that this data is going to be very poor quality.
We take our duty as a reputable ESP very seriously and always try to address any issues like this (which crop up more often than you may think!) by having an honest conversation to try and ascertain exactly how the the email data was acquired and what they are trying to achieve. We can then work with them and recommend alternative data suppliers to purchase from.
In this particular instance and on closer inspection of the email addresses, it appeared as though the records purchased had been made up using a script or formula. They all followed the same pattern of [email protected] or where they didn’t have a first name they defaulted to [email protected].  We spoke to a reputable list broker who said there weren’t 1 million legitimate business email addresses in London, the South West and the Midlands so they were definitely falsified records. 
To send any campaign using the original data supplied by the client would not only potentially damage the client’s brand reputation, but also our sender reputation too. At Extravision we would never send a campaign to illegitimate data, it would never get through our filters to start with.
Unfortunately there are still a lot of data sharks out there, willing to make a quick buck at the expense of others. But there are good guys too and we have built up great relationships with some excellent trusted brokers.  When it comes to data it really is worth the investment to get the right list and you usually get what you pay for. Some specialist lists are expensive at £1,000 per thousand records but if you have a very specific requirement then it’s worth having 2-3,000 quality, targeted records than 15,000 (or even 1 million) general records.

Posted by Jenni Malley

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