The Synthio Blog

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As professional marketers, we’re counted on to grow the business by delivering actionable leads to the sales team. Without them, the business stagnates and we all know what happens then. Yet even the most seasoned marketer occasionally gives in to the siren song of the “cheap list.” You know the one – 10,000 records for $0.25 per record, plus free replacements for undeliverables. Sound too good to be true? Yep, it probably is. These cheap lists are often more trouble than they’re worth.

The Cost of Data Currency

Those cheap data lists are probably old enough to drive, having been assembled several years ago. I once received an unsolicited list sample which coincidentally had my info on it, from a job that I’d left several years prior. A simple check of publicly available resources would have uncovered that.

Industry research shows that the number of outdated, incomplete, or incorrect records can be as high as 35 percent. So that 10K records list has shrunk to 6,500. Talk about starting from behind! Add to that the fact that lists decline up to 45 percent per year thereafter, and it’s hard to see where you’d have the quantity or quality to satisfy your stakeholders.

The Cost of Data Maintenance

So you’ve been hypnotized into buying that cheap data list and it soon became apparent that the quality just isn’t there. Undeliverable and bounce rates are increasing and maybe you have to address a few more spam complaints. You don’t want to throw away your “investment” so you deploy a veritable army of labor to correct errors and fill in blank fields. Industry research shows that data workers spend up to 50 percent of their time correcting errors. Now things have “gotten real.” Labor is expensive and even more so when you lose the equivalent of an FTE to list repair.

The Cost of a Sullied Reputation

A bad reputation takes on many forms. Blacklisting means that your lead gen machine gets choked off at the source and your message doesn’t even make it out of the gate. Now you have to further increase your list size to get the same results as before. Increasing your list size has collateral effects as well – many MAPs price their software based on the number of records in your database. Go to the next tier and you’re reaching into your wallet.

A poorly timed or targeted campaign can leave your customers with a bad taste, resulting in decreased customer satisfaction and increased customer churn. The general rule of thumb is that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain one you’ve got. In addition, close rates for new business can be 5-20 perecent while retention business close rates are in the 60-70 percent range. It makes it essential that your targeting and messaging is on point.

Only you can Prevent Dirty Data

With apologies to Smokey the Bear, preventing dirty data is in your hands. A regular and frequent routine of data maintenance means that you can laser target your desired audience with the most effective message. Download our white paper, “How Dirty Data Diminishes your Bottom Line” to find out how.