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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2017-04-05

I’ve written before about how to select customer acquisition data and the importance of quality data for generating successful B2B email campaigns. But what happens when someone ignores this advice and uses bad data?


Recently, a technology industry client of ours found out first hand. The company conducted an email campaign using data procured from an established data provider who tends to emphasize quantity over quality. The campaign results were, as expected, disastrous.


With more than one million B2B data records in play, approximately 45% out of the total turned out to be invalid email addresses and the bounce rate reached over 30%. You might think these abysmal campaign results are due to bad timing or even bad luck, but in our experience, it’s a common occurrence in the email data business, unfortunately. And it’s what you get when you rely on email data providers who emphasize large data sets and exceptionally low prices.


Now compare the above results to a campaign for a major client for one of our data resellers in the same industry using our high-quality data to target small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).


  • Hard bounce rates were consistently under 2%
  • Open rates were in the 2 to 7% range – which is high for a customer acquisition campaign
  • Same quantity of leads delivered as that of a known competitor
  • Our data generated two times the number of sales 


Obviously, the results comparison is night and day, and proves the point that when it comes to B2B email data, companies must focus on quality and not quantity.


If you’re a marketer and sense that your acquired data or even your own in-house database isn’t what it should be, at least know you’re not alone, and that poor data quality remains a challenge for all B2B marketers. In fact, a recent survey that analyzed hundreds of thousands of B2B tech contacts found that 25% of the average B2B marketer’s database can be determined “inaccurate,” while a full 60% of companies continue to struggle with “unreliable” data. The survey also found that the most common data quality issues B2B marketers continue to struggle with include duplicate data, invalid values or ranges and missing fields.


The good news is that there are steps you can take to improve your situation. First off, if your business goal is to find new customers, you should work with reputable email data providers who specialize in B2B customer acquisition—and only with those who offer a written data quality guarantee of at least 95%. In addition, licensing email data for a year (as opposed to purchasing a one-time list) will provide a significant cost savings. With use of the data for an extended period, you’ll be able to keep it consistently cleansed and up to date, ensuring invalid email addresses are purged over time.


By making quality a cornerstone of your email campaign strategy, you’ll not only focus on better serving your targeted prospects and delivering them real value, but also avoid the many pitfalls and wasted time, dollars and effort poor data quality always brings.




Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database.




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At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

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