Correct data is everything. Arthur Dent knew that. The hero of ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ was on a quest to find the Ultimate Question. The answer was 42. The initial findings came from a supercomputer. But when the subconscious question was drawn from him, it produced a different number. ‘I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe,’ said Dent.
Published by Pan, Douglas Adams’ ‘trilogy in five parts’ is a very funny series of books about Dent’s adventure-filled meanderings through time and space. But some of us are also in danger of wandering endlessly and aimlessly – simply because of inaccurate data. That’s when a reliable e-mail database comes in handy. Actually, it’s essential. It can be crucial to your organisation’s existence.
‘Inaccurate data can negatively affect your business,’ warned Joel Curry of Experian QAS, UK and Ireland (not a character from ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide’, we’d like to add!). ‘But when captured correctly it can drive efficiency, profitability and growth – and can even be seen to liberate lost budgets.’
Curry cited a piece of research by Dynamic Markets which said around £1 in every £6, or 15-18 per cent, of departmental budget is wasted by UK companies on the following:
- lost contacts;
- missed sales opportunities;
- duplicated mailings.
And they are the result of inaccurate data. ‘For any organisation this represents a significant waste of valuable marketing resources and potential budgets,’ said Curry. The research also showed UK businesses aren’t taking full advantage of their data. While there’s a high level of understanding about data accuracy, ‘actually achieving it is still a challenge for most businesses’.
Business Link have also warned about the perils of inaccurate data. For not only does it waste your budget, but also it can adversely affect your business' image through wrong addressing and personalisation errors. ‘Businesses that do not employ data capture tools often have records that are misspelled, incorrect or missing important details,’ said their website.
But as ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide’ warmly assures us, ‘Don’t panic’. Specialists like Marketscan offer access to highly targeted e-mail lists of companies you need to reach. Whether you want to get in touch with company chiefs or marketing managers from a specific location or business sector, make sure you choose a source of data that boasts the following features:
- data that’s licensed from sources fully compliant with the Direct Marketing Association’s DM Code of Practice and the Data Protection Act 1998;
- data that’s verified;
- data that’s fully selectable by industry sector, business size and location.
When targeted and relevant – and carried out with reliable data – e-mail marketing is an excellent way of connecting with old and new customers and increasing your brand awareness. Done badly, it can irritate and annoy recipients and potentially damage your brand. Don’t let your customers leave with the parting shot, ‘So long and thanks for the fish’.
For more information, visit the following websites: