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It wasn’t so long ago that we discussed permission and purchasing lists on this blog, but ‘Word to the Wise‘ presented an interesting point-of-view on the matter recently, from someone actually on a for-purchase marketing list. The company selling ‘leads’ had made their database searchable, so WttW’s Laura Atkins got to the task of finding out as much as she could about herself. The outcome? Not only was Laura listed multiple times, but:

“Not a single listing gets my contact information correct. Not a single listing gets my employer correct. Three of the listings identify me as working for different companies. I’ve never worked for any of those companies.”

There’s no mention of how exactly she got on their database (although it’s likely ‘compiled, crawled or crowd-sourced’), but from the sound of things, it really wasn’t worth anyone’s money. Or as Laura summarized:

“I’m actually surprised at just how totally inaccurate the data about me is. I’m not that hard to find.”

Compare this spotty database with an organically built subscriber list of real, interested people and you’ll see that purchasing lists, even ‘targeted’ lists, is just bad value. Don’t get us started on what happens when campaigns are sent to purchased lists, either…!

Many thanks to Laura for sharing her perspective here – hopefully she gets away, without being emailed as the CEO of non-existent companies. Have you been on the receiving end of ‘targeted’ marketing gone weird? Let us know in the comments below.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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