6 Valid Reasons to Buy a B2B or B2C Prospect List

buy business data
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Can you hear the screams? Wow.. Jenn Lisak did when she posted on Twitter for places to purchase accurate business lists. The howls of displeasure were immediate and our agency was even labeled unethical by one person. The tweets were so ridiculous that Jenn removed the Tweet and discontinued the conversation.

When Jenn told me the reaction, I was really irritated. First, the irony of someone on a platform that markets and sells its data openly is a bit ironic. Second, the immediate reaction that Jenn received was incomprehensible. Despite Jenn’s grace, humility and expertise… people that followed her immediately assumed the lists were going to be used for evil.

The assumption was that these lists were to SPAM the crap out of people. Yes… a seasoned marketer and agency that specializes in email communication, partners on an email marketing platform, and has a key partnership with a deliverability platform… would somehow think that it’s a great idea to begin spamming businesses.


When I was in the direct mail industry, we purchased lists non-stop. Heck, one of the incredible strategies that President Obama’s campaign did was to purchase millions of records of personal information to develop community outreach programs where they made sense… leading him to beat Hillary Clinton (who owned the Democratic database) and snag the lead in the election.

Buying data should be an investment for every business! To SPAM? Quite the opposite!

Utilizing business data enables marketers to do a ton of highly targeted campaigns that help them avoid SPAM altogether!

  1. Appending Data to existing customer lists can help provide you with up to date business information, segmentation data, contact information, and other key information. That information can help you to develop highly targeted campaigns with pinpoint accuracy.
  2. Cleansing Data can keep you off of blacklists, increase your inbox placement, help you avoid junk filters, and improve overall deliverability. Data gets old – especially business email addresses where there’s high turnover. Buying updated lists or cleansing your current lists can drive huge improvements in open, click-through rates, and conversions to your email marketing.
  3. Finding Contacts that moved on can help expand your business. If I worked with a contact at one company and we were successful, finding where he moved to and re-introducing your products and services can help get them back! While retention is the best policy, remarketing clients who have moved on is quite effective as well!
  4. Profile Analysis – customer surveys and data collection are great, but a data append can provide you with all the information your business needs to help understand those people or businesses that you are already doing business with. Demographics and firmographics can help you understand the industries and geography that you’re reaching (or not), help you develop targeted content strategies, and help you determine optimal advertising paths to get the right message to the right person.
  5. New Business – do you understand your market penetration? Are there new businesses out there or new prospects out there that you should be marketing to? New business lists are a gold mine to many industries! Not for SPAMMING, but for finding and building relationships with them. If you’re a agency providing branding and design services, who better to market to than a list of businesses that just applied and received their business licenses. How else would you find them without having the data?
  6. Prospect Lists – are you a business that just received a slew of investment funds? It’s time for you to begin actively locating prospects and selling to them. You can’t possibly wait on permission-based inbound marketing efforts to take hold and have people knocking on your door… you’ll lose the investors and your opportunity. Prospect lists can help your sales team better target the calls they make and the mail your marketing department can touch with. There’s no way to accomplish this without a data purchase.

Have you purchased targeted data for your business? I’ve worked for a ton of businesses, worked in database and direct marketing, and now online. We absolutely recognize that permission-based, inbound marketing efforts drive incredible business results for businesses. But we’re not ignorant to the fact that purchased data can also help evaluate, analyze, improve and target better sales and marketing efforts. There’s a great return on purchased data!

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    Love this post Douglas!

    Purchasing email lists gets such a bad rap but can be a great way to reach more of your target audience while inbound marketing efforts gain traction. I personally work for a company called Clickback that works specifically with B2B companies and their outbound marketing efforts.

    Definitely an article I’ll be sharing!

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