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The Costs of Marketing to Inaccurate Data

Data is highly valuable to businesses. It allows you to get in direct contact with a prospect who is an ideal client for your company. However, there are multiple marketing data lists available to businesses nowadays. There are numerous brokers who all claim to have the ‘most accurate data available’. In reality, there is a lot of inaccurate data available on the market which businesses purchase.

Inaccurate data can originate from multiple sources. From genuine human error while processing, to deliberate incorrect information being entered, these inaccuracies bring multiple costs to businesses. Unfortunately, these mistakes costs businesses thousands of pounds in wasted budgets and lost revenue.

In this post, we will address some of the costs businesses face when marketing to inaccurate data. There are both financial and non-financial costs to consider. As a data owner and marketing agency, we see the effect that high quality, accurate data can have on a client’s marketing campaign. We want to see your marketing budgets perform to their highest potential. Marketing to inaccurate data is a waste of your business’ crucial financial resources.

Telemarketing Costs

If you purchase a data list in so that you can undertake a telemarketing campaign, you would expect the data to be accurate (live numbers, correct contact, correct address etc). Your callers will be spending their time dialling these numbers and pitching your company to these records. Inaccurate data means that some of these numbers may be invalid or the person who picks up could be a completely different person than the record states.

Telemarketing brings a financial cost with it. There is a cost to telephone out to every record and when these records are wrong, this is just a waste of money. Furthermore, there is the lost time that the caller has to spend dialling out to records that are incorrect. It also reduces the number of leads/appointments your callers can make when they are dialling out to incorrect records. Overall, it reduces the profit potential of the entire marketing campaign.

Printing and Mailing Costs

Direct mail is a different marketing avenue altogether but still requires accurate data for it to be undertaken successfully. If there are incorrect records on a mailing list that you have purchased in, there are costs of mailing to these records. Direct mail carries a heavier cost as the marketing is tangible and is printed. These materials are also designed specifically for the campaign which also carries a cost.

Add in mail fulfilment and you can see how the costs of broadcasting to inaccurate data can add up. With a direct mail campaign, any addresses that are incorrect will be returned to you. Unfortunately, if you were to purchase a low quality data list, you could end up with a large pile of returns. These equate to wasted money and wasted materials as well as lost revenue from being unable to mail records who may have been ideal prospects.

Damaged Reputation

Unfortunately, costs are not just financial. Some of the more damaging and lasting costs for businesses can be the effect that inaccurate data has on their reputation. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospects. You receive a call for a completely different person about a product that you have no interest in. What would be your impression of the company?

When we receive marketing for the wrong person, it paints a negative image of the company who sent it. Furthermore, first impressions count and can be difficult to change. Word of mouth has a major impact. People will tell others of their negative experience with the business. For your marketing to succeed and for your business to grow, you need to be utilising a highly accurate and targeted data list.

Potential Legislation Breaches

GDPR is in effect. This brings in a number of new regulations concerning personal data and how businesses are able to process it. Under GDPR, any data you hold must be cleansed regularly every 28 days. Regular data cleansing is an essential business process that will help you remain GDPR compliant. For any data you purchase in or use, it must be GDPR compliant before it is used.

For businesses that breach GDPR, there are heavy fines in place that regulatory bodies can enforce. Furthermore, the reputation damage that would come with a GDPR breach would be immense. Therefore, it is essential that any data you use is up to date, accurate and cleansed regularly. Individual circumstances can change within days, so regular cleansing helps keep you on top of this.


Inaccurate data leads to the waste of crucial business resources such as capital and time. Not only this but it can also have a lasting, negative effect on your company’s reputation. Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee 100% accuracy on a data list as circumstances can change in a matter of days. However, it is a company’s duty to regularly cleanse their data to minimise any errors and maximise accuracy.

Impact Marketing own and manage a number of business and consumer data lists. We cleanse these in-house on a regular basis to maintain their high quality standards. We also offer a number of marketing services including telemarketing and direct mail and can combine these with our data lists to offer a complete and bespoke marketing solution.

If you would like more information about our data, or our marketing services, please get in touch and a member of our team will be happy to discuss your requirements with you further.

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