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If I can’t purchase data lists, how can I keep my prospect database going?

10 Aug 2017 by Sadie Burgess

Keeping your database clean and fresh, with new prospects and new opportunities for your sales team has always been on the marketeers radar – but with GDPR seemingly implying the end of data list purchase, some of those ‘quick wins’ are no longer within reach.

But this is actually good news.  A healthy email list might take longer to grow, but it will be worth it. An engaged database are more likely to interact with your brand and buy your products, so it is quality over quantity.

It is also worth looking at double opt-in, as although it is not mandated by GDPR, it will make auditing your data easier and proving consent easier. More importantly, it  will ensure that your data is not clouded by uninterested, unresponsive or inactive emails, which lead to high bounce rates, unsubscribes and worst case IP blacklisting – all of which have a major impact on your email deliverability.


So how can you ensure your data is up to the job?

Well first things first, customer and prospect data is not just the responsibility of the marketing department – so build your bridges with all the customer facing teams in the business, and make sure you take advantage of every opportunity to request consent.

As part of your GDPR review, you should look at all of the places where you collect customer data and contact consent – and as you start to think about it, it will soon become a very long list.  So, here is a starter for 10 to get you going:

The main data collection stage it awareness, when your prospects are at the start of their purchasing journey, and where the significant majority of your marketing budget will go. So what are the early touchpoints?


  • Campaign landing pages
  • PPC landing pages
  • Lead-gen landing pages (i.e. whitepaper or e-book downloads)
  • On your website: Newsletter sign up
  • Blog updates sign up

In person

  • Networking events
  • Exhibitions and Open Days
  • Guest books in offices or showrooms
  • In-bound enquiry telephone call
  • Out-bound prospecting call

Other Data Collection methods

  • Competition entrants
  • Survey/Questionnaires
  • Promotional offers and incentives 

Once a prospect becomes a customer, a consent opportunity specifically around marketing should be offered – as although the contact is now your customer, and communications with them would be covered by legitimate interest – if you plan to email both marketing offers and information pertaining to their purchase or account – they should be able to opt-out of marketing, whereas contract based communication would need to continue – so these two would need to be handled separately.

However contractual/service emails offer the opportunity to get your customer opted-in.  How many communications do you send to your customers?

  • Purchase confirmation
  • Invoice/Payment confirmation
  • Shipping tracking/information
  • Delivery confirmation
  • Renewal notification

One of the best ways to manage your data and keep your contacts on track is by setting up a preference centre – where they can opt in and out of which elements of your communications they want to receive. Take a look at dedicated blog for more info.

There is no doubt GDPR is going to have an impact on many marketing teams and change their direct marketing strategy.  If you are still looking for a bit more clarity, request a free GDPR Consultation

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Tags: Data

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