How to be smart with B2B data lists

Buying data lists can poke a hornet’s nest of opinions can’t it?  “No, never buy them, they’re just a waste of time and out of date” and then there’s the ‘Yes, they’re great and I’ve got lots of business from using them’ crowd.  So, where do you go from there?  My latest blog gives me the chance to put my two penneth in, right or wrong, this is how data lists have worked for me….


I’ll get it out there right away, I’ve always been a business list doubter, I thought (like many) that as soon you as buy the data, it’s out of date and from a sales or marketing point of view a business wouldn’t really benefit from them.  Spoiler alert – my opinion has now been changed!

B2B data lists

Having worked with three clients over the past year who have decided to purchase data lists, they have all seen brilliant results from email and sales campaigns, so, how have we done it?


  1. Why purchase in the first place?

Building up an email list is difficult, we all know that, whether it’s lead magnets on your website, sharing subscribe pages on social etc, it’s a hard slog.  If you know your demographic and are looking for quick returns, a data list may well be the place to start.


  1. Data

If you have decided to purchase a list, use a reputable & reliable company.  It’s really important with regards to GDPR etc that you use a company who are sticking to the rules – and give you the correct information so you stick to them too.


  1. Be specific

You’re only going to get good data if you’re specific with your provider, choose your demographics wisely including job titles, company size, location etc.  Your supplier should give you numbers of contacts for different options prior to you purchasing the data.


  1. Using the data

You get the email containing the data, aaagghhhh!  Now what do you do?

Firstly, use it quickly, don’t leave it for weeks and months before you start doing anything with it – it definitely will be out of date then.

If you’re sending email campaigns, don’t start busting out three emails a week and then wonder why you’re getting a high unsubscribe rate or why email filters have started to flag  your email address as a source of spam.

Depending on how proactive you want to be, I’ve found that either one email a week or two a month work quite well, it’s getting the balance of maintaining consistency together with not trying to bombard people.  You’ve also got to be mindful that generally you only have 12 months to use purchased data and you can only send 12 emails to each address (unless obviously you start to deal with the contact as a customer etc)


  1. Emails

When you’re all set with your data and you’ve created your engaging emails (check out my previous blog on 10 tips for a successful email campaign ( you’re now ready to send.  Always remember to change your emails too, don’t keep sending out the same information to the same contacts, change it up to keep it interesting!


  1. Follow up calls

I would always recommend following up on your emails with calls to get the best out of the data and emails.

If you’re sending your emails on a Tuesday, make sure you can spend time on say the Thursday to follow up.  Many potential sales can take weeks or months to covert so starting the conversation early is the key.


  1. Monitor your results

You need to see if all your hard work is actually working so look at how many contacts you have, how many emails you’re sending, calls you’re making etc and set targets.

Make sure you monitor your results to ensure you’re getting a return on your investment.



Examples of how it worked for myself and my clients:

  1. Data purchased on the care sector with specific demographics.

I created an email campaign with a good call to action which was sent every two weeks.

My client followed up with calls to the top engaged contacts and received new clients from these


  1. Data purchased on small engineering companies within a certain radius of Newcastle upon Tyne

I created an email campaign including links to my clients’ latest blog

My client followed up with calls to the top engaged contacts and new clients were signed up as a result



I hope that’s given you a few tips and tricks on buying data and getting the best out of it, if you’re looking for data I always use the same local company which I’d be happy to recommend so get in touch and I can put you in contact with them.  Or, if you’ve purchased data and are looking to create email campaigns, I’m always happy to help or give any advice.