An experienced data professional who has been working within the direct marketing industry for over 20 years. Having spent 17 years as owner and MD of Data HQ Ltd his remit covers the whole of the management spectrum including; strategy development, organisational structure, company policy & procedure and product development.
It’s a question we often get asked by clients: How do you know if I use the data once or 12 times?
The answer: Our smart seed tracking system, which enables us to monitor the use of all our data.
Seed names and why data suppliers use them
Seeding is a way that data providers can monitor the use of the data they supply to their customers. Smart monitoring technology and the planting of ‘seed’ contacts within marketing lists enables the supplier to identify which mailing list is being used when and by whom. This applies whether it’s email, post or telephone use.
When the email list is used, the details are automatically logged on a database, and when a record is used outside of the agreed terms and conditions, it is highlighted and the list supplier is alerted.
Unauthorised usage and overuse
Most of the time, unauthorised usage is purely down to genuine mistakes. When this happens, we alert the client and offer assistance and advice on how to prevent it from happening again.
Sometimes, however, mailing lists are deliberately used more than has been agreed. Our analogy for this: it’s like hiring a car for five days, but you then end up using it for seven days – you wouldn’t expect not to pay for those extra two days.
Understanding licence agreements and their associated costs
Most list suppliers will not actually sell you their data. Instead, it will be rented or leased to you under a licence agreement with specific terms and conditions.
The reason that data very rarely gets sold on an ‘outright purchase’ basis is that the list owner wants to retain the intellectual property of the data, to protect the investment they have made in collating the data in the first place. As such, be very wary of anyone claiming to sell you data on an outright purchase basis, because it is very rare and usually five times the normal cost.
With GDPR regulations fully in force now, the licensing of data (as opposed to outright purchasing) is ever more relevant these days. One of the key components of GDPR is maintaining accurate and frequently cleansed records in all of your data records, including any mailing lists that you buy in.
The two cost-and-use options to consider when you are licensing data are…
- The length of the licence in terms of months, usually between one and 12 months.
- The number of times you can use the data within the licence period.
The most popular licence agreements
- 12 times use over 12-month period
- 6 times use over 6 or 12-month period
- 1 or 3 times use over a 3-month period
- 1 times use within 1 month
Are bespoke agreements possible?
There are other options available – including bespoke licences, depending on your needs – so it’s always worth discussing with your account manager what your hopes or plans are. It’s all about finding an agreement that suits your needs.
The cost of renting data varies depending on the licence period, the number of channels (e.g. email, post, telephone) and the number of uses. An agreement for 12 uses over 12 months is the most cost-effective option, because it usually costs about three times that of a single use.
Further reading: Data HQ's complete guide to marketing lists
For more insights into and information on best practice data management, explore our Knowledge Hub. Otherwise, get in touch with one of our friendly experts to discuss how Data HQ’s services can help you and your business.
Our insights in your inbox
We would like to keep in contact by sharing our newsletter, offers and new product information. Please click subscribe if you are happy to hear from us.