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Bad email data
Email Marketing

One fifth of firms miss out on potential new customers and revenue because of bad email data. It gets worse...

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May 30, 2022

Bad email data- You can start email marketing in two ways.

One way guarantees you won’t get bad email data. With the other, you run the risk of putting your business’s image at risk.

Why use email marketing?

Email marketing converts potential customers much faster and helps build a long-term loyal customer base.

A successful email marketing campaign can share product and service updates particularly effectively.

More Than Words note – on this page, we are only discussing third-party paid B2B email databases. B2C email databases are a legal and regulatory nightmare and should be handled with utmost care.

Effective email data versus bad email data

Many organisations elect to grow their email database organically through landing pages or contact forms on their websites.

You have to build these lists up gradually, but each potential customer has self-selected.

Another option is to buy a database from a supplier like More Than Words Marketing.

Through us, you can target businesses by size, line of business, and geographical area.

In most cases, the data you purchase is accurate, current, and GDPR compliant.

If not, however, this bad data puts your web domain and email server at risk.

Thanks to the introduction of GDPR in 2018, you may also attract the attention of regulators.

In the event of a violation, your organisation may be publicly shamed and fined heavily to deter future violations.

It is top priority for More Than Words to adhere to data protection guidelines and to protect the reputations of our customers.

Building your email audience

As mentioned earlier, you can:

  • use your existing customer data and inbound marketing efforts to build your own email list, or
  • buy a database.

When you build your list, you usually get prospects’ email addresses online when they’re visiting your website, or at events.

Because they opted to share their email address, they are without doubt the most reliable contacts (in terms of future purchases).

You can also buy email lists, which contain contact names, company names, email addresses, company information, etc.

It’s often best to do both.

If you purchase email data from third parties, what should you know?

Buying data

Effective email outreach relies on data from a high-quality supplier.

It can be difficult to find one in a market that has been plagued by non-compliant bedroom operators for years.

More Than Words note – we never speak badly of our competition. This is a competitive market with dozens of superb data owners and brokers (including us!).

In light of GDPR, you can only contact organisations that are registered as separate legal entities (limited companies, PLCs, public sector bodies, charities, etc.).

A sole trader or a partnership cannot be legally contacted without their consent because, under GDPR, that is personal information.

A B2B database should include a variety of contact methods, including email addresses and postal addresses.

The best B2B email data helps businesses reach their clients efficiently and quickly, and once the data is bought, the costs to run any future email campaign is lessened.

Sorting categories include:

  • Geographic Area
  • Industry
  • Number of Employees
  • Turnover

Marketing data that works for the company reduces the length of the sales cycle.

A compelling email design tailored to your audience’s hopes and pain points produces outstanding and immediate leads.

How to tell if email data is bad email data

Inaccurate data is bad email data

Email verification in a database can be tough.

Inaccurate data usually looks exactly like accurate data.

A mistyped phone number will have the same number of digits as an accurate number.

There’s likely a problem with the whole database if there are many errors in one field.

When marketing campaigns are conducted, incorrect names, addresses, phone numbers, and number IDs can significantly impact email deliverability.

More Than Words jargon dictionary – a “field” is a column on a spreadsheet that might contain a company number. There is “good coverage” if most of the cells in that column contain registered numbers. “Poor coverage” is when most cells in a field are empty. When gathering data, some information is harder to gather than others, and data coverage in a field is less likely to be complete.

Common problems include:

Misspelled names

Misspelled names may cause offense to the recipient and reduce your company’s sender reputation,

Invalid email addresses

An email address containing an error will bounce. A higher bounce rate means lower opening rates, and your IP address may be blacklisted if it’s seen as spam-generating.

Wrong addresses

Any postal marketing campaign you send won’t reach your target if the address isn’t spelled correctly.

Incomplete data is bad email data

Databases may have “poor coverage.”.

There could be lack of coverage on the line of business, contact names, email addresses, etc.

As a result, companies that would be interested in your product or service would not appear in any search you run on the database.

This leads to mismanagement of leads.

These include:

The wrong potential customer

If somebody else is making the purchasing decisions, bad email addresses mean that your message will never be seen.

Missing potential customers

Clients who aren’t found in the search will never hear about your product. Customer prospects who may be in the market right now may never be contacted by your sales team.

Low open rates

If you send unwanted emails to those outside of your target market your message could be caught in their spam filter.

According to Dun & Bradstreet, incomplete data causes a fifth of firms to miss out on potential new customers and revenue.

20% of respondents in a survey said they had lost a customer due to incomplete information.

Another 15% said incomplete data led to failure to sign up a new contact.

Choosing the data provider that has the most complete data set for your target audience is crucial.

Compare multiple companies’ coverage and quality of information.

Non-compliant data is bad email data

Non-compliant data refers to data which doesn’t follow the recently-introduced GDPR regulations .

The European Parliament passed the legislation on 25 May 2018. It is still in force in post-Brexit Britain, giving people much more control over their own data.

The main issue is the poor filtering out of sole traders and partnerships from data.

While you may want to target sole traders and partners for business reasons, their contact data is considered personal.

This can cause a variety of problems, including:


Courts impose large fines for GDPR violations. Depending on the company’s total global annual turnover, fines can be up to 20 million euros. A fine is levied based on how serious the violation is, so overusing non-compliant data can be very expensive.

Sending reputation

If you don’t comply with GDPR, you might lose your reputation with the companies you’re contacting.

It can also impact your IP reputation, leading to your mailbox provider limiting your access.


There has been a lack of due diligence if you cannot prove that the data is compliant. Undiscovered issues can lead to serious problems down the line.

200,000 companies were investigated after the GDPR went into effect and fined over €56 million.

There was a charge of €50 million against Google.

By choosing a legal data provider, you decrease the risk of being fined and facing litigation. Researching the company beforehand should also help minimise this risk.

Disorganised data is bad email data

Data that has been poorly sorted when added to a database is disorganised.

This is similar to inaccurate information except that the inaccuracies are in the actual categorisation of fields.

Marketing automation can be hampered by disorganised data:

Mislabelled gender

Including the gender incorrectly can cause offense but is not usually necessary if you have a first name.

Mislabelled location

An incorrectly labelled region or country may lead to your company contacting prospects outside your target areas. Likewise, companies in your sales territory may not be contacted.

Irrelevant data

In some datasets, you may find data that is not relevant to your objectives.

When data lists multiple ways to categorise industries, confusion can result – try to be as precise with your provider as possible.

In order to avoid receiving disorganised data, you should clearly convey your needs to your data provider.

If the data is inaccurate and they can’t fix it, you’re working with a poor email data provider.

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Choosing a reputable data provider

An email marketing campaign could encounter many issues starting with the data you use.

Data should only be used if you are satisfied with the information that has been given to you about where it has come from. If you don’t, there are significant risks. 

More than Words Marketing handles both the sale of databases and email campaigns. This helps with all stages of email marketing for your company and generates enquiries, demonstrating that our data is reputable.

To speak to us about email data from our UK business databaseUK schools database , and UK public sector database , call us on 0330 010 8300 or click here to email us.

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