Are you looking to buy a b2b email list for sales & marketing, but want to make sure you receive high quality data? When I first founded Lead411 I could count on my hand which companies sold b2b email lists. Not opt-in lists, but actually had lists for sale. Now, on average I get 5-10 emails a month from some broker stating they sell business email lists. I would say that 95-100% of these offers are scams… but recently I have noticed some of these providers in the top 10 in Google for the phrase “b2b email lists”. Which is scary! This guide will give you some best practices on what to be wary of when purchasing and will give you a list of some reputable providers.
Best Practices for Buying Email Lists
Quality Email Lists Are Not Cheap
I have been in this business for over 10 years. Data is never perfect. Good data is extremely HARD to keep accurate and clean. For example, Linkedin is a high quality data provider correct? You would be amazed at how many people named “Pat McGroin” and “Ivanka Tinkle” have profiles on Linkedin. So even Linkedin has tons of bad data. It is incredibly hard and expensive to keep data clean. Any email list provider that works really hard to keep their data clean isn’t going to give it away for pennies.
Get A Random Sample w/your List Quote
When you get your list quote, insist that you get a random sample… as big as you can get. Most companies or their sales staff will try to send you the records they most recently updated. You want a complete random sample so that you can really check the accuracy.
Verify Your Sample List Quality
After you get the sample, test it all. Call the phone numbers to see if the person does exist at the company and that the phone # is correct. Email testing is harder because you cannot 100% verify an email address. From our own email marketing and testing we have noticed that 50% of business email servers are catchall servers meaning that if you sent an email like email@example.com you would NOT get a bounce-back. For these catchall servers it is hard to decipher the accurate email. You can use tools like Mailtester.com or Cobisi.com to verify emails from non-catchall servers, but for the rest I would suggest searching bing or google for the domain to see if the email pattern looks remotely correct. E.G. Type this into bing +*@insidesales.com.
Insist on a Guarantee
Whenever we sell individual lists we always offer a guarantee. So if an email bounces then the person gets a replacement record. It is a great system because we get our emails tested automatically. Any email list provider that does not do this doesn’t really care about their data accuracy.
How do they Verify their Email Database?
Where do they get their data from? More importantly, where do they get their emails from? Crowdsourcing, some sort of technology, both? Other data providers?
Some Reputable B2B Email List Providers
D&B has been around since 1841. 160+ years before “big data” became a popular term D&B was collecting information about businesses. In 2003, Hoovers was acquired by D&B and somewhere around that time Hoovers started offering business email database with their company contacts. I am not quite sure of the pricing of their email lists as there is nothing on the site that mentions their exact costs. Hoovers acquires their data from numerous data sources as we have discussed selling our data to DNB in the past, however we never went through with it.
Pricing: Subscriptions start @ $60/month
ZoomInfo is another well-known provider of business email lists and addresses. Previously named Eliyon Technologies, the company has been collecting business and people data for over 15 years using scraping/crawling technology. I am not positive where their email address data comes from as I don’t believe it is from their crawlers, but for the most part it is a reputable source. ZoomInfo offers numerous products but their primary solution is their subscriptions.
Pricing: Subscriptions start @ $125/Month
Email Lists @ $0.50 – $1.00 per record
Jigsaw.com was acquired by Salesforce and later they changed the name to Data.com. Data.com uses crowdsourcing to collect contacts, business email addresses, phone numbers, etc. If you are willing to upload your own list you can get another list in return. Data.com sells email lists as well as offers a monthly subscription.
Pricing: Subscriptions start @ $99/Month
I have never used InsideView’s data, but from what I can tell it seems better than others I have seen. Like us, they don’t believe that data can be verified using one type of solution. InsideView does not sell individual lists but they have different options for the size of company you are.
Our customers don’t have time to waste on bad data and they want access to Unlimited Email Lists. We strongly believe that a multi-pronged approach to data collection is the best way to get accurate data…. Crowdsourcing + Technology + An Internal Research Team. Here is a recent research report from G2Crowd where we were named one of the “Top Performers.”
If you have any suggestions or recommendations of other b2b email list providers please use the comments section below.