Should you use purchased data or organic data?

Are you used to email marketing to a purchased data list? Not sure how to improve your organic data? Do you rely on a little of both? There are a lot of marketing automation suites won’t even let you use purchased data in their marketing models, but those marketers who don’t feel comfortable relying on just organic data will often avoid marketing automation because of it. We’re here to tell you why you should be using both purchased and organic data in your marketing.

The EU ruling

Now, before we begin, it’s worth mentioning the GDPR changes and what they mean for your data. The EU and the UK (even though we’re leaving) have to abide by the new ruling that says B2B data must be double-opted-in. So not only must they sign up for your marketing comms, they then have to agree it was them that signed up in the first place. But more about that here

Moving forward, from 2018 it looks like we’ll all be relying on organic data a lot more. The good news is, organic data typically performs higher than purchased data. Although, this ruling does not mean you won’t be able to purchase data. Purchased data lists will end up being more generic with those who have agreed to sign up for any marketing communication.

In the meantime…

Why marketing automation works well with purchased data

Up until the EU GDPR Guidelines come into play, you can use purchased data lists to double-opt-in as many prospects as possible. If you’re specific enough with the lists you purchase – i.e. go for quality over quantity – you’ll end up with a more relevant target audience who are more likely to opt into your communications moving forward.

Buying data relevant to the target audience you want to market to means you’re sending marketing comms to the right person. But how do you know what the right time and right content are? This is where marketing automation becomes useful.

By adding your purchased data to an automated workflow, you allow the right person to choose when they interact with you. By moving them through an automated marketing journey, you open up more opportunities to grab their attention, rather than just email marketing to them with the same repetitive content they ignore.

In conjunction with buying specific data, purchased data also allows you to build up a good contact list easily and quickly. Rather than having to wait for those companies to find you themselves (which might not happen anyway), you can simply get in contact right away and show them how much they need you. All you need is a marketing automation suite that works with purchased data.

Why marketing automation works well with organic data

On the flip side, you have organic data. While it takes a little longer to gather, organic data inevitably performs higher due to its interest in finding you. Now here is where a lot of marketers get confused. They think organic data simply signs up for their newsletter, but there is SO MUCH MORE you can do!

With a combined lead generation and marketing automation platform, you can track organic leads that have come onto your website through any number of inbound campaigns. From there, you can automatically feed them into any marketing workflow.

Whether it’s a welcome series for the first time they download a whitepaper or a remarketing campaign for a page they keep revisiting. The trick is to make your marketing automation align with their website buyer journey so the two can run in sync and drive the organic lead through the sales process.

Of course, with the GDPR Guidelines coming into play, you will need to make sure your automated workflows abide by the double-opt-in process. For organic data you’ve already cultivated, they will also need to meet the double-opt-in standards. Luckily, they already know your business and have engaged with you. All it takes is a quick email explaining that you want to continue communications with them, and a way to keep track of this come 2018.

Overall, marketing automation can work well with both sets of data. You just need to be smart with the way you’re using your software and what data lists you attain. Whether it’s purchased or organic, segmenting your data well and marrying up their buyer journey with your marketing will improve your engagement and conversion rates.


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