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DATA FOCUS: Collecting email data

How B2B marketers can effectively collect email data 

What with the Data Protection Act, anti-spam software and firewalls, email communication has a lot to contend with. But even hedged round as it is, email is still a powerful medium and takes an important place in the marketing mix. Graham Ellor, planner at TDA, advises that businesses “should consider email marketing a core element to their overall strategy and should plan how to build their own in-house lists safely.”

Businesses can collect and use email data themselves or buy the services of an email database owned by a third party. Businesses building their own list must conform to privacy legislation, but also need to have a system and procedures which can handle replies generated by an email campaign. These could vary from a bounced email to data correction and from an opt-out request to asking for further information. As Jane Byrne, product manager at Thomson, says: “Businesses shouldn't underestimate the amount of money and time which needs to be invested to keep email databases up to date.”