Targeting the right audience is the key to success for any marketing campaign. Up-to-date contact information, valid email addresses, and the tools to segment a list accurately are must-haves for any marketer, yet they are by no means assured in the lists purchased from business-contact vendors.

And as every marketer knows, limited list filtering and segmentation options, as well as inaccurate data, all negatively impact a campaign's response rates.

Putting together a list of viable prospects, and ensuring that information about them is accurate and relevant, can be a daunting task. There are a myriad of list and contact vendors in the marketplace today, each with its own set of data.

But buying a marketing list that you have confidence in does not have to be a stressful process if you ask the right questions before you make a decision. Here are eight questions to ask vendors before buying a list.:

1. What makes your data unique?

There are many data providers out there, and many pull from common sources, such as Dun & Bradstreet/Hoovers, Jigsaw, or Infogroup. It is important to ask what makes the data in the list you are considering unique, and then determine whether it will complement your current database and serve the campaign you are considering.

If the provider partners with leading data companies, find out whether they also pull from smaller publications and data companies that might help to "fill in the blanks" on their business contact records.

2. How often do you refresh your data?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Golec is the founder and CEO of Demandbase (www.demandbase.com), a technology company that enables B2B companies to turn Web traffic into sales. Reach Demandbase via info@demandbase.com and 415-683-2660.