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Data Integrity, part 2

Yesterday I blogged about eROIs contention that consumers should not be wasting the time of lead gen companies by filling in fake data. There were lots of good comments on the post, and I strongly encourage you to go read them if you are interested in different perspectives on the data issue.
One of the arguments I was making is that people are only going to give accurate information if they trust the website that is collecting information. I do, strongly, believe this. I also believe very strongly that websites collecting information need to do so defensively. It is the only way you can get good information.
This ties in with an earlier post about a website that collects email addresses from any visitor, then turns around and submits those addresses to webforms. Hundreds of mailing lists have already been corrupted by this group. They are a prime reason companies must design address collection process defensively. There are people who do bad things, who will take an opportunity to harass senders and recipients. This company is not the first, nor will they be the last to commit such abuses.
Taking a stand against abusive companies and people may be useful, but that will not stop the abuse. It is much easier to design process that limits the amount of abuse. For lead gen, in particular, confirmed opt-in is one way to limit the amount of bad data collected. As a side effect, it also results in less blocked mail, fewer complaints and better delivery.

3 comments

  1. Dylan Boyd says

    Laura:
    I can agree with your post today. WE believe in good data practices, good email marketing plans, great lead capture campaigns, double opt ins, confirmed opt ins… but even more we believe in people on both the marketer and consumer side.
    WE believe that there is hope and that intelligent marketers will rise to the levels that they need to be at to know WHEN to ask for information. That they will know how to properly set up web sites to allow a process that benefits all of us. We believe in community, openness, data protection and more importantly data integrity.
    WE believe that it is going to be people like eROI, other industry leaders, media, and yourself to help to educate and drive these people forward.
    Even with so much education out there already, we are only part of the way there. So I ask you to join us in working to figure out and help those that do not feel as passionately as I feel both you and I do.
    Thank you for having this discussion with me and others that have weighed in on this issue. I look forward to more dialogues like this on this issue and many others we need to advance.

  2. Yet more data verification at Word to the Wise says

    […] Al posted about data verification, building on discussions last week about Mr. Poopyhead’s article on open signup forms. He has a very insightful […]

  3. It’s a roundabout, not a two-way street! Data Integrity, Trust and You - Markets Online says

    […] for many marketers (this post does a nice little job of highlighting the point – and its partner post […]

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