2. Before appending, companies should verify they have the right to market to consumers or customers with the lists they already have.
Businesses can provide certification themselves—such as through a legal contract—or they can have data appending service providers certify it for them, Hinman says. He elaborates that having "the right to use all of the data" being appended means:
- All data are legally obtained;
- Data obtained from public records can be used, because of the "public" nature;
- Data from marketing sources should show that each consumer had "notice and choice" when providing the data. (i.e., opt-outs would not be included.);
- All DMA ethical guidelines are followed. (See articles 31 to 37.);
- All customer information received by the data enhancement company should be destroyed after the processing job has been verified as correct; and
- "Rules for appending email vary. For email appending to existing customers, most companies require that the email address passes an 'opt-out" filter. Also, the provider usually sends out the email using a 'notice' email, which allows for another opt out, and then sends the offer. For email appending to prospects, the provider will send out the emails to the names for the marketer, only using names that have 'opted in' to receive unsolicited email."
3. Exercise common sense.
Data append to a point, but don't cross over into the "creepy" zone, Scott says. Gather the appropriate information in order to know whether a consumer would be interested in engaging. He warns that going past that line gives companies the "false security" of knowing more about the consumer than they really do.
"If I am looking at Blu-ray players, I don't mind if you drop an email giving me 10 percent off of electronics in your store," Scott says. "If you give me 10 percent off of the exact Blu-Ray player that I put in my shopping cart, then that's creepy."