Getting What You Pay For: Five Tips for Negotiating Data Pricing
If you’ve been following our blog series on how to become a better data buyer, you’ve already learned how to critically evaluate the different data sources that are available. In this fourth and final post, we’ll offer some things to consider as you negotiate pricing with your chosen vendor.
- Make sure your vendor understands your business and what you’re after. Are you renting a list for a one-time mailing? Or do you need to regularly update or append in-house lists to keep them current and complete? A reliable provider will view your negotiation conversations as the beginning of a partnership and will take the time to understand your short and long-term data needs. And they may be more flexible with pricing if they think you’ll bring them more business after the initial sale.
- Find out what is (and isn’t) included in the base price. Many vendors will advertise a low cost per record, but then charge you extra for additional selects, additional fields or multiple uses. If you need to target beyond what’s included in a standard record — or want to use the data more than once or in more than one way — you’ll need to add those costs to the base price or work with a data provider that offers a data purchase option with unlimited selects and unlimited usage. Look out for other costs and limitations, such as minimum purchase requirements, time limits beyond which the data can’t be used, setup/delivery fees, rush charges, etc.
- Don’t buy data you don’t need. If you have an existing customer/prospect list or suppression file that you can de-dupe the vendor’s data against, use it. They may charge an additional fee for this, but you can save in the long run by buying fewer records.
- Understand the vendor’s policy on make-goods. Most providers will compensate you in some way for duplicate records in the data set or results that don’t live up to their accuracy and deliverability guarantees. Find out if the dataset you’re buying is covered by these guarantees and exactly what is required to prove that a record is a duplicate, undeliverable or inaccurate. Agree in advance on how you’ll be compensated.
- Ask for discounts. Discounts can take many forms: volume (or long-term contract), pre-payment, new customer, bundled offers, reduced rates on net new records after your first purchase, etc. Research the vendor’s other product options, too — they may be willing to offer a free trial or discount on one or more of them to win your data business.
With these five tips in mind, you can feel confident that you’re getting a fair price on your data purchase. But remember the old adage “you get what you pay for” still applies — an extremely low cost may signal a problem, such as inaccurate data, privacy compliance issues, or low response rates due to list fatigue.
Also read “Becoming a better data buyer” Part III: Try Before You Buy: Data Sampling Strategies
Anncy Graziano is ZoomInfo’s Manager of Data Services Operations.