Data is almost always sold on a lease. Similar to a leasing a car, the data owner leases you the data for a certain period of time or certain number of uses, rather than selling you the data outright. Outright purchases are usually very expensive as data owners, understandably, want to protect the investment they have put into gathering, storing and maintaining the data. If they sell their data willy-nilly then the data becomes over-used and less likely to respond positively to any marketing communication. If they lease you the data then they retain ownership and you have to comply with the rules of the lease which limit the number of times the record can be contacted. This prevents data records from being constantly "spammed". The different types of data licence are single/one-time use or multiple-use. These are fairly explanatory; single-use data mans you can only communicate with that business or person, one time only. Multiple-use, you can communicate with them as many times as dictated by the license agreement. Business data is usually sold as 12-month multiple-use, meaning that you can use the data for a full 12 months, but you are usually limited to communicating with that business a maximum to 12 times within the 12 month period. At any point during the marketing campaign, if a person decides to receive more information, asks for a quote, books an appointment, fills in a web form etc. then that records becomes your prospect and is no longer bound by the licence agreement. You own that data record and can contact it as many times as you want.
So how will anyone know I am using data when I shouldn't be?
The answer; data seeds. Every data file purchased has between 1 and 3 dummy records. These dummy records are called data seeds and they are there to monitor activity to that record. If you send an email, make a phone call or send out a direct mail piece, it's recorded. If you send 20 emails, make 20 calls or send 20 direct mail flyers, they are also recorded. If you use the data out of licence the seed reports will show this misuse you will be charged, but if you comply with the rules you will be fine. I hope this answers your questions on the whys and wherefores of leasing data and data usage. If you have any questions then one of our crack-team of data experts are on hand to help. Click for a call or a quote.