Dissecting Email Append Pricing Models. What is a Fair Cost?

Clean data has become an integral part of any booming business that aspires to stay ahead in the competition.  You can’t run a successful business venture without a clean database as marketing emails are unavoidable when it comes to your overall marketing strategy.  

Nowadays, a marketer has a wide spectrum of appending services to choose from, considering the technological advancement happened in last decade.

 According to industry experts, email appending happens to be the best option to validate your data and refine the quality of your business.

Why Email Pricing Matters

You need to understand certain factors to choose the best appending company for your business. One of the factors usually defines choosing an appending firm is the ‘email pricing’. 

As companies are always trying to save money as much possible, they tend to ignore or underestimate some important issues when it comes to email append services cost.  

You need to allot the marketing budget in a wise way across a spectrum of services to get the best data. Among these choices, appending is the most investment friendly service you can get to have a valid and updated database.

Understanding email pricing is a bit trickier but once you get what makes it tick, you are going to make the most of your marketing budget.  In a very generic sense, we can categorize email pricing according to two major practices: Cost per Record and Cost per Project.

Email Appending Is Like Buying A Smart Phone. If You Need More Features, You Need To Spend More

I and Kim, our company’s budget strategist was having a discussion on email pricing.  She was listening to my points very observantly but has a look on her face that says, “I am not convinced yet.”

She asked me, “But even after listening to all your points, I am coming back to square one and to that cliché question. How much the appending will cost?”

My answer was another question, “How much does it cost to buy a Smartphone?”

She has a confused look on her face when she replied, “Well, that depends on the benefits I am going to receive from the phone.”

I replied, “Spot on, that’s precisely my point.  The price of a phone will be based on the features and the advantages it can provide you.  

You don’t have to spend a bomb on a lesser quality android phone. But if you want an Iphone, you need to spend a certain amount. Quality is the key word, here.”

There are a spectrum of layers when it comes pricing the email append services.  The pricing is directly related to the features and benefits you get from the service. To get this strategy right, you need to calculate the requirements of your clients.

 Cost Per Record

Usually, cost per record is the standard appending firms follow when it comes to pricing.  They determine a price for the database evaluating the size and validity of the database.

One individual customer record will have a particular price- for example, 0.5 Dollar per record.  Some companies usually have packages where you get a discount on the overall pricing, considering the duration and size of the database.  Cost per contact to append email addresses to the current database will be varying according to the credibility of the append firm in the industry.

B2C Pricing

Cost Per Project

As companies use different measures to decide a pricing for the package, pricing can always vary in terms of size and duration of the contract.  Rarely some companies offer pricing on the basis of projects.

 Depending upon the project, pricing might go higher or lower for append process. Some companies mention the pricing in their official website itself, but others will ask you to sign up for a discussion.

Email Append Pricing Standards for Organizations

  1. Authorities and Sources

Email marketing data is always routed from various sources and only appending companies know the ways and resources through they secure the data.  They also have to spend money to collect more clean data and provide to their clients. This will take a major chunk of their market budget.  

Some companies, possessing superior technologies and better connections, provide high authority data. High authority data guarantees a positive impact on your marketing campaigns and hence, revenue margins because cleaner data always helps you to reach your target audiences’ inbox. 

The email addresses and the other columns they provide will be of high quality so that you don’t have to worry about the authenticity of the data.  

Such companies have to invest more in collecting great quality data to provide you a better database and email lists.   When investing a lot of money in segmented data, their buying costs also increase and it eventually will reflect on their pricing too.  

Business appending services tend to be costlier than consumer append services. Business email lists are difficult to obtain and update regularly. Consumer emails tend to be in existence for a longer time as individual customers never change their personal email addresses for a long time.

  1. Data Segmentation

Data segmentation is the process of segmenting your data so that you can use it more efficiently for your marketing and operations.

How Can Data Segmentation Help?

Data segmentation will allow you to communicate a relevant and targeted message to each identified segment. By segmenting your data, you will be able to identify the different levels of your customer database and this helps you to customize sophisticated messages that suit your target market’s interest.

  1. Guarantee of Match Rate

Some companies have a superior tech platform to find out and track the match rate of their email lists. So, they can visibly display their high match rate which is a very important metric when it comes to appending.

An email appending firm that ensures high match rate will be always ahead of its competitors because big businesses always prefer them over others. The prime reason for this being such clean data can boost their campaigns instantly.

Such companies demand a high price for append services as they are certain that they can deliver high quality data and enhances your business value. The insurance of a high match rate varies according to company policies.

Some companies offer 60 percentage match rate while others offer 80 percent.  They will also have the technology to rationally prove their superior match rates.  In the bargaining process, they can always be on top of the situation because of this important factor.  

There are also companies who have methods to keep a quick turnaround time which is one of the factors the customers always prefer when it comes to appending services.  

  1. Timelines for Email Appending

Timelines of appending is another important factor that defines the pricing of the services.  When you have to deliver a webinar, event or workshop, you are bound by timelines.

 In such cases, you can’t wait for a long time to get your data appended properly.  Companies will prefer a better turnaround time so that they will go for appending firms that deliver the service fast.  

Superior tech platforms can provide you millions of records within just three working days.

  1. Accuracy and Reliability

When you do append, if the database is coming from a good appending company, most of your email addresses will match and enhance your database.  When people put emphasis on the accuracy factor, charges tend to go higher.

 Companies that offer higher accuracy rate tend to charge higher than small appending agencies that don’t provide data with great accuracy.

Appending is not about replacing one junk email with another junk mail but getting a quality update on your existing data to enhance your campaigns.

  1. Data Safety & Security

Companies use a spectrum of modern software technologies to ensure your data safety.  The privacy of your data is the most important factor in this process. You don’t want your information to be shared with third parties.

If your appending firm exposes your information to other clients, it will plummet your revenues and eventually, your business itself.   You need quality appending companies that use quality services like Microsoft Cloud based database.

When working in such platforms you don’t have to worry about ‘the hacker menace’. It is not easy for hackers to crack such a platform and leak your information.

While such companies who can offer you a safe service, their pricing also go higher.  If you need a quality appending service, you need to pay more that’s the secret of the whole appending game.  

If the appending firm has given you a separate cloud server, they will also give you a search interface and be using that you can always search, find and retrieve your data at any time. That server won’t be shared with anyone.

This relieves you from storing all the data in your system and making the process slower.  Superior appending firms not just deliver you the good data appending service but it always makes your sales teams work faster.

  1. Spam Detection

Good companies will flag bad email addresses in your already existing database and it is a part of their appending services.   They flag the malicious and invalid email addresses in red color and helps you to remove it from your list. Such data won’t be appended but will be marked in red.  

By flagging such data, the risk of getting spammed will be reduced.  This is an important factor determining the quality of a marketing email.  This also helps the appending firms to increase their pricing.

  In fact, it is your business goals and objectives that determine the kind of benefits you expect from a data appending company.

  1. Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is an important stage in negotiating the email pricing.  As a customer, you need to assess rationally whether the service offered by the appending firm is worth for your end goals.

Sometimes, the pricing can be higher but the company might not be offering much for such a great pricing.  

  1. Declaration of Software/Service

Companies that use advanced technology to implement appending process will charge you more as their quality of service will be higher. They themselves have to invest a lot to provide you error-free and updated data for both business and consumer append.

So, the charge they had to invest to get those technological platforms will reflect on their package pricing.

The firms that run on older technologies cannot provide high-quality data hence they will price their package accordingly.  

You need to ask the right questions to find out the tech platforms the firms use for their appending service.  Data decay can badly affect the way you append your data if you are operating on outdated technologies or legacy systems.

How To Determine the Email Append Service Cost Structure

There are a number of factors determining the email append pricing structure. Let’s analyze the most important ones that decide the various pricing packages.

  1. Total Effort

When you have a vast customer record, you need to put some effort in figuring out the manpower it takes to update the data if you are not using the proper technology. 

You need to ask the right questions to find out the exact value that you are going to get from the service offered by the appending companies.

  1. Cost For The Software & Tools

One important factor deciding the email append pricing is the cost of the software tools. To update them and buy new technology, they need to invest a lot. This will decide the package they design for their clients. So, the cost for the software is really expensive.

Email Append Packages

  1. Payment Models And Service Plans

Email append companies provide a variety of packages, based on both time duration and the size of the database.  Sometimes, small companies might provide you a monthly package which has to be renewed every month to get the service without any interruption.  

Some appending companies offer six-month plan and when you go for a long period package, you get some kind of discounts.  Sometimes, pricing can go a little higher due to data decay as we need to provide updated data.

You also need to send test emails to the recipients, to primarily test the relevance of the received email ids.

  1. Size Of The Companies

According to the size of the companies, rules and regulations on pricing can vary. The rules of the big companies will be complex and you need a legal team to understand them in a comprehensive manner and make the buying decision.

To acquire certain databases, you will have to depend on a big email append firm.  Your business objective is the main factor that decides whether you should choose a big company.

What Type Of Email Appending Companies Do& Charge For

There are mainly three types of email appending service you get from the appending firms. We can categorize them as business email appending, consumer email appending and reverse email appending.

a) Business Email Appending

Business email appending services are expensive when compared to other appending options.

 It is hard to obtain and update business email addresses. Sometimes, the designation of the employee can change overnight and he/she will be given new email addresses by the organization.

This makes the old email addresses you have in your data invalid.  Business emails need to be regularly updated to keep them relevant.

 b) Consumer Email Appending

A business sector like E-commerce needs consumer email appending services. Consumer email appending is not as expensive as business email appending because the consumers are not likely to change their personal emails often. Thus, it is relatively easy to get their emails and update them.  

Email Append Pricing Estimation

c) Reverse Email Appending

In reverse email appending, you get more columns than just other email addresses. This makes reverse email append pricing higher than other options.

Using reverse email append, you can enhance your email targeting process and improve the house files.  Reverse appending helps you match the email addresses of individuals with their postal addresses. 

When you do reverse append your database, chances are high that you get a much better deliverability rate and sender reputation. Hence, you also get high CTR which effectively can boost your email campaigns.

What Type Of Email Appending Package Will Suit My Needs?

There are various ways in which you can handle this question. Firstly, you need to be clear about your goals. Then you need to understand how easy or difficult it is going to be to get the job done. That depends on the complexity levels of your data, how good or bad it is currently and what are the match rates you can possibly expect.

1. According To Budget

Whatever maybe the process, the end result of the partner you choose, the budget is always going to be a major talking point. How much are you willing to shell out for this process, how does it fit into your quarterly and yearly financial plans, are you planning on doing this once or is it going to be a regular process, does your data really need regular appending and so on. These questions and their answers to it, coupled with the packages and rates that you find available are going to give you a better idea of how much you should be spending and why.

2. Records You Want To Append

Most often, a deal which gives you the option of regular appending over a period of time, with a set number of records can be bargained at for within a lower range. It can be cheaper to do this but it also depends on if you really need it. The more number of records you want to append, the lesser will the rates be. You can always go for a staggered process where you break up the numbers over a period of time.

3. Packages

As usual in the industry, appending companies provide packages. These can be prominently divided into Platinum, Gold, and Silver.

The Platinum package is usually the costlier and better version, which is usually a fit for large database marketing companies. They offer add-ons that make a life for a bulk database manager easier. These features may be useless to a smaller company or those who have smaller datasets.

Most times, the majority of database managers go for the gold version. This is because it is lower cost, has all the important features and leaves out the fancier aspects. Most companies that can afford to run data append processes on their sets are usually seen picking this one up.

The Silver Pack is for beginners and smaller companies. This contains the bare minimum that needs to be provided, is cheaper and gets the job done, if it is only appending you are looking at. 

Most Common Appending Payment Models

1. Match Based

Some companies have a technology platform to determine the rate of their match based records. As it gives some sense of validity and surety, their services are also always in demand. You will get tons of email addresses in your database from various sources.  Match-based appending tends to be a bit costlier than other methods.

2. Volume Based

In volume based appending, you can pay for the email lists that match yours and complete it.  It, in effect, will enhance the quality of your data by filling the blank spaces and other columns.

3. Monthly And Yearly Contract Based

Apart from volume based and match based appending packages, companies offer monthly and yearly contracts.  Monthly contracts tend to have higher prices than yearly packages.

Considering Flat Rate Pricing For Email Appending Is Good or Bad

  1. Multiple Cost Factors

Some companies offer a flat pricing for sectors like E-commerce. Most times, in the E-commerce sector, email appending is easy because they are dealing with consumer emails. Consumer emails are individuals email and individuals never change personal email constantly.

So, you get a flat pricing for B2C E-commerce data because the company’s appending cost is less.  People who append their database once in a year always go for such flat pricing.

But, when it comes to business append pricing, charges will be higher because of the obvious reason- the designation changes, promotion, demotion and transfer of employees, thus changes in their official email addresses.

  1. Changes In The Database

Sometimes, the email database of the appending firm tends to get a little older and invalid because of data decay. This also could be a reason for the low price they quote for their packages.

  1. Database Maintenance Cost

You get a flat rate pricing if the company is delivering you the information in conventional platforms like Excel and FTP.  When you get data from superior tech platforms, the prices will go up.

You will get a dedicated server for your data and no other organization will be able to access that server.  You can retrieve your data whenever you want using search index option.

Can The Email Appending Industry Switch To A Pay-For-Performance Pricing Model?

From the clients’ business perspective, Pay-for-Performance is an interesting concept that gathered attention recently.

Pay-for-Performance is a method where clients pay the email append firm for the positive results they got after appending their data.

As clients can see the positive results of their opted email appending pricing, they can progress their business relationship with the append firm further.

But, this is not a good option for profits making from the perspective of email append services.   There are several reasons for an email marketing campaign to be a huge success.

The subject line, content, design, right offers, deliverability- all these factors have to be in the right place for the campaign to create an amazing result.  Even if the campaign lacks one of these qualities, it won’t bring the expected results.

Holding email append companies for all that is not rationally justifiable. Deliverability is a complex concept and it can’t be a measure to evaluate the performance and quality of the appending email lists. So, for append firms, Pay-for-Performance is a difficult concept.

There are many other issues that can affect an email campaign such as blacklisted bounce back messages, a full inbox, auto-reply/vacation, ISP provider blocking the emails for reasons best known to them.

Should Appending Companies Discount Their Services? 

Recently, this discount trend has been booming in the industry.  Companies usually go the ‘discount way’ when they want to sell the low-priced products in high quantities. Appending firms also tend to follow this tradition when they want to make profits in a brief amount of time. Some email appending companies do this just to cut costs and stay competitive.

The best way to attract a client is to sell a package for a comparatively lesser price than your competitor. This helps to create more brand awareness and once clients started to flow into your organization, you can normalize the price.

Companies offer occasional discounts for loyal customers to show that they care!  They project these discounts in the form of a reward. Such offers are effective and often hit the bull’s eye!

Clients also get a discount when they buy customer records in large quantities. Discounts can also be a clever advertising strategy to attract more clients towards their brand.

When Can a Discount Make Sense?

When a company offers you a high-quality data in a lesser price, you can opt for such a package.  There is no point in buying an email list comprising tons of invalid or old data for a discounted price.

Critical Mistakes Clients Make

Mistake 1: Deciding Solely on Package Price

You should never decide your append company solely on price. A lesser package doesn’t always mean a profitable deal.  A heavy price doesn’t always mean financial budget disaster. Sometimes, high priced appending can work wonders for you. According to industry standards, you can go for an append package starting at.15-20 cents per matches and verified email addresses.

Mistake 2: Not Finding Out Exactly How Much Work You’re Getting For the Quoted Price

Check whether you are finding how much work you get for a quoted price.  Another important factor is checking whether append company’s quote is affordable for your budget.

Mistake 3: Long Term Contract and Using Proprietary Software

One mistake customers commit is to go for a long term contract. It is not a right choice to select a long-term appending contract without knowing the quality of the appending service. If the appending services were not up to the mark or running on legacy systems, your business will be a big loss.

You need to avoid such deals. You don’t need to pay a higher charge for getting a limited database and appending service that uses legacy systems. Legacy systems are the technology that either receives no support from its manufacturing company or totally outdated in terms of relevance.

Mistake 4: Not Realizing That Only a Collaborative Process Delivers Success

Email marketing campaign, in its roots, is a comprehensive and collaborative process. As a variety of factors contribute to its overall success, a poor performance of your email list can’t be blamed on your e-append companies’ efforts.

Things You Should Care Before Investing Your Money for Appending

  1. Accuracy of Your Current Customer List

There is no point in getting an e-append service where you receive tons of invalid and bad email lists.  It is wise to subscribe for a short term contract and check whether the correct customer list they deliver is updated or right for your business. This will enable you to take a decision on choosing the right appending service.

2. Credibility of Appending Companies

Checking and verifying the previous track records and the quality of their past works will help you to choose the right append company.  Ensuring the credibility of email appending company helps you go for a long term contract and crack the best marketing campaigns. E-append pricing is directly connected to the credibility of the appending firm.

3. Other Client Feedbacks

Get the feedback from the appending company’s previous and present customers if possible.  If you get a positive response from them, you can think of the right move regarding the appending service and pricing.

4. Price Comparison with Competitors

Before making a buying decision, it is always important to compare the pricing with your email appending company’s competitors. So that you can rationalize the budget decision and check whether you are getting all the benefits for the money you spend on this service.

If you want to craft great marketing campaigns, you need email appending service. What you do today is what determines your business’s future.

Your strategy should be efficient enough to make your business stay connected to existing and potential prospects.  So, opt for the right email appending company to have a long, successful run in the business market and choose the right package wisely!

Jenni Wrights

Jenni is a VP at Ampliz who focuses on business solutions. She writes about current marketing trends in Social Media and Email marketing, helping entrepreneurs to generate leads for their businesses.

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