Best Practices for Purchased Data

Document created by 9588451ecc601f1a2620c0a3338f73ddec06dbf4 Employee on Dec 17, 2014Last modified by 9588451ecc601f1a2620c0a3338f73ddec06dbf4 Employee on Sep 27, 2017
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At Marketo it is a violation of our Email Use Policy to send cold emails to purchased email addresses.

Electronic Communications and Anti-Spam Policy

Customer will comply with all laws and regulations applicable to bulk or commercial email, as well as other electronic communications, when using the Services, including without limitation all local or national laws applicable to the regions where Customer has business operations or where the recipients of their electronic communications are located.

Marketo has a zero tolerance policy regarding using the Services to send Unsolicited Commercial Email ("UCE") or Unsolicited Bulk Email (“UBE”) (collectively referred to as “spam” or “Unsolicited Email”). Unsolicited Email is defined as email sent to persons other than persons with whom Customer has an existing business relationship, OR (ii) persons who have consented to the receipt of such email, including publishing or providing their email address in a manner from which consent to receive email of the type transmitted may be reasonably implied. Commercial advertising and/or emails and other electronic communications may only be sent to recipients who have opted-in to receive messages from the sender.

It is Marketo's policy to catalog, investigate and take appropriate action on all reports of abuse. Any Customer account found to be in violation of this policy is subject to immediate suspension, and may not be allowed to send any additional emails or other electronic communications using the Services.

Recipients of emails or other electronic communications sent using the Services are encouraged to report suspected violation of this policy by forwarding a copy of the received email or other electronic communication to

The full text of the policy is here: Marketo Use Policy –

Is there ever an acceptable use for purchased data?  Yes.

The Marketo Privacy Team supports the following uses for purchased data:

  • Generate personalized URLs and send to purchased leads by postal mail
  • Use purchased data to fill in additional details about leads who only provide an email address at the time of opt in - this makes for great targeting!
  • When operating in a small market of known leads, purchased data can be useful for research purposes to track information about your target market
  • Purchased leads can be contacted by phone to obtain email permission


The global anti-spam community does not consider permission to be transferable, except in the following circumstances:

  • A company is wholly acquired by a new parent company; emails sent will include the same content from new owners
  • A division of a company - product or brand - is acquired by a new parent company; emails sent will include the same content from new owners


Both parts of the above are key. Personal data alone may not be transferred with permission intact because permission is contextual. Even in the case of an acquisition additional permission is required if the emails will include significantly different content.

To provide an illustration, when "Acme" acquired a home video camera company they acquired permission to continue to email the company's leads about selling home video cameras. That does not mean they have permission to email those people about every other product in "Acme's" portfolio. Email permission was granted to receive emails about home video products, not anything else. "Acme" could email those people and ask them to opt in to their other mailing lists, but acquiring a company does not give the new parent company the right to add the child company's opted-in leads to all their other unrelated mailing lists.

Data vendors may say the leads they sell are "opted-in," but this is not true according to the standards set forth by the global antispam community.  Even if these individuals genuinely wished for the data vendor to sell their email addresses (often demonstrably untrue), they still would not have provided direct permission to the buyer to send them email. Marketo requires that permission be direct to the sender (or that there is an existing business relationship) to send email within our Terms.

Additionally, many data companies offer list rental services where the data company sends an initial message, and passes on only the information of recipients who respond to the offer.