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Shuvitt Inyurass Negotiates a List Deal ... Almost

1/14/14

By Ken Magill

Hey everybody! Shuvitt Inyurass is back! And this time he’s trying to negotiate an email list deal.

As long-time readers know, Shuvitt Inyurass was my fake name in a 2009 exchange with a Nigerian 419 scammer in which I introduced family members such as Pierce D. Boyle and Lihtta Pharty Inyurass.

I have used the fake name and email address, ShuvittInyurass_at_yahoo.com, to communicate with various likely scam artists over the ensuing years to see, among other things, if they can spot its obvious absurdity.

I thought I killed off Shuvitt Inyurass a couple times, but every once in a while he still proves useful.

This time, I got him involved in a list negotiation with a seemingly shady email list seller—shady email list seller being redundant, of course.

It all started when a woman calling herself Margaret Hicks sent an unsolicited email to my Gmail address asking if I would be interested in buying an email list.

The message came from Margaret.Hicks@itserleads.com. When I asked for her company’s name and URL she replied with www.infodatahouse.com.

Ding! First sign I might be about to get scammed: Her email address doesn’t match her company’s website address.

Interestingly, a check of the company’s website reveals testimonials of people who seem to actually exist. Last week, I published a list of warning signs when dealing with data-services firms, one of which was testimonials that can’t be verified.

I didn’t reach out to any of the people who supposedly supplied the testimonials for this particular company, but the point of this exercise is to show not all the warning signs I published last week have to be in place to send up warning flags.

When I asked Margaret how her company’s lists are built she replied with the following. Notice the lack of specifics:

We have an in-house database of 120 Mil + B2B contacts which are periodically updated and verified. Below are some of the ways which our data compilation and segmentation team deploy to get the information on technology lists:

- Tele calling

- Technology specific opt-in mailers

- B2B surveys

- Technology Portals and user communities

- B2B magazine subscriptions

- Technology specific events and conferences followed up by an opt-in mailer and tele-verification.

- Partner sources

- Company profiling

- Market research

- R & D team

- Partnerships with technology specific job portals.

- Social networking portals.

- Users Community group.

We roll out industry specific survey campaigns requesting companies for their in-house technology details in exchange for a certain amount of data. Other sources include Tele-interviews, Tradeshows, Seminars, Conferences, Market Research, Tele-calling, Webinars, B2B Portal, Magazine Subscriptions, Online submissions etc. Once compiled, a dedicated tale-calling team verifies these captures over the phone. This is why we confidently guarantee 100% accuracy on technology information.

Notice not a single magazine, conference, seminar or tradeshow is named.

I decided it was time to bring Shuvitt Inyurass into the equation:

Hi Margaret:

Thank you for your prompt response.

The person in charge of buying data for this firm is the company's owner. His name is Shuvitt Inyurass.

The company is called the Inyurass Ointment Company.

Shuvitt uses a Yahoo address primarily. It is ShuvittInyurass@yahoo.com.
I have told him he should probably consider doing business with you.

He is expecting to hear from you.

Thank you again.

Then Shuvitt Inyurass sent Margaret the following:

Hi Margaret:

One of my colleagues, Ken, sent me your information.

I am the CEO of the Shuvitt Inyurass Ointment Company.

We specialize in ointments, creams and powders aimed at alleviating severe anal itching and rashes.

Our products are based on folk remedies created by Andes mountain dwellers developed to cure the effects of the Andes Mountain Brown-Hole Worm.

I am looking for lists of people who either need such a cure, or medical professionals who are in a position to prescribe our products.

Do you have any lists that might be of use to me?

Sincerely:

Shuvitt Inyurass

Margaret responded:

Hi Shuvitt,

Thank you for your response,

Please find below the counts for given criteria.

Physician: Dermatologist

Geo: USA

Counts:14,765 contacts

Below are the data quality metrics:

Information fields: Company Name, Web Address, Contact Name, Title, Address1, City, State, Zip Code, Country, Company Phone & Email Address.

Data Accuracy Guarantee: We guarantee 85% and above on email deliverability and 90% on other data (Phone, fax, etc.).

Delivery format: The list will be delivered in excel spread sheet for unlimited usage.

Opt-in rate: All contacts are with 100% email addresses and all are opted in to receive third party offers. No generic/info/sales etc. email addresses.

Please review and let me know:

1. How soon you want to acquire the list?

2. What is the purpose of the list acquisition?

Await your response

Warm regards,

Margaret

Ding! Another warning signal. The list is for perpetual use. No legitimate firm sells email lists for perpetual use.

So I responded:

Hi Margaret:

Thank you for your response. Your recommendation of dermatologists is somewhat on the mark, but a little broad.

As I said in my last email, the Inyurass Ointment Company specializes in ointments, creams and powders aimed at alleviating severe anal itching and rashes.

They are not aimed at the entire body, but one particular area of the body—the anus. Our flagship product, Inyurass Ointment Co. Anal Magic, has been known to show positive results in as few as three days.

We also offer a product called Fanny Rash Be-Gone.

I’m thinking maybe proctologists might be a good fit for our products. Do you have such lists?
How much would it cost per contact?

Lastly, will you need to see our promotional materials before we send them out?

Sincerely:

Shuvitt Inyurass

“Inyurass Ointments: The company behind your healthy behind.”

Margaret responded:

Hi Shuvitt,

Thanks for the follow up, i just reached office, Good day to you.

Please find the pricing for Given criteria.

Physician: Dermatologist and proctologists

Geo: USA

Counts:14,765 + 52 contacts

Total counts : 14,817 contacts

Pricing: you can acquire entire 14,817 contacts for $8,000/-

Information fields: Company Name, Web Address, Contact Name, Title, Address1, City, State, Zip Code, Country, Company Phone & Email Address.

Additional features:

•The list will be manually verified prior to delivery

•The file will be delivered in excel spreadsheet or .csv format for unlimited usage

•All contacts will be 100% opted in

•Free update/refresh will be provided for the next quarter and 20% more contacts will be added for free.

•Refund will be provided for all the contacts that go below guaranteed metrics.

•100% guarantee will be provided for the information about a particular technology being used by a given company

Please review and let me know if you have any questions for me.

I will await your response.

Warm regards,

Margaret

The thing that popped out here was the price. It works out to about $500 per thousand names. Usually shady list firms sell their data dirt cheap.

I told Margaret I thought her price was very high. She responded:

Thanks Shuvitt for the prompt response,

I can certainly understand that you want the best price possible. It may be helpful to explain that usually the lowest priced data is only 65% accurate or worse. But I can show you that our 85% deliverability guarantee can lead to a 300% ROI and potentially tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in increased sales. So, in the long run, the more accurate list costs less because it yields more in revenue from the campaigns. Does that make sense?

Await your response,

Warm Regards,

Margaret

I then told her I only wanted proctologists. She responded:

Shuvitt, I can provide you proctologists list but we have only 52 verified contacts from USA. Our pricing options is volume based, the more the number of contacts lesser the price and vice versa. If your purchase only proctologist list you would need to pay $10/contact. so my advice is to go with higher number of contacts which will reduce the cost per contact.

Please let me know if you have any questions for me?

I will await your response.

Warm Regards

Margaret

I then asked her how she would suggest positioning the Inyurass Ointment Company’s products to such a broad list.

Alas, she stopped communicating with me. Too bad. I was really looking forward to Margaret’s input.

The lesson: Not all the warning signs have to be in place to send up red flags when dealing with data companies.

In this case, Margaret didn’t immediately recognize Shuvitt Inyurass for the ridiculousness that it is, indicating she’s not as western as her name sounds. Her email address did not match her company’s website name. She offered email lists for perpetual use. The description of how the list was built was bereft of specifics, such as names of conferences and publications.

Yes, the site testimonials seemed like they might be legitimate. And yes, the pricing was not suspiciously low. But those two points don’t outweigh the warning signs.

And yes, I never matured beyond the age of 10.

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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: KirkNagle@DRALists.com
Date: 2014-01-16 02:48:27
Subject: $500 per 1,000

I noticed a slight miss-use of English, which often indicates an overseas operation, but these people might be as legit as any list source and most lists sold here in the USA are terrible to begin with. We do rent/sell business emails for endless-use (nobody cares the actual rental is for 1-year on all "unlimited-use" postal and email lists because they deteriorate so quickly). The largest business list compiler in the nation charges more than $500 per 1,000. Their quote of $500 per 1,000 suggests they might be resellers from that source. We would verify that by requesting counts from this source as well as the known compiler to see if they match. That’s one way we prove to our clients we sell real lists directly from the leading compilers. Another topic was the lack of details on list sources. No email or postal list source EVER gives details on sources unless it's a subscription, response, or similar list (10% of the list industry) and I mean none! It is always nebulous (300+ proprietary sources, public records, telco, registrations, and telephone verified, etc.). That's why we say the list industry is the true "Wild West". There are no sources given, and no adequate comparisons between lists. The cost to scientifically test is prohibitive for 99% of all mailers. There's no true guarantees, no consistency in how lists are selected (by the client or the list producer), no accountability, almost no understanding of choices, no recourse for junk lists, and there are thousands of places to buy lists. All compiled lists are filled with modeled data so you never, ever get the list you order. If you target homeowners with $50K-income or businesses that sell $1mm you'll get some model someone wrote somewhere picking the records most likely to “fit”. Nobody knows where they got their expertise to do that, let alone where they got their records in the first place, let alone what data they have to allow them to "model" income or business sales. The IRS doesn't release data, you didn't tell anybody else your income or sales and neither did anybody else. Self-reported data exists on only a very small number of records and isn't updated for 5+-years at a time. Dun & Bradstreet has actual financial statements on less than 5% of their database yet every record has financials (95% modeled). InfoUSA has no financial statements (except on 3,000-publicly traded companies) and gathers no credit references so their financials are 100% modeled as are their “credit ratings”. In short, almost all list information is modeled (fake). There are 60,000+ lists advertised in the lists of lists advertised to the list industry. Some guy working from his bedroom will sell you left-handed lawyers and 18-year old millionaires that want what you're selling. They're all in there but, again, it's almost all modeled data. Nice houses have high income, are owned, and have kids of this age and have this income and a dog. That's almost all modeled. How do you know if Superlists is using real data and GreatestLists isn’t? We never buy lists with unknown “vanity” names. Somebody is reselling something they get somewhere else. There are only a handful of truly legitimate list compilers. Next, lists are already horrendously out of date (by years even when they’re just refreshed). And lists are ugly (especially business lists) and we've been hit by "Inyurass" type names as well as curse words and racial slurs even from "reputable" list compilers. Next, with many people in many places making models there are obvious, huge skews as to how many fit a given parameter. That's why one list source has 5,000 and another has 50,000 records meeting your parameters. And perhaps most important is that cheap, old data, wholesale data, minimally-sourced data is available everywhere in the list industry. If you make up a great-sounding list name "Ameri-great lists" and set up a website you can sell the cheapest old crap someone you know gets somewhere. Most list sources sell what they get cheapest, not what’s most accurate. Like the end-user, they have no way to verify what’s good. Sure, everybody says their data is good-but nobody can prove it. Mailings are almost all “bulk” so the mailer never sees the returns, let alone how so many addresses they mailed obviously missed their financial parameters, not to mention THOSE PEOPLE MOVED OUT X YEARS AGO or THAT BUSINESS CLOSED X YEARS AGO. The USPS reported 25% of direct mail is undeliverable as addressed and in many cases 25% more of those records miss their parameters. After 30-years as list brokers we know all lists are bad, with many being 50%+ inappropriate or somehow incorrect. We always recommend the small, not larger list with more data likely known. We try to limit the selects we offer our clients as picking modeled data that is built on models continues to exacerbate the inaccuracies and we stick with the expensive, current-month files of the giant, well-known list compilers. And we very, very carefully select our lists. A check-box most would never think of can correctly kill off the least accurate 38% of a list. All of the same disasters in demographics in postal lists are appended to most email lists, again, unless they are specific subscriber or other response lists. Email lists are often worse than postal lists because there are so many "live" but unused emails they get delivered but nobody sees them. I have nearly a dozen emails but use only 3 regularly. I use the others for purchases and inquiries so my preferred accounts don't get loaded with spam. The saving grace is that consumer emails are so cheap many can tolerate a great deal of inaccuracy and if you pay for 50,000 the source will keep blasting until 50,000 are delivered. Business emails in your hand are expensive so the source and selects used must be considered carefully. The USPS NCOA, CASS, DSF and other processes catch a few small errors but have no way to verify anything but address accuracy. List sources show monthly “updates” but many are really only running postal processes and obtain “refreshes” from the compiler only quarterly or semi-annually. Business data is so difficult to gather and keep current Experian, which was the 3rd largest compiler of business lists stopped selling their own lists 3+-years ago and now resells InfoUSA data. InfoUSA is largely based on phone books, so their sources are often out of date when they first gather the data and it often sits there for 2+-years and so on. Contact names often go 5+-years without true verification. People upload their Outlook contacts to Jigsaw and other trading sites so compilers think this is brand new data yet that person may have left that position 5+-years earlier. Last, only a small percent of households fill out NCOA “forwarding” forms and never tell list compilers they’re moving and no business tells list compilers when they go out of business. Kirk Nagle DRALists.com
Posted by: Trish Wend
Date: 2014-01-15 09:40:22
Subject: Wow

Loved this, Ken. You've outdone yourself.
Posted by: Ken Magill
Date: 2014-01-14 17:41:33
Subject: LOL!

And thank you for laughing:)
Posted by: Matt B
Date: 2014-01-14 17:19:23
Subject: LOL!

Thanks for the laugh Ken! If I wasn't in the email game I think I would still read this blog.

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