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Ken Magill

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Vendor Spotlight: TowerData

By Ken Magill
TowerData aims to help you keep your data clean and get to know the people on your customer file better.
Among the company’s offerings is email validation, where it assures clients incoming email addresses are valid and deliverable.
“With email validation, we help with data acquisition and improve deliverability,” said Brian Cardona, president of TowerData.
According to Cardona, email address validation works globally and is done at the point of address acquisition.
“As data is acquired, whether it’s in real-time for or in a brick-and-mortar environment, you can make sure the data is deliverable,” he added. “When it’s presented on a website, there is a short window to get accurate data from that user. By using validation, if you determine there’s a miss-key, or it was just somehow entered incorrectly, you can prompt that user to re-enter.”
TowerData also can enhance clients’ email files with demographics, enabling more personalized email marketing, according to Cardona.
In 2013, TowerData acquired Rapleaf, a company that offers demographic information on email addresses, such as gender and interests.
Through the Rapleaf-acquired offering, TowerData claims it can enhance as much as 80 percent of a typical marketing email list.
“We’re helping folks get a better idea of who is behind an email address,” said Cardona. “Rapleaf brought over the demographic data, age, income, gender, marital status, presence of children. There are over 30 fields available, but those are the most popular key demographics used for personalization and segmentation as you attempt to convert newly acquired email addresses or perhaps older addresses.”
He added the Rapleaf acquired database includes hundreds of millions of records and typically achieves a 75- to 80-percent match rate for gender and a 30-percent match rate for other key demographics.
The data is primarily business-to-consumer and U.S.-based, he added.
TowerData also offers a service called the “email opener flag” that allows clients to identify email addresses that may not be active with them but are still active elsewhere.
“This ties into the debate our industry has been having about scrubbing inactive addresses,” said Cardona. “The opener flag is about 170 million records of known openers within the last 12 months. Within that we can return the date of most recent open by month and year.”
Cardona said the tool is great for marketers who want to re-engage addresses they may have suppressed.
“It’s a super tool for deciding ‘this is the data I know is active elsewhere, so let me mail that data first,’” he said.
Conversely, TowerData can also tell clients if a dormant email address is active nowhere and possibly unsafe to mail, Cardona said. 
TowerData can also tell if an address is newly minted and should be treated with caution, said Cardona.
“One of the pieces that came with Rapleaf was email activity metrics going back to 2006,” he said. “If we haven’t seen an email, that’s not necessarily a good thing. It could be brand new. It might be productive. It might not. A lot of our clients use that piece of our business for fraud prevention.”
TowerData can also tell how often an address is used, said Cardona. If an address turns up on multiple clients’ email files, it’s an indication the address is legitimate.
“Having awareness that an email address is being presented frequently is a good thing,” he said.

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