Eloqua and Marketo Partner with List Seller/Email Appender NetProspex

Apparently ESPs Eloqua and Marketo are partnering with a list seller and email appender, NetProspex. NetProspex is not unknown to me or others who are active in email abuse issues. Among other accomplishments, NetProspex has managed to attain a listing in the Spamhaus Project’s ROKSO, their list of the “worst of the worst” spammers. Laura Atkins at Word to the Wise, a well-known email deliverability expert, blogged about NetProspex a few years ago. Nothing I know suggests that her blog is in any way out of date.

Unfortunately, the story appears to be true:

I’ll make my position clear. If Eloqua and Marketo send email to lists provided by NetProspex, then Eloqua and Marketo are spamming, as are the Eloqua or Marketo customers that mail to any of these lists. If it were not for Eloqua and Marketo being major players in the legitimate bulk email business, this bit of news would not qualify for inclusion on the Mainsleaze blog because by our standards, NetProspex is not offering a legitimate product or service.

I should not have to say more than this, but perhaps somebody who reads this blog does not already understand that sending bulk email to purchased lists, email appended lists, or any other type of opt-out list constitutes spamming. NetProspex offers lists of email addresses for sale, and email appending services. These services constitute spam support.

If Eloqua or Marketo was unaware of this activity, they need to deny the allegations on the NetProspex home page and in the press release sent to the Motley Fool and other industry news sites now.

7 Responses to Eloqua and Marketo Partner with List Seller/Email Appender NetProspex

  1. Unfortunately our Marketing/Launchpoint Partner Team was unaware of the ROSKO status of Netprospex. I made them aware of this situation and have had their information removed from our Launchpoint Partner site.


    I am looking into the Marketo Connector on the Netprospex site.

    Thank you,
    Kiersti Esparza
    Privacy at Marketo

    • That’s good to know, Kiersti. When somebody drew my attention to the NetProspex home page and the Motley Fool article, I thought that there had to be some sort of mistake. Neither Marketo nor Eloqua ignores spam. But marketing or business development departments sometimes don’t think to check for problems when they should. :/

      Let us know what the final resolution is, please.

      • After reviewing this more closely the Marketo Connector is exactly the same as Sweeney describes below.

        The connector will not provide an email address, it will only normalize contact information and provides additional details about job function, industry details and company demographics based on an existing email address.

        Kiersti Esparza
        Privacy at Marketo

  2. I am a bit confused by this. While we aren’t using NetProspects, we considered them for a project that was related to enhancing data. We like to use short forms – first name, last name, company, title and email, but then use a third party to augment account information aka firmographics (for SIC/NAICS codes, company size, etc.) This allows for better segmentation to ensure relevant content for those that have come in through inbound channels (and have opted in).

    Shouldn’t companies like Marketo and Eloqua be encouraging use of vendors like these to encourage segmentation (while still not supporting spam)?

    • I’m not the person to ask about marketing decisions; I’m no marketer. However, NetProspex advertises and sells lists for opt-out marketing. They also offer email append services that take customer lists that do not have email addresses and match the identities to email addresses sourced from their database.

      Those email addresses were not for the most part provided to NetProspex by the email address owners for bulk email marketing. NetProspex does not have permission to send email to those email addresses. Neither do their customers have permission to email those email addresses. NetProspex supports opt-out bulk email; this fact is easily verified by what they say on their web site and what their principals have stated publicly in press releases and in the media.

      Given the focus and the bulk of their business, I cannot imagine that a permission-based, legitimate bulk email operation would partner with NetProspex.

      I’m not talking about database-driven marketing in general. As I said, I’m not a marketer, but using a third-party provider to gain additional information about customers whose email addresses you already have and whom you already have permission to email isn’t spam support. I would find it somewhat creepy if taken to an extreme; I value my privacy and do not react well to marketing that is “targeted” too closely to me. However, the Mainsleaze Spam blog is about spam, not wider privacy issues or general marketing discussion.

  3. I think there is a misunderstanding about the nature of the Eloqua connector here. This does not provide email addresses at any time to the user, nor does it provide email addresses for NetProspex use. The connector only has the ability to key off email addresses that have already been submitted to the user by the end recipient and then does the following:

    Populates data on job functions and contact details
    Adds industry segmentation
    Provides sizing in revenue and employee count
    Normalizes fields by checking for misspelled names or the use of ALL CAPS and inconsistent use of job titles

    At no time is the functionality facilitating the sending of email to lists provided by NetProspex. We would never permit the use of such data via our connectors, especially in light of the ROKSO listings which we take very seriously.


    • Hmmmm…. I appreciate the explanation. I’m not comfortable with the situation, obviously. A ROKSO-listed entity that hasn’t yet passed the Spamhaus sniff test enough to be removed from ROKSO is a pretty poisonous connection for any company involved in the sending of bulk email. What you explain sounds like a legitimate database-driven marketing function, however, so my lack of comfort is mostly due to my experience with NetProspex as a spammer and spam supporter rather than how you are using them. I really hate to see a legitimate company’s name associated with a company that does what they do. 🙁

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