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It never ceases to amaze me. Yet another email this morning offering a list of the Food Processing Suppliers Association email and contact list. Sometimes it’s the attendance list for Process Expo, sometimes it’s the association, but there is always someone hawking our database.

I want to say, “you’re too dumb to realize that you’re offering to sell me my own membership list,” but I’ve done enough mass marketing to realize I’m just on their list. It’s spray and pray just like my old boss used to say. I’ll send my cease and desist to this “Jessica Smith” and get hit up again in a few days by someone else or “Jessica” will just use a different name. There’s no stopping this.

All that said, I’ll say here what I have had to tell members for years.

We don’t sell our member list.

We don’t provide the member list to third parties for them to sell.

In fact, aside from our partners Messe Frankfurt (who manages Process Expo) and Multiview (who manages our News Brief, the FPSA Buyer’s Guide and a few other products), we don’t provide our member list to any third parties.

Therefore, “Jessica’s” claim to have the list can only be considered a lie. Why would I do business with this person? Why should you?

Believe me, I understand the need to develop new prospects with the goal of turning them into solid leads. I have even purchased a few cheap lists over the years to see how good the quality was in hope that something might pan out. Do I need to tell you the results that those efforts yielded? Like I said, it was cheap, so I wasn’t concerned about the money lost, it was the time and effort that you never get back.

There are much better ways to market than purchasing lists. In fact, I know that we have some marketers within the membership ranks that could put on a master class in the subject. That said, there is one avenue that I recommend when talking with members. FPSA has various publishers within the membership ranks that it has been my pleasure to work with on our marketing efforts. No, they will not sell you their list, but they have a variety of promotional products that you can purchase to reach out to their circulation of food and beverage professionals in ways both broad and targeted, depending on what you are looking to do.

Long gone are the days when you would simply develop an advertising budget and place a few print ads to run at certain times of the year. The publishers were probably the first ones to recognize this and therefore developed new digital products that could provide similar exposure but now with trackable results. And each year it gets better as they develop more products more in tune with what you are trying to achieve in your marketing plan.

Don’t believe me? Talk to them. They won’t just sell you. They really do understand and have the contacts you are looking for. Much more than “Jessica”.

Andy Drennan, FPSA SVP