One of The Naked Marketing Company’s most popular and busy services is the design, drafting, development and delivery of direct mailer campaigns. (Or “email marketing”, if you prefer)
The idea is to produce eye-catching material that will attract and engage with a database of willing subscribers. The database is the key to producing successful, effective and profitable campaigns.
So we start with the client’s existing database, which they have either built up over time or have bought in from a reputable list broker.
We embark on a series of email communications on behalf of our client using the client’s identity and not our own. We identify the contacts who have read the mailer and, in particular, those who have opened and read it several times. We’re especially interested in those that have clicked links for additional information at the client’s website. All this information is passed back to the client for them to make personal contact with those people who have expressed an interest in the content of the mailer.
With each mailer, the database is updated. Some people unsubscribe and are removed from future mailings. Some are replaced by new and actively interested subscribers. Our programme of emails will gradually strengthen the database to only those contacts who actively and actually want information from the client company. It’s a continuous process of monitoring, management and refinement.
The result is that, within a short time, the database bears little resemblance to the database originally provided by the client. The new database is entirely the work of the email provider (us, for example).
So if the client then decides they want their database back, who’s work… who’s “property”… is it? Who now “owns” the database? To all intents and purposes it’s a completely new thing. And its value to the client has increased and continues to increase as a result of the email provider’s work and input.
Can anyone advise on what copyright laws say about ownership and value?