Tim Stevens
Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Comparison: i-4business vs ZoomInfo

We’ve done i-4business vs Lusha. Now we look at ZoomInfo and how they compare to us.

It’s important to us that you know as much as possible about each data provider you may be considering so that you can make an informed choice.

Are they compliant? How do they gather their data, and does this result in effective data? Are there any red flags that should concern you?

Let’s see…

segmentation targeting data

The Data

ZoomInfo scan (often referred to as scrape) various online sources , buy information from other companies, and acquire it through market research surveys.

ZoomInfo also has a community from which to gather data. Once a user signs up to the ZoomInfo Community they are required to install ZoomInfo Contact Contributor software. This software accesses the users’ email programme and extracts signature headers and other information.

ZoomInfo states that they only scan business information and they ignore private email accounts. Apparently the software also doesn’t ‘read’ the contents of users’ emails but this is a risk that Community members need to judge for themselves.

Users can contribute business information about themselves or other people and companies but they must still install the software.

As with all our competitors, ZoomInfo’s approach is very different to ours when it comes to acquiring data. At i-4business we have a fully in-house research team of native speakers who gather our data. It’s a people-driven process. We don’t rely on technology or external sources. This ensures accuracy and quality.

We also own all of our data; we don’t acquire it from third parties. Again, we can ensure you have the highest  quality data with this approach.

In addition to the techniques mentioned above, ZoomInfo also have a history of acquiring other data providers and data-related companies to expand their database. Such acquisitions include RainKing in 2017 and EverString in 2020. 


The legalities

Straight away questions arise over the compliance of ZoomInfo’s data. As they purchase some of their data from third parties how can clients be sure that the data has been gathered in full compliance as ZoomInfo will have had no involvement in gathering the data? The same questions arise over the quality, accuracy and recency of the information.

The same issues arise regarding their acquisition of other data companies. If the data is simply integrated into their database, concerns arise as to being assured of compliance and quality.

We believe that ZoomInfo do not pass on opt-outs to clients. That will immediately make clients’ use of the information non-compliant and will lead to complaints and ineffective marketing campaigns.

They claim to email every data subject on their system and even add a ‘notified’ date to the individual’s profile. So, we thought we would look at the details they hold for i-4business and our own records of them notifying us that we were on their system.

The immediate concern was that no one at i-4business recollects ever receiving a notification email. Strange, considering they hold details of several of our members of staff.

What’s even more alarming is ZoomInfo have many contacts on the i-4business profile who have never worked for us and some that appear completely fictitious. These records carried falsified i-4business email addresses and the associated LinkedIn accounts clearly showed that they had never worked for i-4business. Even the false email addresses didn’t receive notification emails as we would have found them in our catch-all email system.

All in all then, very concerning on a compliance level.

In contrast, the data subjects in i-4business are fully informed re how their data will be processed and of with whom specifically we will share their data. I-4business is the most GDPR compliant in the industry. I-4business also provides ALL clients any opt outs received every week, ensuring customers of the platform are abiding by the data subjects marketing preferences. With compliance comes peace of mind and effective marketing campaigns as you’re contacting people that not only exist and work for the correct companies but are completely informed that you will be processing their information.

ZoomInfo pricing structure and other information

ZoomInfo are a very US-centric organisation – it is our opinion that they offer EMEA data solely so that they can market themselves as a global solution.

They get their intent data from Bidstream. Bidstream data is user behaviour captured by an ad pixel and shared through ad exchanges – we have  concerns as to whether  Bidstream can be compatible with GDPR. We would suggest that this further illustrates their lack of commitment to the market outside of the US.

ZoomInfo state that they have 25,000 customers so the individuals in their database will be receiving a lot of spam which may dilute client marketing campaigns.

Customers of ZoomInfo will typically be asked to sign a 24-month contract with payment required upfront. At i-4business we offer 12-month contracts with more flexible payment terms (typically monthly but quarterly and annual payment plans are available).

Once the relationship is over, we understand that clients don’t have to delete the data, so in effect they provide perpetual use of the data. This may seem positive, BUT it can be incredibly DANGEROUS! Due to the below:

  • Rapidly Growing Bounce Rates
  • Non Compliant - Writing to contacts that have opted out
  • Will become out of date, unless researched regularly using the correct process. 
  • Big Loss of reputation

In addition to the above, another thing to bare in mind, is if all ZoomInfo's ex-clients are still marketing to the data as well as all their existing clients, the individuals in the database will be enduring an overload of email communications. 

Price depends on a number of variants such as how many credits you need, the number of users, access type, and any extras you want to add. At i-4business we operate a much simpler and clearer pricing model. Find out more here.


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