In today’s competitive and highly-targeted markets, getting your contact list/database right is more crucial than ever. Marketing campaigns are only as good as the foundation they’re built on. Creating a robust database requires a combination of clarity of purpose, finesse, and a healthy dose of elbow grease – verifying and validating lists can be tedious, hard work, but a well-built database can prove invaluable. In fact, an accurate target database is really your most important marketing asset. Fresh names and email addresses mean greater campaign efficiency and higher response rates.
To maximize both the effectiveness and efficiency of your next marketing campaign, work with sales to ensure that the following steps align with both campaign objectives and the needs of your sales team:
- Clearly define your audience. The first step in building an accurate list might seem obvious, but it is surprising how many companies miss the mark – know your audience. Be clear about who your target market is, including the industries you’re trying to reach, as well as the business size. Our experience indicates that many companies still have work to do on targeting realistic prospects, specifically ensuring their products and services truly align with the needs and budgets of their target market.
- Determine your target roles. Once you’ve defined the best target market segments – the ones where your value proposition best resonates – you need to refine precisely who in that target market you’re trying to reach. Determine what your prospect’s buying process is and where in the process you can best leverage the value you offer. Do you need to connect with those experiencing the pain points who report upwards? Or would it be more advantageous to target the decision makers directly? What functions are typically on the buying committees at your target companies? The nature and complexity of your solution, and its corresponding price, will help determine what function or role and level of management should be targeted. Gaining a clear understanding of titles, levels, roles, and responsibilities in your target audience is vital to creating an efficient and useful list.
- Specify the “no-contact list”. Likewise, in an effort to capitalize on an efficient database (and not to become listed as a spammer), you also need to determine those who should not be contacted. The “no-contact list” will be a combination of a very pointed list including, people who have un-subscribed, competitors, spam trap emails and non-company addresses. The average client database decomposes at the rate of 24% per year. So on-going database hygiene is essential.
- Determine your objective, then validate accordingly. Next you’ll need to be clear about your list’s objective. This objective will dictate your level of research and time spent on verifying and validating your list. Highly focused and targeted lists will require you to go deep in your research to ensure accuracy by verifying each and every contact – but a direct-dial phone number which actually reaches the key decision maker personally (rather than getting you stuck on a gatekeeper), can prove invaluable. Or perhaps you are looking to launch a direct-mail campaign containing a high-value incentive – to minimize your mailing costs you’ll want to ensure that your list’s postal addresses are indeed correct.
Alternatively, if your list is intended to reach 200,000 prospects via email to announce your “deal-of-the-month,” chances are you’re not going to want to spend the same resources necessary to develop highly targeted lists. For high-volume lists, it’s impractical to strive for the same 100% accuracy you might otherwise seek.
The often-overlooked success in list or database building is found not in the process itself, but rather in where you begin the process. A list’s effectiveness largely lies in understanding upfront, with the utmost clarity and level of detail possible, precisely who your target audience is – their industry, their business size, their location, and so on down to individual titles, roles, and responsibilities. Beginning this process by inviting your sales team into the earliest conversation, ensures that both campaign goals and the needs of your sales team can be effectively and efficiently met to help optimize the whole campaign.
See how Satmetrix a leading provider of cloud-based customer experience software focused their efforts on senior executives to improve marketing campaign return. Read the Satmetrix case study.