In today’s competitive and highly targeted markets, getting your contact list/database right is more crucial than ever to generate leads. Marketing campaigns are only as good as the foundation they’re built on, which means a robust database created with clarity of purpose, finesse, and a healthy dose of elbow grease. Verifying and validating lists can be tedious and hard work, but a well-built database can prove invaluable. An accurate database is your most important target marketing asset. With fresh names and email addresses, you can ensure greater campaign efficiency and higher response rates.
To maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your next marketing campaign, work with your sales team to ensure that the following steps align with both your campaign objectives and the needs of sales:
- 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 and don’t know their 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 with 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 – where your value proposition best resonates – you need to define 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 the persons experiencing the pain points but 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, and eventually to facilitating the lead management process.
- Specify the “no-contact list.” To capitalize on an efficient database (and not become listed as a spammer), you also need to determine those who should not be contacted. The “no-contact list” would be a combination of people who have unsubscribed, competitors, spam trap emails and non-company addresses. The average client database decomposes at a rate of 24% per year, so ongoing database hygiene is essential.
- Determine your objective, then validate accordingly. Next, you’ll need to be clear about your list’s objective, which will dictate your level of research and the time spent on verifying and validating your list. Creating highly focused and targeted lists requires you to go deep with your research and verify every contact to ensure accuracy. If you have a direct-dial phone number that reaches the key decision maker personally (rather than getting you stuck with a gatekeeper), that can prove invaluable. If you are looking to launch a direct-mail lead gen campaign containing a high-value incentive, you’ll want to minimize your mailing costs by ensuring that your list’s postal addresses are indeed correct.
If your lead gen campaign intends to reach 200,000 prospects via email to announce your “deal-of-the-month,” chances are you won’t want to spend the same necessary resources to develop highly targeted lists. With high-volume lists, it’s impractical to strive for the same 100% accuracy you might otherwise seek.
Success in list or database building is not found in the process itself but in where you begin the process. A list’s effectiveness lies in understanding with utmost clarity and detail 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 early conversations ensures that both target marketing campaign goals and the needs of your sales team are effectively and efficiently met, helping to 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.