This New Year many of us will commit to resolutions as we work to reset our priorities. And when it comes to resetting your lead generation initiatives, here are five resolutions I recommend for 2020:
- Know your customers: Growing revenues for your business often means finding and attracting new prospects who are very similar to your existing customers. To do that, you need to understand your customers well (their demographics, likes, challenges, etc.). Your existing customer data likely has some great insights, but if your data lacks details, is outdated or incomplete, you should engage your internal teams to learn more – or even interview or survey your customers themselves to complete the picture. In addition, be sure to track the way prospects and customers engage with your digital marketing activities to develop an understanding of their interests and preferences, and make sure you know the differences between your various customer segments. Also consider augmenting your existing prospect database using strategies such as audience mirroring.
- Focus on quality: A recent report by Forrester found that marketers waste 21 cents out of every media dollar they spend due to poor data quality. That’s why, when acquiring business contact data to fuel your lead gen campaigns, the focus should be on procuring accurate, current data that is specific to your needs. Do the right thing and bypass fly-by-night bulk list providers who offer low-quality data that will almost certainly deliver disappointing results and frustrate you and your team. Instead, work with a data provider with proven experience in B2B lead generation – a provider that brings data quality and a data validity guarantee of 95% or higher to the table.
- Keep it clean: The only way to ensure your messages will reach your intended audience is to keep your contact database clean. However, this is easier said than done, as industry studies indicate B2B data decays up to 70% per year. That means the majority of your existing contact data is outdated, inaccurate and not helping you land new business. Having someone go in to “fix” everything manually will likely take a long time, will introduce additional data errors and likely still not bring your list up to optimum standards. Instead, the solution lies in engaging in continuous, automated database cleansing to achieve fast, accurate and cost-effective results.
In fact, OMI’s trademarked “Living File” approach ensures that each data file is a “living” file, as opposed to a static file. With a living file approach, business contact records are managed and updated on an ongoing basis, keeping the data fresh and accurate at all times. (This case study describes how a large telecom provider solved its data quality challenge with OMI’s Database Cleansing Service.)
- Grow your list: Even if you’re confident in the quality of your existing prospect database, if you’re like most of our clients, the mere size of it is likely too small to reach your desired lead generation goals. Plus, there’s a good chance you’ve already mined your list close to its full potential. So, to increase your revenues, you’ll need to significantly expand your database by acquiring new contact data to bring your messages to a new realm of prospects who will be receptive to your messages. (This case study offers insight into how one business boosted qualified leads by 57% by having better data and access to up to 350,000 contacts for its target market.)
- Know how to reach business contacts: In 2020, knowledge remains the key to success for B2B email marketers. Setting the right expectations with the C suite is also important. For example, you may already know that corporate email addresses are generally easier to deliver to than ISP (Internet Service Provider) addresses such as Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail. If your target audience uses mostly ISP email addresses, response rates may inevitably be lower – making selecting the right email data provider even more critical. Choose one who understands how to identify small business contacts associated with ISP addresses as well as those associated with corporate email accounts to achieve the strongest B2B email marketing ROI.
The bottom line is, data quality is essential for lead gen success in 2020. Those email marketers who regularly assess their overall data health, maintain list cleanliness and bolster their lists to scale their lead generation initiatives will be in position to stand out from the competition in the New Year.
On that note, Happy New Year everyone!
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our video tutorials to find out how you can optimize your acquisition email marketing initiatives.