Blogs Getting Started with Email Marketing: Preparing Your Email Address Data

Written by Paula Chiocchi on 2015-10-14

 

Because email is always evolving, it’s not surprising that even the most experienced marketers seek out help with their initiatives in one form or another at some point. For some organizations, B2B email data is merely the final missing piece for them to fuel their well-conceived marketing campaigns, putting them on the fast track for seemingly immediate success. Unfortunately, these businesses tend to be the exception.

Much more common are those who are interested in conducting email marketing to expand their businesses, but are not quite sure where to start. They may not know how to pull together the email data they need in the first place, and they are uncertain what to do next once they get it. If you’re in this category, take heart. You’re not alone.

In Part 1 of this 2-part blog on getting started with email marketing campaigns, we’ve got two important tips on how to get your email data in order:

First: Analyze your existing customer database

Before you seek to acquire email data, there are some steps you should take in preparation for your upcoming B2B marketing campaigns.

  • Start by cleansing and standardizing your existing customer base – a process that will enable you to effectively conduct a customer analysis. Who exactly are your customers anyway?
  • Examine their company make up – where are they located, what businesses are they in (list by SIC and/or NAICS codes), and what size (by revenue or employee count) company are they?
  • Then take a look at the people who are your customers – what are their titles and functions? Once you understand who your customers are, you will be better equipped to go get more of them.

Next: Acquire prospect lists

If your business is new or has never taken part in email marketing before, chances are your email list is lacking in size and quality. This is where outside help comes in handy. You can use the results of your existing customer analysis in step one above to find the right source – a reputable email data provider -- that can get you the prospect information you’re looking for.

  • Plan on using the data you acquire to conduct multi-channel marketing including email and potentially direct mail (e.g. via the U.S. postal service) or telemarketing activities (either through your own sales team or via an outside vendor).
  • Make sure to zero in on your ideal customer as you acquire email data. You should be able to make selections across a variety of fields including state, city, zip code, employee code, SIC and NAICS codes, and more. To support multi-channel marketing efforts, your best bet is to acquire complete records for each business contact, including email address data, telephone, address, etc.
  • For cost efficiency, work with a vendor that will allow you to license their email data for unlimited use for a full year, as opposed to buying a one-time use list. Doing so will ensure your data is consistently cleansed and up to date, as you will be able to purge hard-bounced, invalid email addresses throughout the year. Going this route will also help you build and grow your in-house list as you engage with contacts over time. 
  • Application Programming Interfaces (API) are a valuable option when it comes to email acquisition data, allowing you to download and integrate your data selections with existing CRM systems and marketing automation platforms to streamline and simplify your email marketing efforts. Look for a provider that offers an API if you are set up to use one easily.
  • Finally, be sure to get a (written) email data quality guarantee of at least 90% from your email acquisition data provider. (If they balk at providing this, run!)

With the right data in hand, you’ll be ready to begin reaching out to prospects with your valuable and informative message. And don’t forget, your email data is constantly evolving. Email addresses change. People move on to new jobs. Subscriber interests fluctuate. That’s why managing and growing your email lists is an ongoing process. It takes attention to detail to keep your email data clean, and creativity and diligence to maintain subscriber loyalty over time.  

For more information on this subject, I recently participated in a webinar on how to best leverage acquisition data, along with pre-sales programs offered by our partner, C-Level Connections. Check it out – and stay tuned! In part 2 of this blog, we’ll discuss next steps toward using email marketing to convert prospects into customers.

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If you need help connecting with your ideal prospects and driving higher levels of data quality for your email marketing campaigns, consider giving BizFACTZ B2B marketing data a try. BizFACTZ allows you to reach targeted contacts with precision and accuracy. Click here to register on our site and use the offer code “INTRO” at checkout to receive a 20% discount on your first order.

 

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