As we’ve discussed previously on the blog, once you’ve decided who you want to reach with your B2B marketing, email consistently proves to be one of the most effective ways to get their attention. Many businesses, however, lack a robust email list for their campaigns. And the truth is, no matter how creative your messages are -- if they’re not reaching the right people, your email marketing will fall far short of its full potential.
A reliable business contact data source offers a valuable way to jumpstart or augment an email list, giving companies the ability to obtain not only the email addresses – but also the telephone numbers and office addresses of new leads and prospects that fit their customer profiles. Many businesses still hesitate to use acquired email data, and I think they’re missing out, especially since email marketing is so critical to customer expansion and the B2B sales funnel.
At OMI, we’ve worked with a number of leading brands that have successfully used our business contact data to drive higher email open rates and ignite sales. If you think you want to strengthen your email reach, here are five things to look for when acquiring email data:
1. Dynamic Data: The business landscape is always changing, with people moving in and out of positions, and new businesses starting up as well as others closing their doors. That’s why business contacts providers need to keep their data as fresh as possible. So the first thing you should ask your provider is how frequently they update their database. Monthly updates are considered best practice.
2. Highly Managed Data: Staying on top of business contact data is an ongoing process. Regular analysis by your provider is essential, including correcting all types of common errors; identifying and flagging email addresses that could result in blocking and/or spamming; removal of “negative” email addresses associated with spam traps; bogus and malicious email addresses; and more.
3. Comprehensive Email Data Compilation: A reputable data source will also ensure that all email data is verified as accurate – not once, but multiple times -- before it is given to the customer. This starts with an effective approach to email data compilation. At OMI, we combine three compilation methods as part of our proprietary data accuracy practices. Our logical and time-tested methods of compiling B2B email addresses allows us to provide our clients with highly accurate data. Prior to delivering any files to our customers, we are unique in the industry in re-verifying all email addresses that are pulled to meet the client’s specifications.
4. Rental vs. Licensing Model: 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.
5. Data Quality Guarantee: Last but not least, before signing any contracts, ask your data provider about their accuracy and validity rates. If they can guarantee 95% email data validity – in writing -- then their data is worth your time and investment. Anything less might be risky.
Anyone with experience in email marketing will tell you that managing and growing an email list is an ongoing process. For the best results, keep your lists scrubbed and up to date, and when you need help with your business contact data, choose a provider that will set you up for success.
If you need to expand your email list to engage more effectively with your ideal prospects and, ultimately, drive more leads for your business, consider giving Outward Media a try. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful email marketing database.