Tips when purchasing B2B data

MarketingFile - Data Protection: are you in the clear?
MarketingFile - Data Protection: are you in the clear?

Using a relevant, clean and well targeted marketing list is an asset for any company undertaking direct marketing activity for prospect customers. Ensuring you are using the right list for you, we have put some pointers together for B2B businesses to follow to know you are heading in the right direction.

Who do you want to target?

The very first point is crucial; any business requiring successful direct marketing needs to have an understanding of their target market and who in that market is the best person to speak to. There are a couple of aspects to take into consideration, which sector, what size company, their location and most importantly, who is the decision maker. Are you looking for the IT Manager, Managing Director or HR department? Will the decision need more than one person to sign off? Contacting the most relevant person may give you a better conversion rate.

Choose the right provider or owner

Deciding on where to buy your data can be difficult, there are many list owners in the market but some of these do come with limitations such as minimum order values or a limited supply of data. This is where list providers are useful, with access to multiple lists these may be the best option for a SME. However, ensure the lists they provide will be relevant and always check their reputation in the market and the DMA.

Stick to your budget and buy the amount you need

Keep in mind your workforce, how many prospects can be contacted in a day or week? Purchasing thousands of records means they will only go unused for weeks until you can get round to using them, By this time they are out of date… re: the above point. There is no use in buying more data than what you need, a trustworthy list owner or provider will advise on how many records you should be purchasing.

Ask to try before buying

If you are new to purchasing marketing lists ask if you are able to try a sample of the list, however you have to bear in mind this is only a SAMPLE and you might not get any sales, but it is a good opportunity to test that you get in touch with the right person etc. Is the data clean and up to date?

You want to make sure the data you buy has the most up to date contacts, so ask how often the lists are refreshed and updated. This averages every 1-3 months, any older than this and the information will be out of date and therefore useless to you. Once you purchase the list ensure you keep it clean as data changes at an astonishing rate, keep in touch with the most relevant prospects.

What are the license terms?

Ask for the different options available for how you can use the data and what the licence terms are. Do you want the records for single or multiple use, and if multiple check the licence period, can you use the data for 6 or 12 months? To ensure you do not break the terms of the licence data owners or list brokers can seed the data, so they can see if you breach the licence terms.

Be prepared for the results

Before you send out 500,000 emails and expect 400,000 people to open, click and then purchase from the email broadcast, please be realistic on the outcome from using the marketing list. When using cold data anything above a 10-15% open rate is great, remember you are emailing a company for the first time, they may never had heard of your business before so having any engagement in your marketing activity will be a plus.

Keep it above board

There are many legal requirements to be aware of when buying and using data and you have to be conscious of these obligations. When using the data ensure the lists are clean and are run past the TPS, FPS, MPS and CTPS (Corporate Telephone Preference Service) so all businesses who have opted out are not called. This is something you should ask your list provider before purchasing, if they do not carry this out there are many online tools to help and it is a service MarketingFile provides to prospect or client marketing lists. Another key factor when it comes to staying legal is to check the company you are purchasing data from is registered with a regulatory body such as the DMA.

Overall cost – any hidden charges?

Depending on the data you need, the fields you require and the volume needed the price will vary. Starting costs for basic records (name and phone number) can start from as little as 10p a record for single use. Again this is another factor to be considered, the licence agreement as this will also change the cost of the data. Before making the purchase ensure there are no hidden costs, such as delivery or minimum orders.

We hope you find these points useful when it comes to purchasing your B2B data. Please get in touch with our team today for a free quote on 01462 437 733!

Depend on your append

MarketingFile - Marketing strategy week 2: Market Analysis
MarketingFile - Marketing strategy week 2: Market Analysis

We are all working and living in a rapidly changing environment, it’s a fact, and a very important fact to consider when carrying out customer or prospect marketing. The business environment is a volatile place and gaining competitive advantage is key to success, the question you need to ask is how to gain this advantage? We highly recommend through the use of data!

Data is essential, whether it is your own customer data or a prospect list, ensuring you contact the right person with the right message at the right time leads to valuable competitive advantage. Using up to date data and appending your customer data can help broaden your contact channels ensuring you communicate effectively to your target market.

Did you know every year on average between 10-15% of the population in the UK move house? Plus taking into account anomalies such as floods that effected the country last year, local changes can be significantly greater. As a business keeping up to date with these changes in your data is essential in ensuring you continue to contact the right person at the correct address looking for the products or services you are offering.

Don’t assume existing lists will be current, you could be missing out on loyal, interested customers who have changed their contact details. Increase their value and responsiveness by appending additional intelligence on customers and prospects. For example, you can append up to date telephone numbers, email address, postal addresses or lifestyle information to consumer data. Or with B2B data adding the most recent senior contact name, email address and phone number.

Appending new contact channels to your existing data opens up the opportunity to communicate with your clients via multiple channels. We’ve listed 5 reasons why your business should append additional information to your list:

  1. Clean lists mean reliable mailing lists.
  2. Reliable mailing lists mean targeted information and offers.
  3. Targeted information and offers mean higher response rates.
  4. Higher response rates mean maximised customer relationships.
  5. Maximised customer relationships mean improved profitability.

These will all have a positive impact on your direct marketing and improve your campaign results. Don’t forget you can append lists through demographics such as occupation, home value & marital status, making your message more targeted for higher response rates and a better return on investment from direct marketing campaigns.

For more information on Marketing File’s data services call 01462 437 733 or find out more about what we do with data.

Designing Direct Mail

MarketingFile - Return to Sender
MarketingFile - Return to Sender

When it comes to designing your direct mail piece it can be broken down into three sections; copy, layout and images/colours. Getting to grips with all three can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have a design team on hand. We’ve put together the below tips on how to approach all three areas;

The Layout

A very important element of your mail piece is to deliver the “what’s in it for me?” to your prospects or customers, they need a clear reason why they should read it and this needs to be visible as soon as they open your mail piece.
Here are a few ideas to help you start putting your mail piece together:

  • Gather ideas on what you and your colleagues or friends and family like, this will give different perspectives to start with.
  • Think about the practicality of your mail piece, this relates to the cost of producing the item and if can it be posted through a mail box.
  • How are you going to grab their attention, use of colours or images? Remember not to make them too distracting from what you want them to read or act on.
  • Your offering should compel your readers to take action, this has a bearing on your targeting and segmentation of your customers i.e. not offering something they already have or don’t want.
  • Call to actions need to be clear for what you want the reader to do next, making the process after this as easy as possible will help with conversions.

The Colour/Images

The classic saying of “a picture says a thousand words” really is true, this is why using the right imagery in your mail piece to illustrate what you are saying plays an important role in grabbing the readers’ attention. These are a couple of ideas on how to choose the right image and colour:

  • Use images which convey your message, be a creative here and think outside the box.
  • Try not to use just an image of your product, have images of your product being used so your reader can relate to it.
  • Your colours and images should not conflict, it will only make your mail piece look ugly.
  • Colours portray different messages i.e. Red indicates emergency and commands attention, Blue relates to confidence and trust, White is associated with innocence and can have a calming effect.
  • Keep an essence of “white space” you don’t want to overcrowd your mail piece, give it flow and direction by carefully placing your copy and images on the page.

The Copy

At this point you should have grabbed your readers attention, now you need to give them information they are going to find interesting – this again relates to your segmentation, your copy should reflect your readers interests. These are a few ideas on how to produce copy your targets are going to read:

  • Always keep it short and sweet, time is of the essence here. Your mail piece needs to capture their attention, give them the information they want and give them a clear call to action to respond to all in a matter of a couple of minutes.
  • People skim read so organise your copy into small bite-size sections with clear titles, if the title grabs their attention, they might just read it.
  • Only include relevant content in your mail piece, do not include superficial copy – your readers will not appreciate it and therefore will not read it. Include facts and figures to back up your offering.
  • Add a personal touch, address the letter or mail piece to them directly and sign it off with your name, rather than a company name. People respond better when they are written to personally.
  • Give them options to contact you, let them check you out on social networks or take a look at your website, but make sure your content and messages are uniformed across all these channels be sure not to send mixed messages.

We hope all of these tips will help you with your next mail piece, keep it fresh and interesting for your readers and always remember to follow up each recipient, don’t presume they will call you!