Choosing your ‘List Vendor’ is as important as choosing your ‘Prospect’

You are almost ready to execute your marketing campaign for your new service, which is targeted at a new market for your business. As a final step, you need a database of contacts who will be interested in your product. From the many contact databases available, how do you pick the right ones?

This post talks about 3 key elements to consider before you choose a vendor.

1. Communication Plan:
Email communication is powerful and inexpensive. But it is only one communication channel. To move a prospect through your sales pipeline, you need multiple communication channels. How do you integrate direct mail and outbound telephone calls with email communication?

Without complete information in the contact database, you cannot run a direct mail follow-up to an email contact, and you certainly cannot do a telephone follow-up call to non-responders to determine if they got the email, and why they chose not to respond. Without complete information, you cannot execute an integrated communication plan.

2. Control and Measurement:
It is important to have a control over your list. How many emails were sent? How many bounced? How many recipients opted to unsubscribe? How many recipients opened the email, and when? Just as important, how did the list owner send the email? How was the sender’s information cloaked, if at all?

Few list owners provide this information and not being in control of your marketing plan, execution and measurement can be fatal to your campaign. This level of control is only available if you own the database and have the tools to track the recipient’s response at an individual level.

3. Cost:
Renting a list is cheaper, right? As with most of these questions, the answer is, “It depends.” If you believe you can achieve your marketing objective in a single connection with a prospect, then onetime rental may be appropriate.

However, most companies want to build a long-term relationship with their prospects and most outbound advertising is more effective with repeated contact. For a one-time usage, renting a list may be cost-effective, but most advertising campaigns have multiple repetitions, often 6-10 times over a year, so the appropriate financial comparison is purchase vs. multiple rentals.

Choose your prospect before you choose your list vendor:
Database selection can have a huge effect on the performance of your marketing campaign, and all databases are not created equal. An ideal database is the one that matches your communication campaign. Make sure you choose a flexible list based on the above criteria. Contact database selection maybe driven by how you develop and execute your marketing campaign. But you know how they say, ‘The Money is in Your List’.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *