Profitable B2B businesses know that the secret to bottom line success rests largely in the quality of their prospects.
Companies that are skilled at identifying the best prospects have a huge advantage over companies who lack adequate prospect collection strategies.
Business mailing lists play an important role in your ability to gather accurate contact data. But unfortunately, the direct mail industry is notorious for providing mailing lists that are stale, outdated and full of errors. Buying business mailing lists is more involved than a five-minute Google search – it requires a thorough evaluation process before you select a list provider.
- Evaluation of sources. Some inferior business list providers compile their lists solely by flipping through a phone book. Your sales team doesn't need a mailing list to get the same results. So you'll want to focus on business lists that have also included business credit reports, annual reports, industry directories and phone verifications in the compilation process.
- Compilation criteria. Dependable business mailing lists are compiled using a broad range of criteria that can be tailored to your unique marketing and sales requirements. Information like the number of employees, sales volume, geographic territory, new vs. existing business, area of specialty and executive contact information can improve the quality of your list and increase the return on your investment.
- Prospect qualification. It's never a good idea to take the information contained in a business mailing list at face value, especially if you're selling high dollar value B2B products and you only have one shot to make a first impression. We suggest qualifying a random sample of contacts contained in the list to verify accuracy and culling high value targets out for further qualification before you make contact.
- Customized selection features. Pay close attention to the manner in which you will receive mailing lists from the provider. If you're renting lists, you will most likely need to use the provider as an intermediary. That can be a problem because it eliminates the possibility of performing your own custom selections. Purchased lists are more flexible, as long as they are provided to you in a form that makes it easy for you to sort information.
- Granular targeting. It's important to use your business mailing list in a way that matches contacts to the types of companies that typically buy your products or services. As much as possible, try to focus on targeting companies that have a similar number of employees or estimated sales volumes as your typical customers.