The Perfect Plan for Finding Your Prospects | DMA

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The Perfect Plan for Finding Your Prospects

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You’ve defined your strategy, outlined your campaign and clarified your marketing channels; but have you taken as much time to find your prospects? Here are my top tips for identifying and communicating with your target customers.

1. Know Your Audience

Is your campaign targeting an individual contact or a company? If it’s the latter, why focus your energy on gaining as many contacts as possible when you could increase your ROI by targeting a whole company with your campaign?

If your business works selling to 50 customers, you don’t need a list of 50,000. If your campaign is not individual-critical and the prospect is to target a business function, then there’s no need to overstretch your budget to achieve the same goal.

The key is to know your audience and align your prospect brief accordingly. Develop a scoring system to rank your best and worst prospects. Don’t waste your money chasing prospects that score badly.

2. Understand Your Communication Channels

Once you’ve identified who you want to target, you need to think about how you’ll contact them, and through which channel of communication; email, direct mail, telephone calls, or all of the latter?

Prospect lists come in many variations; you can request a list to be channel specific i.e. email only, or multi-channel i.e. email and direct mail; email, direct mail and telephone. Multi-channel can limit volumes but might be better for your campaign.

In the same instance, different channels can be appropriate for different recipients - a CEO of a company might be more likely to open a well-constructed direct mailing that lands on their desk, but not necessarily have the time to sort through their emails. It’s all subjective to your end goal.

3. Make Your List Mutually Exclusive

When buying multiple prospect lists for your campaign, don’t forget to ask for them to be ‘mutually exclusive’. If you want to test your campaign communication channels against each other you should always ask for the prospects to be exclusive to each file.

For instance, if you want to test ‘email only’ against email and direct mail, all ‘emailable’ prospects on your ‘email only’ file should not be on your ‘email and direct mail file’. If your list isn’t mutually exclusive then you’ll run the risk of message over-bombardment and skewed results.

4. Manage Your List Expectations

It’s understandable when looking to invest money in a cold list of prospect data that you’ll want to benchmark the business risk against some industry standard results. However, B2B data is very hard to benchmark against industry-standard results.

B2B data is a moving beast; individuals are 10 times more likely to move jobs in 18 months than they are to move house and as with all data warehousing there will always be an element of lag time as multiple processes across multiple systems are required to keep B2B data clean, fresh and de-duplicated.

Therefore it’s vital you understand the expectations of your prospect list’s performance; 100 per cent of an email file will never be delivered, but if you can achieve 90 per cent or above then your list is on the right path.

Need more tips? The Blueberry Wave’s team of Wave Business experts have over 25 years of aggregated industry knowledge, not only on prospect data buying, but also on the complexities of campaign planning and execution across all business industries.

To find out more visit www.blueberrywave.co.uk

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