What Shape is Your MSP Marketing Mailing List In?
One of the topics that our marketing team is asked about the most is marketing lists, and how to build and maintain them. Keeping these lists updated is very important to your marketing endeavors, as the list’s contacts need to match the targeted audience for your marketing initiative. With the new year here, it’s a great time to review and revise your list. We’ve broken out a few of the major issues we run across.
Problem #1: My List is Old
Too many managed IT companies compile a list, then continue to use it for their marketing efforts indefinitely. Just like any computer, marketing lists require maintenance and updates. Sending emails to an address that never opens or responds is a bad practice. If you added Tom to the list in 2010 and he then went out of business in 2012, why is he still on the list? You’re wasting time and money.
You should be adding to your list every month, with new prospects, new clients and even suspects if you are going to be taking a direct mail approach. You want people on your list who have expressed or are going to be interested in the products/services you are offering. Keeping your list up-to-date will make your marketing more effective and improve ROI and open/click rates.
Problem #2: My List is Dead
Whether your contact no longer works for the company or the company itself no longer exists, emails from your mailing list that bounce reflect poorly on your company. A client contacted us to review a marketing list they were using that wasn’t getting a whole lot of response. Even though the client wasn’t sure when the list was made, it was one that they felt was good with strong prospects. To review it, we used a couple different methods. We started with a third-party list scrubber called ‘BriteVerify’, a great tool that takes a list of emails and cleans it by checking to make sure they are still in good standing for pennies. Then we looked at each company using online tools to further qualify the lead. We found that a significant percentage of the companies on the list were no longer in business. Since the list was not continuously being vetted, it was not up-to-date. Don’t let your list die, by building it once and then never touching it again.
Problem #3: My List is Made of People I Have Never Spoken To
“What’s the harm in emailing these people? It’s just email.” Actually, it isn’t just an email. It’s a violation of the CAN-SPAM law. There is a big difference between email marketing and direct mail marketing: the level of permission needed to contact a person or business. To determine if you’re able to email a contact, you have to think about consent. Did a person opt-in to your mailing list? Or perhaps they inquired about your line of cloud solutions? If the answer is ‘Yes.’, you can email them. It is considered a “relationship” message under the CAN-SPAM law. Did you buy a list of names from somewhere and start sending blasting emails to the list? If ‘Yes.’, you are in violation of the CAN-SPAM law.
All third party services, as well as anything you may send on your own, must be compliant under the CAN-SPAM law and violating this law is no joke. Luckily, MailChimp will work with you if you receive an “abuse” complaint, but if you exceed their threshold, you may find your account suspended. If you continue to abuse their service by sending out blasts that people complain about, your account will be shutdown. Bottom Line: You can not send out unsolicited commercial emails without violating spam laws. If you are going to purchase a mailing list, include time and resources to properly vet the contacts and consider using direct mail or calls to obtain permission.
Problem #4: My List is Made Up of People Who AREN’T My Target Audience
Think about it: Why would you create emails, and design, print and pay for postage on postcards that are going to people who have no interest in what you're selling. This is a waste of your time, as well as your marketing budget. Don’t do it!
First you should review your list of current clients, and then target them for services that you offer that they are not taking advantage of. Second you should learn about your prospects had they previously expressed interest in your services, are they in a vertical with a specific pain point you can address. Continuing to update your list based off your responses and build your list from multiple sources both of which will go a long way for your marketing.
A Good List
Your marketing list should have valid contact and/or email addresses, and should target the correct audience. This will help to help improve ROI, and prevent any issue related SPAM Law violations. Building and maintaining a list is time consuming but it's one thing you should not scrimp on for your marketing strategy. If you are looking for help with your list we do offer a marketing list review and development service. We can either help train you to create a top notch list for your marketing, or we can build it for you. Click here to download our marketing list basic how to guide.