What Small Businesses Should Know About Lead Lists
Having a good lead list gives your business an opportunity to connect with potential future customers. Large enterprises have the resources to track down prospects online and add high-quality leads to their marketing lists, but this can be difficult to do for small businesses.
Thankfully, there are still ways that marketing lists can be built for SMB’s, either through building up one themselves or purchasing one online.
Keep In Mind...
If you do decide to purchase a lead list, make sure you you are purchasing from a respectable company. There are many different companies that you can purchase lists from - some more reputable than others. Do your research to make sure that you won’t have any issues or waste money on acquiring a list that is either outdated or inaccurate.
Acquiring a contact via a purchased lead list or through your own online research doesn’t automatically mean that you can start sending them emails. Email regulations like CAN-SPAM require an individual to opt-in to a mailing list in some sort of way. Failing to comply with this can lead to very hefty fines. At the very least, it will lead to angry individuals who now know of your brand, but resent it due to the fact that they never gave you permission to contact them. Enough of this will lead to your email being blacklisted, which can affect your communications with those who actually did opt-in to receiving emails from you.
What You Should Be Doing
There’s nothing wrong with purchasing a lead list if it is from a reputable company that carefully vets that list for you. There’s also nothing wrong with collecting your own leads through your referral program, by tracking visitors and followers on your website and social media pages, or by making connections through different networking events. We actually recommend doing all of the above if you want to build up a large list of people to market to. Overall, you should be doing the following:
- Attend local events and trade shows: Getting involved in your local area is a great way to get your company’s name out there, and can lead to some very meaningful interactions with potential future clients. You can also sign up to have a booth at a trade show in your area that you know many local businesses that you target will be attending. Be on the lookout for industry-specific ones that come to your area if you tend to serve clients in certain industries more than others.
- Collect leads online...smartly: There are multiple tools available at your disposal that allow you to track who is visiting your website, and what pages they are visiting specifically. Optimize your website so that it’s easy for you to collect information from or about these individuals. You can also monitor who clicks on your paid online advertisements and who is following you on social media. Then, add those individuals who would be a good fit to your own list. Remember, this isn’t everyone you find: you wouldn’t want to waste your time and marketing resources reaching out to the 14 year old son of one of your employees who follows your company on Facebook or on the businessman from a country you don’t service who has read a few of your blogs.
- Review your purchased lists: Even if you are purchasing a lead list from a reputable company, you should still be reviewing each and every contact on that list. Doing this will ensure that duplicate contacts are not added into your system. Also, since it’s likely that the company you purchased your list from isn’t right down the street from you, you might have better insight into the contacts on that list than the company who compiled them does. Make sure that company is willing to work with you to rectify any issues you come across. Otherwise, it’s probably best you get your lists elsewhere.
- Segment your lists, and target accordingly: Once you have compiled a list of vetted contacts, take some time to segment them based on their needs, their industry, and where they appear to be in the purchasing process. Once you do this, you can send out personalized, targeted communications. Communications like this are much more likely to lead to conversions, and ultimately - sales.
- Maintain your lists over time: Take the time to go through your lists on a regular basis and update them accordingly. There’s no point to communicate with businesses who are no longer in operation, and you don’t want to be sending marketing materials designed to convince a prospect to become a paying customer if they’ve already done so. You should also work to add new contacts to your list as time goes on.
- Keep touching: If you stumble across what appears to be a genuine lead but they haven’t yet reached out to your sales team, don’t give up! They may not yet be ready to take the step from break-fix to managed service, or don’t yet have a reason to leave their current managed service provider. Continue to remind them that you exist and educate them as to why you’re worth working with. When they are ready, this should help move them through your sales funnel instead of your competitor’s.
If you’re looking to acquire a vetted lead list or would like someone to review the one you currently have, we can do that for you through our lead list service. Contact us today for more information.