[2018] Benefits of a Direct Marketing Database

First thing’s first.

Setting up a direct marketing database is crucial in today’s market.

A database allows you to manage and use an incredible variety of information easily.

One major key to the success of this database is to maintain order in what could be a very chaotic business environment.

Direct marketing is the interactive use of advertising to stimulate customer behavior in such a way that this behavior can be tracked, recorded, analyzed and stored on a database for future retrieval and use.

What is so unique about database and what are the major benefits it gives your business?

Interactive – Two way interaction is a fundamental building block of this type of marketing.

It will keep the information flowing. When the information flows, customers feel more in touch with your company which greatly affects the revenue of your business.

Variation of advertising media – When you have this type of database you can create messages that could be sent across different or a combination of different medium.

Using a combination of media is often more productive than using a single medium.

Track, record and analyze – Measurability is a hallmark of direct marketing.

If you have a database you can view the metrics that track spending, response or return on investment.

Future retrieval and use – Databases are very helpful in storing information about customers.

You can easily view their previous purchases, sources of response, and so on.

The use of this type of database is a fundamental building block for any business.

Look for a company who can give you a database and lets you store information in a way that it can be accessed, segmented and used for your future business strategies.

[2018] Qualifications of a Singaporean Mailing List Provider

Are you in need of a Singaporean contact database provider?

Before you say YES, you might wanna listen first to what i’m about to say.

Buying mailing lists has been considered one of the options in maintaining a leads database back in the days. Its too time-consuming for companies to mind this function, especially that they should be focusing on their core business.

Also, some of them may not have the researchers and data verifiers who will dig the business data.

And, it is very expensive if they engage in this undertaking, considering payments for labor, utilities and materials.

After all, no company has a monopoly of resources to do all the tasks in business.

And sometimes, there really is a need to ask for assistance from outside parties.

In acquiring a business contact list, it is of great importance to learn the qualifications of a mailing list provider. Because if you end up with an incompetent list provider, you will not be able to correct such mistake again.

You will lose not just your money, but also your precious time and efforts.

Here are the things to consider when choosing a  contact list provider.

  • It must have a database and technology center.

  • Updates must be made at least weekly. To keep every business data fresh and accurate, constant updates must be made.

  • The list must contain the basic profile, including name of the key contact person, website, phone number, mailing address and direct email address.

  • It provides a data integrity guarantee. Outdated records should be replaced for free.

  • Compliant to GDPR

 

Caution and due care ought to be guarding you from mediocre firms.

Keep in mind the aforementioned competencies so you can land in the right business partner.

If you have more questions and if there’s anything I can help you with, don’t hesitate and leave us a message.

Re-Engagement Tips from Experts – Do You Hold On, or Let Go? (2018)

Every email list has its fair share of inactive contacts, and once in a while, every email marketer will ask whether to hold on to or to let go of those inactive subscribers.

 

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer to this, given there are a number of possible reasons those subscribers disengaged.

 

However, with the right re-engagement email campaign that also keeps privacy regulations like the GDPR in mind, marketers can manage inactive subscribers more effectively.

 

Kissmetrics has shown that on average, more than half of contacts – as much as 60% – in an email list will be inactive.

 

On the other hand, it’s estimated that highly engaged subscribers make up only around 24% of contacts on any given list, according to Return Path.

This big difference in numbers can cause deliverability issues, not to mention signal poor sender reputation. You don’t want either of those.

Apart from causing deliverability issues, inactive subscribers also waste marketing resources.

Most ESPs charge customers based on the volume of emails sent (which, in turn, largely depends on the size of your list).

When you’re paying for contacts that won’t convert into closed deals or even nurtured opportunities, you hurt your ROI.

There’s more to dealing with inactive contacts than simply deleting them from your list altogether, though.

It’s good practice to run a re-engagement email campaign to try and win back these disengaged subscribers.

The campaign’s results will help you determine which contacts to keep – and which ones to forget about.

So, how should you reach out to those contacts?

 

Here’s what the experts have to say.

Define what “inactive subscriber” means

MailChimp explains the term “inactive subscriber” can mean different things to different marketers.

In general, there are two areas marketers often use to define whether a contact is active or inactive:

  • Activity, or lack thereof
  • Time elapsed since last engaged with a campaign

Now, it’s up to you to determine at what point lack of activity or elapsed time – or both – points to that subscriber being inactive.

For instance, you may set it as at least six months since they last engaged in a campaign, and they opened or clicked on 10% or less of the emails sent in that time period.

One thing to note, however, is that a lack of interaction doesn’t always indicate inactivity, and that brings us to the next point.

Segment inactive contacts into 3 groups

Now that you’ve chosen a yardstick to measure inactivity, it’s time to figure out what to do with contacts that meet the criterion.

Campaign Monitor notes that inactive subscribers typically fall into 3 categories, each requiring a different re-engagement approach.

  • Never-Actives – Subscribers who have never engaged.

These are most likely contacts who signed up for a one-time offer such as a free download.

Send a re-commitment email that will help you find out why they signed up in the first place, and will let them indicate their email preferences.

 

  • Dormant – Subscribers who were once active but have now become unengaged.

Some open emails but nothing comes of these opened emails.

Send a series of nurturing emails that offer value (such as a relevant article or resource).

  • Inactives – Once-active customers who no longer interact with any of your campaigns.

Gradually ramp down the number of emails you send them before asking if they no longer want you to retain their info, let alone send them content.

 

In all three cases, make sure you remind subscribers of what info they’ve given and what you use it for, and inform them of how you’re keeping such information secure.

Make sure to include the option for these subscribers to opt-out, too, in keeping with data regulations currently in place; if a subscriber doesn’t want you to keep storing their info, they have the right to ask you to delete it.

 

Re-Engagement: Crafting a Compelling Email

You already know that past emails didn’t resonate well with inactive subscribers – so your re-engagement emails need to look, feel, and sound different from your usual campaigns.

HubSpot suggests that subject lines, for example, be spiced up with a bit of personalization to include the recipient’s name, company, or industry.

You can also try subject lines that ask for “signs of life” with a relevant question.

As for the content, AWeber has several guidelines aimed toward help marketers write an effective re-engagement email:

  • Find out why inactive subscribers signed up in the first place
  • Check whether you’re continuing to meet these expectations
  • Uncover any previous changes to your email strategy that may have affected engagement
  • Determine what to offer to pique their interest again

 

Remember that you need to include a strong, clear, and specific call-to-action or CTA, for you to maximize the response rates of the re-engagement email campaign.

Whether you’re suggesting a helpful resource or asking if they want to remain on your list, you need to make it easy for the recipient to complete that action.

Automated re-engagement, humanized response

When dealing with relatively small email lists, keeping track of subscriber inactivity manually can work well.

When the contacts number into the thousands, though, the only way to run a re-engagement email campaign to scale is through automation.

SendGrid suggests a huge part of the campaign’s workflow be automated.

Scheduling send-outs and unsubscribing contacts are among those tasks best handled by machines.

That way, you can stay focused on the areas that require, say, creative thinking.

Not all activities in your re-engagement email campaign should be done on autopilot.

Responding to inquiries, for example, or replying to feedback is still best done by humans.

Conclusion

Having several disengaged subscribers doesn’t always mean you need to delete them from your contact list; there’s still value in trying to win them back – if you reach out the right way, that is.

So plan a robust re-engagement email campaign using the guidelines in this post, and you may yet be able to salvage some of those contacts.

Contact List Provider or Lead Generation Services – It Depends on What You Need

a guy looking for sales leads online

Not all leads are equal.

That’s why those in B2B advertising who decide to buy leads instead of developing campaigns to generate them, or else to pad out their existing list of contacts are warned against being too trusting of establishments claiming to provide quality leads.

It’s also understandable that companies looking for, say, a contact list provider will have a hard time doing so, mainly because there are more than a few of them.

 

Throw in the “not all leads are equal” issue, and things can get a little more complicated.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make choosing the right vendor and finding those leads easier.

Here’s a brief overview.

 

  1. Define what you’re looking for.

Your definition of a lead won’t necessarily fit with all companies’ definition of the same.

The general definition describes a company or entity that will be able to use your product, has need for it, and is interested in offers.

The specifics, however, will change depending on if you’re looking for a company that fits a certain profile, or a contact person – or persons.

If you’re looking for a list of contacts, then you’re not looking for leads – those who have somehow showed a need for your product or service and indicated interest in hearing from you.

This can be trickier to deal with when it comes to advertising campaigns, but not impossible.

 

  1. Conduct your search.

Once you have a better idea of what you’re looking for, then you can look for potential vendors to provide it.

For example, you’re looking for decision makers in a particular industry.

So you wouldn’t look for a telemarketing service, or a company offering appointment setting services; you’d be looking for list providers, since these can give you custom lists built around your parameters.

Defining what you’re looking for will also help you give your chosen list provider said parameters, from industry to company size, to job title or level, to revenue.

While narrowing the list down doesn’t guarantee you’re calling someone in the market for what you offer, you’ll at least get in touch with someone who might be interested later on.

 

  1. Make sure the vendor is selling, not renting.

There are vendors who offer contact lists only for rent, rather than for sale, so make sure you read carefully.

Otherwise, you might not be able to carry out your campaign properly.

Besides not being able to see the names on a mailing list rental, you won’t be able to contact them more than once, defeating the purpose of the list in the first place.

 

At this point, you should have a very short list of vendors to choose from; whether you choose a contact list provider or a company will – again – depend on what you’re ultimately looking for to help your campaign along.

3 Benefits of Outsourcing to a B2B Appointment Setting Service

As far as B2B marketing is concerned, appointment setting is a crucial part of it for several reasons.

This is particularly true in today’s world because of the quickly changing trends and the many uncertainties businesses deal with.

Sometimes, just keeping up may feel like it’s taking a lot more effort on your part, and that could lead to burnout.

Obviously, that’s not something you want to happen if you’re a business owner.

 

If you normally keep all the sales tasks in-house, it may be time for you to consider outsourcing your B2B appointment setting tasks to a third party that offers such services, such as ContactDB.

Before you do, though, you may be wondering what else can outsourcing to an appointment setting service you’re your business, besides lightening your sales team’s load?

 

1. Your events don’t suffer.

When preparing for an event that will show your company’s key products or services, you may run into trouble if you keep all your sales efforts in-house.

When you split your focus between planning the event and promoting it to qualified attendees, you might see only lackluster results.

By having an appointment setting service handle the latter, you can put all your energies into making the event an unforgettable one, without worrying about whether or not people will be attending.

The same appointment setters can talk to potential attendees, filling your registration list with prospects.

On the day of the event, you can then focus on converting those attendees into customers.

 

2. You can focus on closing deals.

As they say, time is money.

With an appointment-setting service taking care of finding customers for you, your sales team’s load is lighter, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t getting anything done.

It just means they can spend more time on closing deals.

This leads to them being able to work more efficiently, eventually translating this to a higher return on investment (ROI).

Your sales team will also be less likely to get frustrated at the lack of qualified leads if they don’t have to find these leads in the first place.

A less frustrated or disheartened sales team is a happier one, you could say, so they’re less likely to make mistakes while on the job.

 

3. You don’t have to worry about initial lead qualification.

While you may like calling leads to verify and then qualify them, just to make sure you’re not doing anything wrong, doing so steals from your time every day.

Plus, experts have revealed that closing is the most critical stage in a sales funnel, and that’s the part business owners would love to specialize in.

You could use that time instead to grow your business in other ways, such as attending trade fairs in order to add more email addresses to the list of potential clients.

It works both ways, too.

An appointment setting service will be able to reach more prospects since they don’t have to focus on making each call lead to a sale.

 

As you can see, it’s clear that outsourcing to a B2B appointment setting service, or a company that offers it – such as ContactDB – can only lead to benefits for your business.

 

So why not take that first step towards a more efficient, higher-earning business?

8 Key Ingredients of a Successful Outbound Lead Generation Campaign

Different marketers swear by different recipes when cooking up outbound lead generation campaign strategies.

Of course, that barely registers as news, since no two sales funnels are ever exactly alike, especially with today’s buyer-initiated paths to purchase.

But while the specifics vary, the key ingredients pretty much tend to stay the same.

Today’s B2B buyers first reach out to a vendor only when they’ve already made it more than halfway (about 60% to 70% by some estimates) into the purchase process.

Buyers spend a great deal of that time researching and learning about the solution on their own.

When they finally talk to a vendor, they’re already close to making up their minds.

This shift in the purchase process places inbound marketing tactics (build it and they will come) as the default way to engage and nurture leads for most B2B marketers today.

But, as Pardot explains, outbound channels can improve the targeting precision and accelerate results of inbound marketing initiatives.

According to GetResponse, outbound helps inbound marketing with three main activities:

  • Promoting and distributing content
  • Building and cultivating relationships with your audience
  • Reengaging stalled or inactive leads

While each of these new roles requires its own set of strategies for success, outbound lead generation campaign results largely depend on being able to combine the following eight components in the right way:

 

1. Emails

Emails provide one key advantage no other channel can offer: personalized touches at scale.

That’s why emails remain the workhorse of lead generation, with more than half of marketers saying emails deliver the highest ROI through:

  • Engaging and nurturing prospects through a mix of promotional and relational messages
  • Using email activity for lead scoring
  • Interacting with prospects at key points in the conversion funnel

 

2. Live Conversations

The role of outbound telemarketing, according to marketing attribution platform Bizible, now covers obtaining thorough prospect information and market intelligence.

Successful outbound campaigns leverage telemarketing to uncover details (such as fit and purchase intent) directly from prospects in real-time.

These insights can then be used to refine lead nurturing.

 

3. Social Media

Social media works well both as an inbound and outbound lead generation channel.

It’s a great tool for reinforcing touch points made through other outbound platforms.

Social’s outbound lead generation functions include:

  • Warming up and nurturing prospects through social selling
  • Promoting gated content through organic and paid media
  • Driving interest and awareness through forums, groups, and communities
  • Geo-targeted social search
  • Collecting market intelligence through social listening

 

4. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

As we’ve seen in a previous post, B2B marketers think that SEM or PPC is a great channel at capturing and engaging top-of-funnel leads.

That’s because 90% of B2B buyers begin their purchase process with an Internet search.

As a result, paid search and online ads can help you direct traffic to your campaign landing page.

 

5. Marketing Collaterals/Materials

Your outbound lead generation campaign needs a number of content pieces and marketing collaterals to bring the message to your target audience.

These typically include:

  • Email templates/copies
  • Call scripts
  • Whitepaper
  • Case studies
  • Brochures
  • Landing page

 

6. Campaign List

The contact list makes or breaks an outbound lead generation campaign.

It determines how many prospects you’ll reach as well as whether you’ll connect with the right people.

To find out if your list is up to the task, make sure you work with a clean, up-to-date, and accurate campaign database.

 

7. Marketing Automation

A lot of outbound lead generation activities are best carried out through marketing automation.

At the bare minimum, your marketing automation platform (MAP) should enable you to:

  • Integrate the various channels used in your campaign
  • Set customized actions based on specific triggers
  • Personalize and segment prospect engagement
  • Test, tweak, and track
  • Collaborate across your team

 

8. Outbound Team

Whether you assign outbound lead generation to a one-person team or to an entire department, your team needs to meet the following key requirements:

  • KPIs that not only measure, but drive results
  • Incentive scheme that rewards team members for both volume and quality of leads
  • Specialized skills in each outbound lead generation campaign area
  • Alignment with overall marketing and business goals
  • Training and learning opportunities

 

Conclusion:  The modern outbound lead generation program consists of many moving parts.

It takes the right combination of people, processes, and platforms to make the most out of outbound initiatives.

At ContactDB, we provide all eight key ingredients for a successful outbound lead generation campaign—from the database, to the team that will plan and manage the entire campaign for you.

Top B2B Demand Generation Tactics for 2018, According to Survey

Demand Gen Report recently polled 160 marketing executives and found some interesting trends behind B2B demand generation tactics. Emails remain the number-one channel for engaging top-of-funnel leads, as well as converting mid- to bottom-of-funnel prospects. The survey also reveals that marketers now increasingly rely on “cross-channel” strategies in order to meet “more aggressive” revenue goals.

Around 70% of B2B marketers say their demand generation budget will grow in 2018. That’s in response to higher sales growth projections for this year, as B2B companies target at least a 30% increase in revenues. As a result:

  • 28% of respondents report their organizations set revenue-based quotas for marketers (compared to 23% in 2017)
  • 30% of respondents say pipeline influence is the main metric to gauge marketers’ performance (up from 27% in 2017)
  • 73% of respondents rank lead quality as the number-one demand generation goal

With marketing increasingly being tied to revenues and in the face of ever-changing buyer behavior, marketers continue to refine their B2B demand generation tactics. Here’s what the Demand Gen Report study finds:

 

Top B2B Demand Generation Tactics

Findings from the Demand Gen Report study indicate that different tactics work best at different stages of the sales cycle. Around 68% of the polled marketers rank in-person events as the most effective tactic for generating qualified top-of-funnel leads, followed by webinars at 61%. Here’s what the complete rankings look like:

  1. Live Events (68%)
  2. Webinars (61%)
  3. Lead Nurturing (57%)
  4. Whitepapers (50%)
  5. Case Studies (50%)
  6. Videos (37%)

For the top-performing demand generation tactics at later stages in the funnel, case studies outrank other strategies as follows:

  1. Case Studies (73%)
  2. Lead Nurturing (63%)
  3. Live Events (55%)
  4. Webinars (54%)
  5. Whitepapers (47%)
  6. Videos (38%)

 

Top B2B Demand Generation Channels

Close to 3 out of 5 B2B marketers rank Emails as the most effective channel when it comes to driving awareness and interest in the early stages of the sales process. The complete rankings are as follows:

  1. Emails (59%)
  2. Search (56%)
  3. Website (51%)
  4. Social Media (44%)
  5. Online Ads (27%)
  6. Retargeting (19%)
  7. Content Syndication (17%)
  8. Telemarketing (14%)
  9. Direct Mail (7%)
  10. Predictive Analytics (2%)

Here’s how these channels perform when it comes to converting leads later on in the sales funnel:

  1. Email (81%)
  2. Website (50%)
  3. Telemarketing (45%)
  4. Retargeting (27%)
  5. Direct Mail (20%)
  6. Search (18%)
  7. Social Media (17%)
  8. Content Syndication (11%)
  9. Predictive Analytics (11%)
  10. Online Ads (6%)

 

Cross-Channel Strategies

Among the key takeaways from the Demand Gen Report survey is that marketers shift their preferences for different B2B demand generation tactics and channels at different points in the sales cycle. Search ranks highly (2nd) during the early funnel stages, but diminishes in importance later on. The same can be said of telemarketing, which the survey shows as a better channel for converting opportunities than as a tool for engaging fresh leads.

This indicates that B2B marketers understand when and how to use these different channels. Oftentimes, this involves combining these tools into a single, coherent strategy where each channel complements the others.

At ContactDB, for example, we use a multi-channel approach when doing demand generation campaigns for our customers. We leverage the scale and reach of email marketing to enhance live phone conversations with the target hand-raisers and use social media to reinforce these touch points.

It’s clear that B2B demand generation tactics are evolving, and it’s time for marketers to adapt.

5 Valuable Lessons from the Best Event Marketing Emails

5 Valuable Lessons from the Best Event Marketing EmailsMarketers rely on a lot of tools to drive live event attendance and conversions. But time and again, emails remain the top channel for achieving event marketing goals. Here’s how to get the most from your live events with the help of lessons drawn from the best event marketing emails.

On average, B2B marketers use a total of 5 different channels to generate buzz and maximize engagement for their live events. Recent research published by event tech provider Bizabo shows that email ranks as the top channel for promoting live events among 46% of B2B and 24% of B2C marketers.

Let’s look at what the best event marketing emails can teach us about crafting effective event invitation, promotion, confirmation, notification, and follow-ups.

 

1. Create a sequence of email touch points

Live events typically consist of three stages: pre-event, in-event, and post-event. You need to map out a sequence of emails to be sent out at each stage in order to maximize engagement.

Pre-event emails are crucial since they set the pace and determine the initial results of your live marketing project, while post-event emails are also very important since they directly impact your campaign’s conversion rates and ROI. That’s why we’ll talk about these points in greater detail later in this post.

 

2. Build anticipation and excitement

Apart from generating awareness, pre-event emails help boost attendance rates by building anticipation and interest well before opening day. At a bare minimum, your event marketing campaign needs to send out invitation, confirmation, and reminder emails.

Email automation vendor Delivra recommends the following best practices when doing pre-event send-outs:

  • Invitation emails – Sent weeks or months in advance (the bigger the event, the earlier the send-out) since potential attendees need time to secure buy-in from their boss.
  • Confirmation email – sent right after the recipient responds with an RSVP (best handled through email automation).
  • Reminder email – sent once daily 3 days before the event (including a final reminder sent 1 hour prior to event opening).

 

3. Revisit your subject line strategy

There’s sadly no hard-and-fast rule that spits out irresistible email subject lines. But with careful tracking and testing, it’s possible to tweak your subject line strategy to get better inbox placement and open rates for your event marketing emails.

Event Technologies analyzed 1.25 pre-event and post-event emails and found that:

  • 44 out of the top-performing 50 pre-event emails (according to open rates) mentioned the event name in the subject line.
  • 40 out of the top-performing post-event emails also mentioned the event in the subject line.
  • Pre-event emails whose subject line included the event name had an open rate of 24% vs 18% for pre-show messages whose subject line made no mention of the event.

Aside from naming the event in the subject line, it’s also good practice to indicate a specific call-to-action (CTA), e.g., “Visit us at DMA 2017 &THEN – Booth #1234”.

 

4. Look for sources of conversion friction

One thing that sets the best event marketing emails from the rest is that they provide a seamless experience for your recipients, from email open all the way to landing page conversion.

According to Kissmetrics, anything that gets in the way of this conversion journey is friction. There’s clearly a lot of points in your recipient’s clickpath where friction can slow down or hamper conversion. Here’s a quick rundown of a few places to closely keep an eye on:

  • Email copy – Is the copy short and easy to read?
  • CTA – Does the CTA stand out? Does it clearly specify the action?
  • Design – Is the design responsive?
  • Social sharing – Does your email make it easy for people to find and connect with you on social media?
  • Landing page – Does it seamlessly transition from the email? Are the landing page copy and CTA consistent with the email?

 

5. Plan your follow up ahead of time

Should you try to reconnect with your event attendees after the show? Of course, by all means. But following up requires more than just sending out a quick email. Like pre-event emails, post-show follow ups need some careful planning:

  • Prepare a prompt and personalized follow-up plan
  • Carry out the follow-up over a series of nurturing emails
  • Start following up 1-2 days after the event; don’t wait until 2 weeks
  • Offer different possible nurture paths
  • Make sure to reference a specific activity at the live event
  • Be careful about adding event leads directly into your marketing database

 

What other live event marketing email best practices do you follow?

Email Deliverability Best Practices: How to Authenticate Your Emails

How to Authenticate Your Emails

image credits goes to the original owner

If you’re seeing low or declining deliverability rates, chances are your sender reputation isn’t exactly up to snuff. There’s a ton of factors that ISPs check when determining sender reputation, and one important aspect is the sender’s email authentication setup. This needs to be a critical area of focus in your email deliverability best practices.

Email authentication helps ISPs prevent forged emails from reaching their users’ accounts. In other words, it’s a way to prove that an email you sent really comes from you (not some sender pretending to be you). From this, it’s easy to see why your email deliverability best practices should also include sender authentication.

 

How Email Authentication Works

Email authentication allows ISPs to properly identify the authenticity of emails their users receive. When a receiving server gets an incoming mail, it verifies whether the message really did come from the sender. To do this, it checks for specific pieces of information in your email and DNS records.

According to SparkPost, the email authentication process varies from approach to approach but typically consists of the following steps:

  1. A business or organization that sends emails establishes a set of authentication policies.
  2. The email sender configures its mail servers to publish and implement these policies.
  3. The receiving server authenticates an incoming email by referring to the sender’s policies.
  4. The receiving server accepts, flags, or blocks the incoming email based on the results of step 3.

In the next section, we’ll go into steps 1 and 2 in greater detail, plus outline the specific ways to set up email authentication.

 

How to Set Up Email Authentication

We’ve seen that email authentication affects sender reputation which, in turn, impacts email deliverability. To set up authentication for your email marketing program, follow these quick steps:

 

Step 1: Use SPF and DKIM authentication

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) are authentication protocols stored in the sender’s DNS records. These contain the “pieces of information” we briefly mentioned earlier that ISPs use to check an email’s authenticity.

Simply put, SPF and DKIM prevent the bad guys from impersonating you as the sender. The details can get a little hairy, but the important thing to keep in mind is that without SPF and DKIM, there’s no way for ISPs to be sure it’s really you who’s sending the email.

 

Step 2: Record all your sending IPs

The sending IP address is the numeric label that uniquely identifies every sending source you use. It serves as the passageway through which emails are sent to your recipients. You need to let ISPs know all the sending IP you use (including those of your email service provider).

This is achieved through what’s called a reverse DNS record. Reverse DNS records do the opposite of what normal DNS records do; they return the name associated with a given IP address. Without a valid reverse DNS record, many ISPs will block your emails.

 

Step 3: Put it all together

Reverse DNS records, SPF, and DKIM are the three basic DNS entries to help ISPs authenticate your emails. Once you’ve already set all of these up, here’s how to put them into action:

  • Create your authentication record on SPF and DKIM, then publish them
  • Configure your mail server to sign outgoing mail with DKIM
  • Test your DKIM, SPF, and reverse DNS records

 

Step 4: Use a genuine, personal From name

The final step doesn’t involve anything fancy, but is arguably the most important one. Make sure that your emails’ From line contains an authentic name of a person. Avoid departmental or role-based addresses like marketing@xxyzcompany.com. You want to build a personal relationship, so it pays to start connecting on a personal level.

 

Conclusion

Now start building your sender reputation with these email deliverability best practices in mind. The main takeaway is that being authentic doesn’t end with email verification protocols. It’s all about building a long-term relationship with recipients.

4 Things to Do Right After You Buy a Contact Database

Things to Do Right After You Buy a Contact Database

image credits goes to the original owner

So you’ve got yourself a new contact list. Now what? Bought lists help you reach your growth targets faster—that is, if you’re able to set it up the right way. Today’s post goes over four steps you should follow right after you buy a contact database. These activities ensure that your list works as expected or, even better, exceed your targets.

In a previous post, we talked about the five situations where it’s okay to buy a contact database:

  • Your solution solves a real pain point or problem.
  • You’ve clearly identified your target prospects.
  • You’re targeting a high turnover industry.
  • You don’t have the resources to build a list at scale.
  • You’re expected to deliver results in the near-term.

If it makes sense for you to buy a contact database and you’ve invested in one already, then there’s a few things you need to straighten out first before using your list right out of the box.

 

1. Clean the bought list thoroughly first

Even though your list may come from a reputable database provider, you can’t take any chances when it comes to data quality. That’s why you need to thoroughly scrub and validate your bought list before putting it to use.

  • Scrub invalid addresses, spam traps, and distribution email addresses
  • Remove (hard) bounced addresses
  • Verify and update records

List cleaning tends to take up time and resources, so it might be a better option to let a third-party data cleaning services company do it for you.

 

2. Build your sender identity and reputation

To improve email deliverability, you need to convince both your recipients and ISPs that you’re someone they can trust. The idea is to let them know there’s a real person behind the email and that you’re really who you say you are.

  • Personalize your sender name
  • Use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC tools
  • Try out sender score and certification services
  • Warm up a new IP or use a dedicated sending IP

Using a bought list means you’re likely reaching out to most of the contacts for the first time. This underscores the importance of building your identity and reputation.

 

3. Ask contacts if they want to stick around

Most list vendors tout their products as opt-in, permission-based, or anti-spam-compliant. But, unless you’re deeply familiar with their data collection and QA practices, it’s better to err on the side of caution and carry out a double opt-in campaign, where you ask contacts for permission.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to run a double opt-in campaign after you buy a contact database:

  • Do a thorough data scrub (see step 1)
  • Prepare your free (value) offer
  • Craft an opt-in confirmation email
  • Build the landing page
  • Re-confirm with a thank you email

It’s okay if you encounter a lot of unsubscribes after your double opt-in campaign. Aside from staying compliant, this is one way of cleaning your list for better deliverability and engagement.

 

4. Reach out, engage, and respond

Bought lists translate to cold outreach. But that doesn’t mean your first interaction with the contacts should be icy, too. In order to maximize response and/or conversions, be sure to:

  • Personalize your cold emails beyond ‘Hi [FirstName]’
  • Segment your list according to buyer personas
  • Offer educational content (whitepapers, webinars, articles, etc.) related to the contact’s job title or industry
  • Start a nurturing campaign with follow-ups and multi-touch cadence

These best practices should help you avoid getting the cold shoulder from your cold prospects.

 

Conclusion

When you buy a contact database, you need to put a few things in place before using it in your campaign. Keep these four steps in mind as you start growing your pipeline.