7 Ways to Steer Clear of Spam Landmines with a Purchased Email Contacts List

There are tons of written materials online claiming that a purchased email contacts list is your one-way ticket to the spam folder. Of course, this is simply pure nonsense. The truth is any email contacts list can be a source of inbox placement issues. It’s how you use your list that ultimately determines the fate of your email messages.

What causes your messages to be blocked? A recent study published by Return Path provides an outline of common culprits – and, sure enough, the origin of your email contacts list isn’t one of them. These findings show that about 77% of blocked emails are due to poor sender reputation which is, in turn, influenced by a number of factors that you can and should address.

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7 Best Practices to Ensure Applying Proper Email Campaign for Your B2B Contact List

Practicing proper email etiquettes allows you to show recipients in your B2B contact list the level of refinement and finesse you put in to your campaign. But, more importantly, applying good manners in your email marketing communications demonstrates how aware and considerate you are about your recipients needs. After all, being aware of others’ feelings is the basis for etiquettes and manners in whatever you do.

Here are seven key ideas on proper email etiquettes you should always stick to without fail:

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6 Tips for Developing Calls-to-Action that Yield Conversion Rates with any Sales Lead Database

Along with subject lines, content, and design, calls-to-action are among the most important elements of your email marketing campaign that contacts in your sales lead database and customer directory actually see and deal with. Calls-to-action are so essential that your emails simply can’t live without them. They tend to greatly influence conversion rates which are perhaps the most vital metric in your campaign. As such, it’s important that you get your calls-to-action strategy right early or throughout major junctures in your campaign.

Calls-to-action (CTAs) are what you use to point contacts in your sales lead database or some other B2B marketing databases to specific directions in your campaign. CTAs in email marketing are those components of your message (link, button, images, etc.) that offer a specific action, redirecting the recipients to another location called a landing page where further details can be found. As such, it’s really necessary to create CTAs that get the job done, and the following tips can help you do so:

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5 Reasons Why Sending Direct Mail in Your B2B Sales Lead Database Works

In a digital world, it’s not easy to come up with good reasons to justify carrying out a direct mail marketing campaign with your B2B contact list. Why should you go for slower and clumsier direct mail when you can have the lightning-fast and laser-precise advantage of email? Well, it turns out that, although direct mail may not be as speedy as email, it can still achieve the targeting and conversion power of its digital cousin when done right.

In 2009, direct mail marketing saw its near-death experience when related activity slumped to all-time lows but, contrary to what most marketers believe, this channel didn’t actually die. It simply took a three-year vacation and has now returned with an exclamation point. In fact, recent data saw a 4.6% increase in direct mail spending to just above $50 billion in 2011 and is expected to grow steadily at 2.3% over the next few years. So why should you consider sending direct mails to your sales lead database entries? Take a look at the following:

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Building Your Business Contact List: A Hedge Against the Fiscal Cliff

How can building your business contact list save your company from the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ in 2013? Well, all by itself, list building can’t do much. But if it’s part of a broader marketing and business strategy to address the potential crisis ahead, then it can be one of the most effective measures to let your revenue-generating activities bear the brunt of the possible economic fallout early next year.

As you may very well know, the clock is ticking down for Congress to get something done to avert the detrimental impacts of the simultaneous occurrence of tax hikes and spending cuts at the end of the year. What do all of these have to do with building your business contacts list? Does the word “recession” ring a bell? Depending on who you talk to, the economy is expected to contract by at least 4% as a result of the fiscal cliff.

In times of economic difficulties, marketers have prudently shifted their focus toward maximizing revenue generation from an existing customer and prospect base through repeat business, up-selling/cross-selling, and other similar activities. Without a substantial pool of customers and prospects in an updated business contact database to tap into, finding such opportunities may become harder during the crisis. That’s why, as early as now, you need to build and grow your list in preparation for tougher times. Here’s how:

1. Reach out for influencers. The indirect route to your target marketing audience is an alternative path you need to consider. Fill your lists with personalities that your desired audience looks to as a source of guidance. Influencers can help you spread your message to more receptive ears.

2. Turn on the offline tap. Contact list building doesn’t have to be conducted completely online. Consider offline sources of business contacts to complement your web-based or digital efforts. This also brings the added benefit of pre-qualifying potential opportunities as interactions in real life often happen with a relatively higher level of engagement and sense of purpose.

3. Prioritize and rethink. Adapting to the changing times requires you to refocus your priorities and even reset your goals and objectives. Make sure to set your priorities according to what the situation demands. In terms of list building, consider what contacts you really need to serve and what information you need.

4. Rebuild and they will come again. The well-known saying, ‘build it, and they will come,’ needs some re-evaluation. Whatever tactics you use to grow your contact list, you need to keep in mind that your focus isn’t extracting short-term lead generation or sales results but for the longer-term perspectives of retention and loyalty.

5. Get all the help you need. Consult experts that can help you out with your list building efforts while you still have the resources at your disposal. Also, you need to consider partnering with a quality contact list provider who can be called upon to improve the usability of your databases.

Of course, whether officials are going to sit idly by and let the nation fall off the fiscal cliff is still very much a big ‘if’ at this point. Nonetheless, taking the necessary precautions against it is really worth giving some serious thought. You don’t want to be caught completely unprepared when the worst happens.

Top 7 Tips to Enhance Sender Reputation for Optimal Deliverability with Your B2B Contacts List

Although by no means the sole concern of B2B email marketers, deliverability rates with respect to your business contacts list are still important factors in your campaign’s success or failure. Even though B2B email marketers score inbox placement rates of 89% (according to Return Path), the potential road blocks that face your emails en route to recipients’ inboxes do warrant careful preparation and planning in order to be avoided as much as possible.

Email deliverability is influenced by a lot of factors, but the most significant for marketers working with a B2B contacts list is sender reputation. In fact, data from Return Path reveal that as much as 83% of deliverability issues with B2B emails are attributable to sender reputation. If you’re encountering problems with inbox placements, then this factor is probably responsible. That’s why this post looks at the following tips to help you improve sender reputation:

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How to Build Strong Long-term Relationships with Your B2B Contact Lists

How long are you planning to engage with the recipients in your B2B contact lists? If your answer to this is somewhere along the lines of “until I’ll be able to squeeze enough sales opportunities,” then you need to carefully think about your approach to communicating with your B2B email marketing list. The best way to succeed in email marketing is through building strong and longer-term relationships – that is, beyond the current marketing period or buying cycle.

Having a great contact list relationship enables you to boost your branding, marketing, and sales potential not only in the next couple of quarters but well into the future. Good relationships with the individuals in your targeted B2B mailing list increases the likelihood of actually winning their business, building customer loyalty, and generating repeat sales – all of which wouldn’t be possible with a shorter-term orientation. And so, here are some key email marketing communication guidelines to help you out:

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Contact Database Security 101: A Few Basic Insights and Tips

When hackers gained illegal access to Epsilon’s email contact database in 2011, alarm bells went off, raising concerns about the security of contact details along with personal and professional information stored in marketing databanks. A few months and a dozen hacking incidents involving different companies later, TicketWeb reported that hackers obtained customers email information after breaching its system in February. Recently, in July, hackers exposed 435,000 credentials claimed to have been taken from Yahoo! Services, and these cases make up only the tip of the iceberg.

So where does this leave you and your efforts at keeping your contact databases secure? It places you squarely within the sights of hackers as cybercrimes affect all businesses with an online presence regardless of the size, location, or scope. More importantly, the current security situation should lead you to consider taking the necessary steps to safeguard your contacts’ information.

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Six Tips for Cleaning and Updating Your B2B Cold Calling List That Actually Work

Your B2B cold calling list is a vital resource that your telemarketing campaign simply cannot live without. However, a telemarketing contact database of poor quality can just as equally lead to your campaign’s demise. That’s why a regular and systematic database maintenance strategy is as important as any other component of your lead generation plan.

This post gives six tried-and-true tips for cleaning and updating your cold calling list and is intended to help you avoid the consequences of poor data quality. According to recent studies, around 78% of marketers say they conduct database cleanup at most three times a year only. Other research findings suggest companies that fail to regularly maintain their marketing and sales databases end up wasting company resources on lost sales and other opportunity costs.

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6 Tips to Balance Email Marketing with a Contact List

In many ways, running a modern email marketing campaign is like walking on a tightrope that needs balancing between delivering useful content and sending promotional sales material to recipients in your contact list. You have to know which side to concentrate on as you proceed along the wire or else fall off and disappoint your audience. As such, let’s try to see what we can learn from tightrope walkers and apply them to our email campaign.

1. Know that spectators’ expectations differ. While you may simply see the crowd as a single entity, the individual level tells a different story in terms of expectations from your high-wire act. Some might be anticipating some sort of a heart-stopping performance while others might simply be contented with an uneventful crossing. It works the same way for your contact list recipients. But, unlike the tightrope example, you have the ability to appeal to specific audience groups through proper segmentation in email marketing.

2. Deliver what the crowd came for. Once you start making your way down the wire, you have to make a genuine effort to put on a great show and strive to meet everybody’s expectations. Of course, you don’t do this in one go, but at various points in your performance. The same holds true for email marketing. You don’t try to please everybody with just one email blast – it just won’t work. Instead, you continually engage with different audience segments at different times.

3. Learn to shift your weight. As you proceed along the tightrope, you’ll find the tendency to hobble toward either side at specific points on the wire. To compensate for this and avoid falling, you need to shift your weight to the opposite side until balance is restored. In email marketing, this is identical to how you should distribute your focus between telling and selling. You shouldn’t have too much of either.

4. Trust the wire you’re walking on. Without confidence placed on the very thing that keeps you in the air while tightrope walking, your doubts will eat away your ability to concentrate with what you’re supposed to be doing. Think of the rope as your email campaign itself. If you’re not sure about the soundness or quality of component in your business contact list for your campaign, you’ll end up hesitating to take decisive steps like send a promotional email at the right opportunity.

5. Keep the end of the rope in focus. It’s always better to make sure the part of the tightrope that meets the other platform is always within your sight. Don’t look to the sides and, most of all, don’t look down. Working with email lists for marketing is essentially the same. Keep your goals in mind and strive to achieve them without fail.

6. Have a safety net in place – always. Even with all your practice and preparation, there will always be a chance for failure. That’s the whole point of having some kind of safety net placed underneath. Similarly, email campaigns with your marketing and sales contact database is likewise riddled with uncertainties. It’s good practice to always have some sort of a backup plan or contingency measure to fall back on when things don’t go your way.

Again, the whole point of taking the tightrope as an analogy for email campaigns is that, as email marketers, we’re caught in a balancing act between providing value-added content and purely promotional sales material. While it’s vital to deliver educational or enriching content for our prospects, it’s also necessary for us to make our offers and actually get the revenue engines running. The important point here is to really be aware where in the campaign you and your target buyers are and understand what they expect from you at such point.