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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.

Is Your B2B Contact Leads Database Ready for the AI Revolution?

Is Your B2B Contact/Leads Database Ready for the AI Revolution

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One of the main takeaways from Salesforce’s 2017 STATE of MARKETING report  is that investments in AI has outpaced spending in other marketing tech areas. B2B marketers are adopting AI technologies ranging from predictive lead scoring to chatbots in droves. But before you get caught up in the hype, there’s one thing you need to nail down before you start applying AI into your marketing processes: Is your B2B contact leads database ready for AI at all?

To answer this, we first need to separate the reality and the publicity behind AI’s capabilities in B2B marketing today. MarTech Advisor points to four key areas where B2B marketers can realistically expect AI to lend them a helping hand:

  • Scoring and ranking leads.
  • Segmentation and content personalization
  • Discovering and implementing Marketing automation strategies
  • Sales enablement and acceleration

At its present development stage, the best that AI technology can do is allow you to carry out the tasks in each of the above activities more efficiently. While some aspects of AI can uncover prospect behavior invisible to the unaided human B2B marketer, the reality is that AI remains just a tool, and tools are only as effective as the persons and processes using them.

So if you think AI has a place in your marketing toolkit, you first need to take a good look at your B2B contact leads database.

Like everything else in marketing, AI depends on good data. The data currently sitting in your CRM and datasets you’re about to collect need to meet some basic requirements before starting AI-enabled campaigns. In an interesting video series, Brandon Rohrer at Microsoft Azzure thinks of data science and AI as a lot like making pizza: the better the ingredients (your data), the better the final product (marketing insights).

There are four qualities that any dataset must satisfy to be ready for AI and data science:

  1. Relevant: Do the fields and records in your B2B contact leads database help you answer the questions you’re exploring? For example, which lead attributes in your CRM influence the likelihood that a prospect turns into a customer within the next quarter?
  2. Accurate: How reliable are the models/profiles generated from your marketing database? Do the records contain incorrect, outdated, redundant, or invalid entries?
  3. Connected: Are there significant gaps in your marketing data? What percentage of records contain empty fields?
  4. Sufficient: Do you have enough records to build robust AI models?

While each of the above criteria is important, we need to carefully consider sufficiency. AI requires data–lots of data. The algorithms that power most AI applications run on vast amounts of examples in their training set. In general, the more examples you use to train an AI algorithm, the more accurate the resulting model gets.

So before you think about applying AI in marketing, you first have to bring your contact leads database up to snuff.  Use the previous ideas as your guidelines and maximize the power of artificial intelligence.

Reminders For Starters In Email Marketing

Reminders For Starters In Email Marketing

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What is email marketing? Email marketing involve sending emails like product advertisements, business requests, sales solicitations or donations to potential or current customers.

As a starter in email marketing, sending emails to everyone you just know through LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter might feel off to you. However, know that you are not the only business doing this kind of marketing thing. As an email marketer, you should not be afraid of sending out emails to people whether you know them or not. Email marketers send emails to a wide demographic range of people regarding what they are selling, advertising or promoting. Correspondingly, it is inevitable to get no response from your prospects when you send them an email. Some marketers may think that this is okay, but wouldn’t it be nice to receive a positive response about the email you sent to a potential customer?

So how will you raise the chances of your emails getting a response from your potential customer? Easy. Avoid being considered as a bad email marketer. Here are reminders you need to keep in mind to achieve that.

  • Avoid sending irrelevant emails to your prospects.
  • Avoid sending out two or more emails to the same prospect every day.
  • Avoid sending out the wrong email to wrong prospects.
  • Avoid sending out emails during time off or clock off.
  • Avoid sending emails to uninterested prospects.

Applying these simple reminders when conducting an email marketing can help you raise the chances of having a response and not be considered as one of the typically bothersome email marketer. It is always important to know if you are becoming a nuisance. Be aware of what you are doing and be sensitive about how the recipient may feel. Sensitivity to your prospects’ or current customers’ needs is a critical value not just in email marketing but in the business as a whole.

6 Signs Your Email Marketing Service Provider Is Doing It Right

6 Signs Your Email Marketing Service Provider Is Doing It Right

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Email marketing is far from dead. In fact, a recent survey conducted by Ascend2 revealed that using emails is the first of the top three most effective digital marketing tactics used by more than half of companies with a rating of 61%. Also, according to Hubspot, 59% of B2B marketers consider email as the most effective channel for generating revenue.

Given this, it is important to be critical when evaluating your email marketing service provider’s performance. Not just because you’d want to get your money’s worth, but also there’s so much riding on the success of your email campaigns.

  1. They can manage and clean your email list.
    A good email marketing service provider gives you the capability to segment and sent to your email list, especially to purchased ones. If they’re equipped to let you do this, your provider enables you to reach your target audience and present you with unlimited opportunities for converting your cold contacts to warm B2B leads. In addition, your email marketing service provider should also give you the tools for ridding your email list of bad data (e.g. inaccurate data, duplications, dead accounts and spam traps). Having them clean your data can help in getting a good sender reputation, which in turn, results to better email deliverability.
  1. They can protect your email data.
    A good email marketing service provider ensures the privacy and security of your email data (like being CAN-SPAM and CASL–compliant). Your provider should operate on a standards-based encryption and protection protocol to keep your emails secure from threats. These safeguards are vital in carrying out your campaigns. For instance, they keep your corporate domains and IPs from being blacklisted so that email deliverability remains unhindered throughout your campaign.
  1. They have excellent email automation capability.
    With a first-rate automation software or platform, a good email marketing service provider doesn’t just save you from the hassle of manually doing specific tasks in your email marketing workflow, but also addresses many aspects of email marketing that contributes to its success like branding consistency, customer engagement and retention, and even streamlining the sales funnel for lead nurturing.
  1. They can help you execute A/B testing.
    A good email marketing service provider makes it easier for you to do A/B split testing. A/B testing is a smart way to assess the effectiveness of certain variables found in your email content (CTA, subject lines, images, etc.) in optimizing opens or clicks. That’s why, A/B testing is an indispensable tool to use when determining what needs to be changed in your email content.
  1. They have reporting tools that provide real-time data and analytics.
    A good email marketing service provider has reporting tools that let you track the performance of your email campaigns. These tools extract and present real-time data and analytics such as the number of emails sent, notifications read, emails read, documents downloaded, documents viewed and email replies. These metrics help you gain insights on your customers’ preferences and ultimately, maintain the right kind of engagement with them.
  1. They have dedicated technical support.
    A good email marketing service provider offers a hassle-free, round-the-clock technical support. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation wherein you’re facing an infuriating email issue without prompt assistance from your service provider–or worse, simply being passed around from rep to rep before reaching the actual technical resource.

Now you know the six signs to look for in a good email marketing service provider! First, they can handle and clean your email list well. Second, they secure your email data. Third, they let you access cutting-edge email automation software. Fourth, they are committed to helping you do A/B testing. Fifth, they have reporting tools for real-time data and analytics and sixth, they have an established, ever-ready technical support. Settling for anything less is like going for a mediocre-level email marketing campaign right from the outset.

Run These 6 Data Hygiene Checks On Your B2B Email Lists Before Your Next Campaign

Run These 6 Data Hygiene Checks On Your B2B Email Lists Before Your Next Campaign

Whether it’s B2C or B2B, email marketing has always been an excellent approach to nurture prospects, convert sales-ready leads, and solicit repeat and referral business. However, in order to be effective, your contact list requires a solid foundation. And whether you’re employing bought or home-grown data, doing hygiene checks on your email lists is crucial to boosting your ROI.

So what does it mean to run a data hygiene check on your B2B email lists?

Your contact database is brimming with data and insights into your potential clientele. However, if that data contains errors and inaccuracies, your sales and marketing initiatives are going to bear the brunt of the nasty side effects of having bad data on your list. Routinely running data hygiene checks guarantees that every piece of information in your contact database is as reliable and actionable as possible. Having meticulously-maintained and robust data is critical for running targeted and effective email marketing campaigns.

The following are the common types of dirty data that might be lurking in your B2B email lists.

  • Inaccurate data – These are those records that have typographical errors.
  • Duplications — These are separate records belonging to the same contact.
  • Dead accounts — These are those email addresses that were once actively used by their owners but have now become inactive.
  • Spam traps – These are those email addresses that are in circulation to help single out spammers who add addresses to their email lists without consent. They often find their way into authentic email lists.

To remove these kinds of data from your B2B email lists, you need to run these six crucial steps in maintaining good data hygiene:

  1. Data Scrubbing – This refers to finding and handling data entry and basic parsing errors.
  2. De-duplication and Records Matching – This refers to detecting and removing duplicate records as well as combining records incorrectly classified as separate.
  3. Recovering/Appending Missing Data & Values – This refers to managing records with incomplete data by using an intelligent algorithm.
  4. Data Migration & Merging – This refers to migrating or integrating a marketing database into another format or storage.
  5. Standardization & Normalization – This refers to checking the consistency and comparability of various pieces of data in the database.
  6. Data Verification – This refers to validating and verifying information on the database through phone, email, and online research.

Know that dirty data is something that you can absolutely do without. They can give you a bad rep by damaging your sender score and it could get a lot worst with your IP getting blocked or being blacklisted by your email provider. That’s why doing data hygiene checks routinely should be a part of your campaign process. It’s a good push toward reducing bounce rates and improving email deliverability and conversion rates.

3 Reasons Why Savvy B2B Marketers Do Email Marketing With Purchased Contact Lists

Why Savvy B2B Marketers Do Email Marketing With Purchased Contact Lists

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When handled correctly, you can take advantage of purchased contact lists to its full potential. That is why savvy B2B marketers include purchased contact lists in their must-haves especially when running email marketing campaigns. Here are three reasons why they just love to do so.

  1. It lets you kick-start your email campaign right away.
    Inbound marketing has its share of boon and bane. Sure. It’s a potent marketing technique that you should have. However, you can’t deny the fact that it takes a considerable amount of time. Time is precious so why be solely dependent on a strategy that eats it up? Fortunately, getting hold of purchased contact lists eradicates this as it gives you the upper hand in your lead generation.
  1. It fills your sales funnel right there and then and expands your contact database overnight.
    When you depend on inbound approaches alone, Your marketing team isn’t the only one that will bear the brunt. It can become an obstacle for your business growth as numbers tank and sales become sluggish. If that’s not a nightmare scenario for you, I don’t know what is. But if push comes to shove and you opt to send emails using purchased contact lists, filling up that funnel is easily within your reach. In other words, with a bought contact list, you can expedite sales-ready leads for conversion.
    Aside from virtually letting you expand your database overnight, using purchased contact lists in your email marketing basically opens up new horizons for you and put you in front of boundless business opportunities. So whenever you need a push in your lead generation efforts, don’t hesitate to make a purchase!
  1. You can use it to convert cold contact into warm leads.
    Some of you might be thinking that emailing to purchased contact lists is a little risky since the contacts haven’t opted in. But of course! They haven’t opted. Yet! Using these contact lists in your B2B email marketing enables you to convert cold contacts to warm, consent-based leads. You can, therefore, make these leads part of your sales and marketing campaigns. After this, it’ll be all about employing lead nurturing strategies and conversion.

In the right hands, purchased contact lists are great tools for building and growing the sales pipeline. That’s why savvy marketers use bought email lists because: it frees up their time to focus on more important things; it lets them fill up their funnel with ready-to-contact prospects practically overnight; and finally, it allows them to nurture and convert the right kind of leads. So, go find a B2B contact list provider that gives you more bang for your buck. Look for a vendor that manually verifies each list record, so that your email campaigns get better deliverability, response, and conversions.

B2B Prospecting: The Key To Getting More Sales From Your Sales Leads Database

B2B Prospecting: The Key To Getting More Sales From Your Sales Leads Database

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If you have a sales leads database and still wondering why you’re not seeing that sales figures, that might be because you have fallen short in prospecting. It’s a common knowledge that there are a lot of ways to do this like employing cold calling and email marketing. So why persist in prospecting? Isn’t having a product and/or service already does the work of getting that B2B prospects in front of you? Sorry for bursting your bubble but no. It was and will never be that simple.

Being a trailblazer in your field doesn’t guarantee an easy sell. In most cases, people will not just come up to you and say “I want to buy your product and/or service” or “I want us to do business”. You see, it takes prospects to make sales! You’re nowhere close to getting that business deal without B2B prospects. So time to raid that contact lists and begin calling!

Why do I need to call?

It’s a fact that you’re calling for yourself. Of course! You want a sale. Nevertheless, merely speaking up to people on the phone wouldn’t get you a sale. When you pick up the phone and dial a contact what you should aim is setting appointments! Why? Since you’re still in the prospecting phase of your campaign! At best, appointments equal prospects, and prospects can turn into sales.

How about sending emails instead?

It doesn’t really matter whether it’s over the phone or electronic mail as long as you’re able to set appointments with your target people. Appointments are the real deal since it puts you in the hot seat. It’s what brings you the “audience” you require in order to present your products and services. Just keep in mind that if you’re considering to exploit email as your prospecting tool, do not do email marketing in the manner that you’re doing cold calling.

As already said, forget about the sales you want if you wouldn’t even do prospecting. You should have an “audience” and it’s necessary to get your point across them. If they’re smitten, then you can now guide them through the sales cycle and if everything goes well, you’ll get sale as the end result.

So hit the phone and shoot your email. Start prospecting now if you want to get the best out of your sales leads database!

Sales Leads Qualifying Questions and Attributes

Sales Leads Qualifying Questions and Attributes

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Provided that a qualified lead generation in a B2B marketing-for-leads program is to flourish, marketing, sales and corporate management should part an integrated definition of qualified sales leads. This is because the marketing team will have a better shot in producing leads that will be significant to the sales representatives if every one of them concedes from the beginning on what a qualified sales lead is.

It’s imperative to check the qualified leads definition, in writing, with the mentioned bunch. This definition is diverse for each organization, so it’s an absolute to do some work to determine the description of qualified sales leads at your organization. Take for instance, determining a qualified sales lead include asking these general questions;

  • Does the prospect have a need or an application for your product or service?
  • What is the prospect’s role in the decision-making process?
  • What is the prospect’s timing for purchase or implementation?
  • What is the status of the prospect’s budget?
  • What is the size of the opportunity?

Though, additionally detailed criteria may be needed in other organizations. This begins with a company contact, who affirms to a business issue, either latently or openly, that could be tackled by a product and/or service you are offering.

Further to having a business issue that your products or services can resolve, very qualified sales leads should meet particular conditions:

  • They should have an organized project in play. This is evident if a team has already been selected to take care of the issue or, for a small business, if the inquirer’s boss requested that him or her to seek a solution or make a suggestion.
  • They already have or trust that they provide the cash to purchase a solution for the issue. Or, is in the course of forming a financial plan.
  • They intend to buy within a sensible span of time.
  • They have the ability to get you before the suitable, final decision maker(s) when the time is correct.

With marketing, sales and management, being on the same page about qualified sales leads, everybody can pull it together in targeting and maintaining the most potent leads. Therefore, increasing sales and revenue as the outcome.

Sales Leads Fallacies You Should Be Aware Of

Sales Leads Fallacies You Should Be Aware Of

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We are already in the third quarter of the year and lean months are fast approaching. Looking for sales leads during these times are rather a ride in the struggle bus. Business owners are setting up their operation, instead of their marketing scheme, for the holiday season. Consumers are likewise bustling to get ready for the consecutive holidays and celebrations. Furthermore, winter break decline the capacity of businesses to do collaboration with other clients because of the costs brought about by winter’s arrival.

This is indeed a headache for marketers. B2B lead generation are utilizing their way up to discovering potential clients. Considering this, these marketers might unknowingly latch on sales leads fallacies. To avoid this, here are three of the most common fallacies about sales leads.

“Inquiries are sales leads.”

Some marketers often tag positive inquiries or just inquiries as leads. The underlying circumstance of a prospect making a step in the interest toward a service assuming that they’re merely inquiring, however, not yet interested in purchasing. Positive email responses can be strengthened with pertinent message like information campaign and not sales targeted campaign. Being forceful is great, but it’s not necessarily applicable at all times.

“There are a lot of sales leads in data mining.”

It is said that covering the required industry through data mining will build up the possibility of coming across positive leads. But that’s not always the case. Positive leads can be generated in many ways. There are a ton of variables surrounding the capture of the qualities of a positive lead.

“Sales leads are determinant of sales revenue.”

Another confusion for business marketers is that sales leads can produce the ROI in a business. The reason for this is associated with the idea of sales leads being the focal point of sales avenue while in reality, it’s only a face, an exterior of the substantial structure of the business operation.

Checking on how we perceive our sales leads can deliver us ideas on the best way to handle them. Sales interaction is expected to additionally help the consolidation of sales and marketing design.