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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.

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.

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

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

image credits goes to the original owner

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.

Better Use of Contact Database in Overcoming Marketing Challenges

There are many organizations that acquire and cross-sell did not end well with the results. Traditional marketing media are super expensive, and modern marketing media are starting to under perform. There are many problems that these organizations encounter from the quality of their business prospect and customer data, and also lack of marketing channel options.

The following describes some of the problems we are experiencing and how to overcome each of them:

Problem: Poor Performing Contact Database

Remedy: Some experience shows that contact database performs poorly when it lacks on specificity. Passage to individual-level data from a different sources helps to tune in the framework for great marketing campaigns. The length and depth of database is a requirement and the more data sources, attributes and partnerships there is an access to, the better.

Problem: Dirty Contact Database

Remedy: Heightened sources of performance-driven database are foundation to the success of your marketing, but sometimes that some contact database can be rich in attributes and poor in hygiene and accuracy. Improving your prospect and customer data using a stage gate methodology approach should be. Gate methodology is a method management technique wherein a process is divided into steps or activities. This will be classified or divided into “gates”. Moving forward to the next stage or phase, a gate should be submitted or closed, closure of which add the sign off of a Gate Tagger who can be someone like a Quality Control Personnel that ensures that quality checkpoints, thresholds and expectations can be meet or pass, preparedness criteria or tolerated results. Gating controls the total process from getting out of hand, ensures the highest quality is delivered while most efficient steps are applied without repetition. It also helps teams track and trace project activities to meet Audit and Compliance requirements.

Problem: Contact Database Environment Limitations

Remedy: If you’re having trouble finding new data and new data sources quickly and you can’t deliver specified campaigns, this is what it means. That’s why database marketers need to ensure that their databases are ready to react to any possible change. With a traditional database environment, this can be tough. ContactDB offers an inexpensive and easily-deployable Quick Database Solution that acts in response to your marketing needs.  Whether you need access to your database without any restrictions, or you need to capture data from a new channel right away, our Quick Database moves is at your speed.

Problem: Difficulty in Analyzing Data Insights

Remedy: As B2B marketers begin managing new types of data, traditional analytics and modeling methodologies has become ineffective from time to time. It is encourage for our Clients to make certain their internal or outsourced analytics department are ready and able to utilize additional performing contact database as it becomes more available, and to understand how it communicate with their existing toolsets. ContactDB can complement your internal set up and analytics resources to extend and improve your current output. We can also build rapid models in hours, producing new insights that you can immediately put into action.

Don’t be Satisfied with Past Information, settle with sufficient and correct Data

When you Data Profile, you need to know how to get the information correctly. It isn’t about just getting all the information on the internet without reviewing it, this may cause confusion for the client once they got the information you provide, if they found out that the information you’ve given is incorrect or out of date.

Many of us might have the same problem regarding in obtaining profiles from the internet. Although you have Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin as a source, it doesn’t mean that it’s accurate enough for you to profile. Some might be a dummy account to cause confusion to Online researcher.

Being satisfied with information that is outdated, isn’t a promising effort to be honest. If you’re satisfied with outdated information, might as well give it for free. You need to know when to say “This is all I could do, I hope this will be enough” when you finished profiling.

Having said this, there are some few things I want to share with you that might help you with Data profiling.

You can’t easily copy and paste the information on the web

Like I said before, copying information that isn’t well studied or well researched and inputting it in your database  can bring chaos in your database. You need to study what you’re searching for before encoding it.

Outdated Data can destroy your database

Data’s which you’ve handed out to clients can be returned with an add on note that some businessman don’t want to receive and that note is, REFUND and REPLACEMENT. And if that happens, you need to go back to all your database and start all over again.

You need to remember three things before inputting the acquire data

  • Company names can change anytime or yearly, so keep an update on every company you’ve encoded in your database
  • C-Level Decision makers doesn’t show their domain and company email in their website or social media page, if you want to get it. You must call them first, and this will be an added work for you
  • You shouldn’t be satisfied if what you searched for came up right away, you need to further analyze the information before you input it in your database

N.T.K about Data Purchasing: Don’t Expect for a perfect Data List (And Here’s Why)

I bet you’re wondering what’s N.T.K  and here what it means Need To Know, and I bet all of you have that same question going through your mind every time you’ll think about purchasing a Data List. “Will it be accurate or Will it be Perfect?” but as an Online Researcher, I could honestly say, “Don’t expect much on your requested list”

Email list or Phone list is essential when you’re into email marketing and telemarketing, without these lists, you’ll be the one searching for it and prepare the necessary adjustment. With that being said, you definitely think about data purchasing, but you also need to know that some of what you’ll ask will not have the same result as you wished and here’s why:

  • Industries in a certain place/country are limited
  • Not all company’s personnel give personal/private information

INDUSTRIES IN A CERTAIN PLACE/COUNTRY ARE LIMITED

Yes, you read that right. There are industries in a certain country that are limited to profile. If you’re lucky, you can get a hundred or more data records. So don’t expect too much of that industry in a certain place, just limit your request into a maximum of 550 records. But if you can ask them how much they can give you, then go for it. But still, don’t expect for it to be a perfect set of Data.

NOT ALL COMPANY’S PERSONNEL GIVE PERSONAL/PRIVATE INFORMATION

The thing about personal information such as Emails and Phone number both company and personal are sometimes hidden within the person itself. You don’t expect for it to be placed in plain sight, and if that’s the case, then profiling would be a piece of a cake kind of job wouldn’t it? But let’s go back to the topic, personal information must be directly asked by a caller that can profile correctly, and if you only ask for an online researcher to do a calling job, then don’t get mad if you receive it late, because that list must be perfect and it takes time.

Expecting a perfect list takes time and it takes a well-trained researcher to do it, but of course, you can’t possibly expect a list to be that perfect, and be reminded that some of those companies might not want to get an email or call from you or us.

Data Profiling Tip: Clean your mind from distractions

Data profiling or Data gathering isn’t all that if you think about it. It’s basically all about searching for something that your client asked of you, and if you gave a wrong set of records or list, then it’s your fault for handing out useless lists not the client. Being an Online researcher suck doesn’t it? But what if I told you that what you’ve read is just a distraction to keep your mind wonder if it’s true or not?

It’s true that it doesn’t give you anything in return. In fact, it just gives you stress. But what we don’t know that each time we search for a certain topic or information, you’ve gained a little insight on what that topic or information is all about. Although you might not realize it at first, it will slowly help you out when you need it the most. For instances, A student who read a certain topic doesn’t really learn it that day, but after a day or weeks, that student will recall what he/she have studied.


HALF A MIND, A BIG NO!

It’s a big NO if you think you can profile using only half of what you’ve been using. Our mind isn’t at its full capacity if we rarely use it, of course, there’s no doubt we use it all the time. But let’s not kid ourselves, Sometimes we always wonder “Are we using our mind to its full potential?” of course, there are instances that we use its full potential, but that is when we are in danger.

THE 10% MYTH

I just watched the movie “Lucy” last night and I was fascinated with their theory, and that is, “we only use 10% of our brain”. Of course, I know that it’s just a movie and the fact that we only use 10% of our brain is just a myth (Researched), but what if this myth is real? Would we be able to accept it?

Well, honestly, there’s something that our mind can do that we don’t know, yet. You might wonder “What is he saying?” Well, our mind can produce something that we are unaware of, but that’s another blog.

Data Profiling: One does not simply profile (And here’s Why)

When you’re in a Data profiling job, you will always hear some clients asking for something like this,

Can you produce 200 records daily?

I’m looking for 4000 record list that only consist of… The specs are in the email I sent to you

Well, it isn’t that hard of a job when you don’t really have a deadline to catch, but when the deadline is only within a day or two. Then this job will need everyone in your team to work hand in hand.

Data profiling isn’t what I could say a “Piece of a cake” kind of job. Although we have some guidelines to follow, we seldom do it by what we know and that is, Double check some data’s and correct some.

Understanding how profiling works.

Understanding how profiling works is one thing that every customer or client need to know. Why? Because customers or clients need to be fully aware that some of the missing data can’t be found or some of their specifications aren’t that free or searchable.

Some data’s like personal emails or mobile number are personal, so it is set in private by that person. Data profiling doesn’t only depend on LinkedIn, Facebook or twitter to gather data from people within the list. It usually depends on the person who is working and this is why data profiling takes a lot of time.

It depends on how a person does its job on the given list.

When a prospect or client gives out its specification, it is given to two to three persons. This means that on every data profiling project, two or three people are working on it. And once the list is done, the team leader or the one who assigns to finalize everything will double check the list, to avoid duplicates or fill out what is missing.

Data profiling requires a lot of time and accurate research, but more importantly, it requires personnel that is good at finding information that can’t be research by its fellow profiler.

Why you should Rest before Data Profiling!

What is data profiling? When you looked it up on the internet the definition will sound like this

Data profiling is the process of examining the data available in an existing data source (e.g. A database or a file) and collecting statistics and information about that data”

and that’s from Wikipedia, where anyone can edit its content.

But if you ask some of the people who work as a data profiler, maybe you’ll get this kind of response “A haggard way of draining your brain cells” or “A slow way to kill yourself” Well, I can’t blame them if they answered by question with pure anger towards Data profiling. Why? Because I tried it, and it seriously drained a part of my brain cells.

Is Data Profiling that dangerous?

Well, it’s not that dangerous if you can properly rest your brain for a minute or so. But how can you, when you’re at  the peak of breaking apart? But let’s not dwell on the subject of dying. But rather how come data profiling is dangerous?

Well, First of all, I might have exaggerated a little about Data profiling draining a part of my brain cells, but let me tell you this, it can really drain your energy.

Most of the time you stare at your computer screen and search for those Data’s that needs to be replaced. Furthermore, you’re constantly thinking where you can find the right data for those incorrect ones.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

Well, you might wonder what’s the difference when we are always looking at our smartphones or playing computer games all the time. To be honest, I spend most of my time when I was still staying at my parents’ place, playing computer games all day long.  But of course, I have the time to rest up and it usually took me 12 hours of sleep and only around 8 hours of playing games.

But when you are data profiling, it’s your job to submit those correct data on time, and if you can’t then you might get the boot sooner or later. Of course, you wouldn’t want that, do you?

How to Build a Contact List You Can Be Proud Of

In B2B marketing, connection are important matter. A piece of information that is collected and compiled and set as a database for the benefits of a particular needs –a contact list. While it may be too dreamy to think about big contacts from big businesses, creating a contact list from a small-scale business and set them is peculiar in the B2B industry.

To begin with creating your own contact list, there are few considerations you have to think before collecting them online. Here are:

  1. Categorize the type of industry –search small-scale industry online and know what type of industry you want to build contact with. Whether is health, finance, education or food leads, you can divide them according to the type of market are they into.
  2. Determine the revenue –big business don’t need marketing efforts, they already have their own. While small starters are the one who need to be guided with contact list. Research for small earning industry and their target location.
  3. Know the C-levels –gather information such as CEO, marketing manager, executive secretary and the C-level employees. Gather their business contact number and
  4. Verify the information –of this businesses to ensure quality and assurance for those who will need them.
  5. Arrange its target market –see to it that these business are within range of the target market of your future client and mutual relationship can be established between the two. Know both target market to match their desired result.

Building a contact list is not easy, there are a lot of things to be considered in order to make a database that will suit the needs of your clients. With this, you can now face with your database that will surely you will be proud of.