data brokers

Selecting a Business-to-business Marketing List

Selecting a Business-to-business Marketing List

How to Select a Business Marketing List


To some, obtaining a Business Marketing List comes with ease – they know exactly what they want, when they want it and how. And that’s perfectly fine …… as is not having a clue!

Steve and I get asked frequently “How do I go about it and what are my options?”

Well, here are some of the more important options you need to consider.

When Do You Need the Business-to-business Marketing List For?

b2b data

Your first consideration is when should you plan on running the campaign. You need to allow enough time to get your ducks in a row (printer/email broadcaster/telemarketing team etc) and order the data so that you don’t have everything all set to go… and nobody to send it to! Usually, data can be supplied within 24 hours, but I’d advise allowing 48-72 hours, just in case you need to tweak your selections. But…don’t buy the data yet…read on!

Does the List Exist? And in the Volumes You Need?

Next, you need to speak to whoever is to supply your B2B Marketing List, since if the list you want doesn’t exist, everything else could end up being wasted time, effort and potentially money. Once you know the B2B Marketing List exists and that the volumes you’re looking to target are there, you can crack on.

What Criteria Can I Make My Selections On?

A Business-to-business Marketing List can be many and varied, with each having its own pros and cons. Some offer a greater degree of flexibility within their selections, yet maybe lack the volumes that others offer. In a nutshell, though, there are several selections available pretty much as “standard”, albeit with differing degrees of options:

Industry – This could be as wide as a sector (i.e. Construction, Manufacturing) or right down to the nitty-gritty (i.e. biscuit manufacturers, supermarkets, insurance brokers)

Geography – UK wide, or North England only / specific counties or maybe a radius of a postcode?

Contact Type – Are you looking to target specific contacts, i.e. HR Director / Head of Marketing, or simply the Senior Decision Maker?

Number of Employees – Do you want to exclude sole traders, or target those with 5 – 50 employees?

Turnover – Does your product/service require a certain level of turnover to qualify?

Head Office / Single Site / Branch – Do you want to contact branches or only the main offices?

There are several other selections too that exist with some databases, which might be important to you – Company Age, Website, Social Media Details etc

What Contact Channels Are You Going to Use?

Most lists come with business name and address as standard, with the added options of telephones and emails. Note, however, that the more channels you add, the fewer records will be available. That’s because whilst the postal details may exist for most companies, telephone records are screened against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) register before being output (with those registered not being available), plus not everybody gives an opted-in email to contact, so volumes drop.

How Long are you Using the List For?

Most lists are rented on a 12 month multiple use basis, meaning they can be used many times for a year. Some lists are available on a reduced use basis, so if you only want to issue one mailshot, it may be possible to buy it on a single use at a lower price.

Remember though, lists are “seeded” with contacts who report to the list owner, so if you use a list outside of its purchased license period (i.e. 15 months after buying a 12-month license), you may have to buy a new license.

How Clean and Compliant is the List?

The cleanliness of a B2B Marketing List will play an important part in the success of your campaign. Most good quality lists will have no data older than 12 months. Some of the more premium lists might even be clean to within 4 months or less, though the price will reflect this. Ideally, your supplier should give you a 30-day guarantee against postal returns, dead phone lines and hard bounce emails.

As far as compliance is concerned, then above all else, you need to be sure the list has fully opted in for third party marketing. Where you are obtaining telephone numbers, make sure they will be screened against both the TPS and CTPS registers prior to being output to you. If taking emails, then personal emails work best (rather than generic), though personal emails (i.e. must also have the prospect’s consent in order to be used for marketing.

When to Buy?

Once you have all the above boxes ticked and your other ducks are all in a row, then purchase your list 24-72 hours prior to your first action – whether that first action is the date your printer has said they need the data for, the date your telemarketers are due to start calling or the date you plan on issuing your email broadcast. You need to allow enough time for tweaks to the list (the volume may have changed slightly since you first enquired), plus leaving the purchase until last ensure you buy the most recent, fresh data, which will ensure maximum accuracy with regard to reaching your target audience.

Why Go to a Data Broker?

Many list owners can only direct you to their own list(s), regardless of their suitability. This may be ok for you but can end up being the old “Square peg, round hole” situation. A list broker knows the marketplace and what lists are available, so can direct you with knowledge of those lists and advise as to their pros and cons with impartiality, allowing you to make an informed decision.

In addition, you may save money (and certainly time), since they can often get much smaller minimum orders and better prices than if you went direct, due to the volume of orders they place with the list owners they use!

Want to Know More?

We’re friendly and in no way pushy, so please feel free to get in touch and ask us any questions you like – there really is no such thing as a daft question – honestly! Steve and I are both available on 01274 965411 during the usual business hours.

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