Lists And Audience Data: How To Build A Database From Scratch

Old form of contact list

If you need to create a B2B marketing database but are having trouble doing so, it may be because you have too many options. There are many approaches you can take, from building your marketing database list from scratch, buying a list, or even renting one to uncover potential leads for your product(s).  Read on to learn how to figure out if you should build, buy or rent your marketing list—or if a hybrid approach is best for you.

Who’s Your Ideal Buyer?

Before you do anything, take some time to create buyer personas, which are very detailed descriptions about people who would be best suited to buy your product. You can create as many buyer personas as you like, but we recommend anywhere from three to five to give yourself a range. Each buyer persona should contain demographics for that ideal person like their job title; industry; pain points that they’re facing; professional or news websites that they might visit; and any other information that could be useful.

If you can compile this information from your current customers, fabulous. If not, you’re going to need to do some industry research if you haven’t already about the market and the type of people who are most likely to buy your product.

Having these buyer personas will help you figure out the type of audience you should be looking for when you’re renting, buying or building your database.

To Rent Or Buy … That Is The Question

With vast apologies to Shakespeare, is it nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of a rented list or to take arms against a bought list? Let’s consider the pros and cons of these options.

·         Rent. When you rent a list from a list provider, you don’t see the email list at all. The provider sends out your email(s) to their own list, and you’ll only know who’s on that list if the person acts and clicks on your email and then fills out the registration form on the landing page. The benefit here, though, is that your own email system isn’t impacted negatively for spam by sending out to names you’ve acquired.

·         Buy. When you buy a list from a list provider based on the demographics of your buyer personas, you receive the list as it is and you’re able to contact and email the people yourself. However, you need to consider the ramifications of that for your email ISP whitelist status if you just blast out a “buy now” email to those names without doing anything to the list. Even if you’re purchased names that are listed as being “opted in,” they did not opt in to receiving emails from you. So, your email provider may not allow you to email those names, or you may wind up blacklisted from having recipients hit “spam” and therefore be unable to send.

Clean Up And Send

How can you get around the issues that could arise from purchasing a list? Perform a list cleanse. First, look for things that stick out at a glance, like duplicates (a quick Excel data sort will show you this), or obviously fake names. Then, take the list and run it through an email list cleaning service for data hygiene. This will help to remove any domain names that no longer exist as well as spam traps and fake email addresses.

Once your list is spotless, consider what it is that you’re going to email to these people, who may not even know about your company. The best way to get their attention is to start off with a short, personalized email that talks specifically about the business challenges they may be facing, followed by information (again, keep it short) about a gated asset that you have, like a video or a checklist or tool, that could give them tips on counteracting those pain points. Plus, do an A/B split test to see what types of emails and subject lines perform best for the list you’ve acquired.

Bring The Right Ones In

Want to build your list instead of renting or buying or want to do both? I’ve got the answer for you in one word: content. Seriously. You need gated, strong, interesting content to build your audience. Think about what would make you give up your contact information, even if just your email address, and go from there.

To generate brand-new interest and spread the word about your product or service, consider creating tools that you will gate, like an efficiency calculator, a cost-reduction calculator, or an Excel spreadsheet that the potential lead can plug their numbers into to see how something will change. For a tool, most people will give up their email address, so you just need to create the right tool that would be helpful to your ideal buyers.

Once you have that content gated, promote it through your company’s blog, through social media, and through targeted digital ads to reach people who would be interested in your product. You can also create an email blast promoting your tool if you make it easy in the email for the recipients to share the information through their own social media. That way, you can further build your list through the contacts of people who already buy or know about your products.

Need help building your own B2B audience database? PartnerDemand Services can help with B2B marketing campaigns and content that will convert! Contact us to get started today.