Category: Lists

Building Lists – What Data Should You Collect?

Since specific information about your prospects and customers will affect what messaging they receive, it's important to get as detailed as possible when building your database. Focus on retrieving only the information you need to identify prospects and build targeted campaigns. Here are the different types of information you should use to group your data:


Firmographics includes how large the company is (employee size, sales volume, number of customers) as well as the industry the company is in (SIC code) and how long it has been around. It is also useful to know when the company's fiscal year ends. In addition, be sure to get basic information such as the company's location.

Sales Cycle

Where is this company in your sales cycle? Are they just a suspect or a qualified lead? Have they just made their first purchase from you? Or maybe they're a repeat customer, a past customer, or even a high-value long-term client.


Note the interactions prospects have had with you and your sales/marketing activities. This can include attending trade shows, signing up for one of your webinars, or even opening one of your emails.

Generally, firmographic information will help you determine whether or not a certain company is a viable prospect, while the sales cycle and behavioral information will help you determine which messages to send to which groups. Specific types of marketing content will appeal to prospects and customers in different stages of the sales cycle. Thought leadership and best practices work best during the awareness stage; comparisons, reviews, and pricing information will be helpful during the research stage; and information about your company is most effective in the purchasing stage.

Benefits of Data Profiling

The most important element of a successful B2B marketing campaign is the list. While renting or purchasing lists is a viable option, why not focus on building and profiling your existing data?

Marketing to an in-house, profiled database allows you to send more targeted messages to smaller groups. Over time, this will lead to decreased marketing costs and increased response rates.

Below is an example of how you can separate your existing data into three different prospect groups, and the different types of messages you would send to each for an effective marketing campaign.

Group 1: Likely to Purchase Within Two Years

These prospects are in your target market and have a long term need. Stay top-of-mind with this group by implementing a 12-month marketing campaign to build a relationship with these prospects.

What to include:

  • Lower-cost touches (i.e. email)
  • Messages that establish your business value and qualifications
  • Messages that provide items of value (i.e. educational pieces like white papers or reports, or other offers such as discounts or free trials)

Group 2: Currently Using a Competitive Product/Service

Target these companies with specific competitive offers and information on making the move to your product/service.

What to include:

  • Educational pieces and messages on the benefits of your product/service over the competition
  • Webinars and sales pieces addressing the challenges that come with moving
  • Financial offers to make the move easier

Group 3: Qualified Decision-Makers Ready to Purchase

These qualified leads are ready to purchase soon. You want to send these companies high-value offers and messages that help them feel good about choosing your product/service.

What to include:

  • High-value financial offers and touches
  • Assessments geared toward migration
  • Messages of safety and ease to make their decision easier

Without profiling your existing database, you would have to send a universal marketing campaign to all these prospects – never hitting the right pain points or sending the right message to the right prospects. But if you invest in profiling, you will be able to tailor messages to each data group and yield much better results.

David's blog

Turning Cold Lists into Hot Leads

How many times has your company purchased a list, only to find the leads cold and the contact information out of date? Here are some tips on translating purchased lists into sales opportunities, and making the most of the contact resources you already have.

Purchased lists are not qualified leads

When you purchase a list, you're purchasing suspected leads at best. Be prepared to have your inside sales team call each and every contact from a purchased list to verify the contact information and to qualify the lead.

You already own your best list

Your best bet for leads is to focus on updating the contacts you already have. Does your sales team need a boost to make it happen? Consider a friendly competition and rewarding the "Data Master" of the quarter.

Research your market before you buy

What titles, industries, or company sizes have purchased your products/services in the past? Is your market large enough to support your goals? Is your market too large for your budget?

Use the law of attraction

As an alternative to purchasing new contacts, attract prospects to your website through social networking, SEO, or PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns and then use a marketing automation solution to identify their contact information and gauge their level of interest once they're on your website.

Don't forget about external sources

To append your existing data, check out LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Associations, and news sources. These are all useful tools to help your sales team update lists and qualify leads. Incorporate all your contact data into a CRM system to keep all information organized and to make it super easy to track leads throughout your sales cycle.

David's blog