The question we are asked most often about business-to-business lists is “how do you tell which are good B2B lists and which are bad ones?”
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With decades of experience in B2B marketing we’ve found there are five criteria which determine list quality and appropriateness for your campaign:
1. The amount of data that is available. B2B mailing lists may have tens of millions of contacts or a few thousand contacts. Either may be right for your objectives. Start by giving your list vendor a list of key selections for your target audience, which will typically include job function, industry, company size, and geography (if appropriate).
2. Source of the data. Some list owners compile from a single source, others aggregate from several sources. The more sources for your B2B marketing lists, the more complete and valid it is likely to be.
3. How frequently the list is updated. How does the list owner know their contacts are good? Some B2B lists don’t validate. Others use phone only. Some use phone, email, and social media to validate contacts. You should also ask how frequently they validate. Some list owners do so once per year. Others validate every 30 to 90 days. The more validations and the more recent the updates, the better quality the list will be.
4. How well the list fits your target audience. List owners typically profile business lists two ways: by the product or service that is in use at their organization, or by their product interest or purchasing authority. The first will cast a broader net, while the second matches buying behavior. Either may be appropriate depending on your objectives. What’s not appropriate is a broader list that targets all technology buyers (for example) when you only want those who are only interested in a particular platform.
5. Whether the contacts are available for single or multi-use. For a multichannel campaign, you’ll almost certainly want to contact prospects more than once and in a variety of media. The best multi-use list owners will regularly update their B2B lists, because the IT executive who was buying six months ago may have moved to another company or position.
Our experience in sourcing B2B marketing lists has taught us that the most complete, most updated, and most segmented lists will perform the best. Ask Beasley to help you find them!