Electric Marketing Blog

Why Do B2B Marketers Use Mailing Lists Now That We Have Social Media?

Microsoft announced a leap in profits last month attributing the rise to its relaunch of LinkedIn.

Since Microsoft bought LinkedIn in 2016, the corporate social media site has been flooded with innovative new functions. Microsoft has focused on the site’s main user-base – recruiters and jobseekers, and sales and marketing people. It offers packages of paid-for extras and add-ons for each of these target markets and promotes them relentlessly, largely by on-screen prompts and email.

I have been on the receiving end of a few comments on the lines of
“Can’t believe Electric Marketing is still going, now that we’re all using LinkedIn”
and
“Who buys email marketing lists these days?”.

But plenty of b2b marketers still buy email lists because while social media has its place, it also has its limits. Yes, you can make contact with a sales prospect on LinkedIn by inviting them to connect with you. And if they do not reply you can use the InMail service. If the prospect ignores your message, LinkedIn cannot get you any further. To persist in chasing that prospect now, you need a phone number, or an email address.

It can take 12 emails, phone calls and other contacts before a business person buys from a new supplier. You can reach out to a prospect over and over using email marketing, direct mail and telemarketing. And you can only start that process by having your prospect’s full contact details to hand.

LinkedIn understands this; it promotes its own products to its users by email. But it guards those email addresses closely; LinkedIn is mainly concerned with its profits, not yours.

Electric Marketing’s mailing lists come with full contact details. Our postal and email lists are sold on the basis of multiple use. If you have a list of leads and prospects that you have found on LinkedIn, our List Research Service can research their email addresses and full contact details for you. 25 years of experience in business-to-business marketing has taught us that re-mailing and regular emails, can build a client base and bring you sales.

 

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GDPR And How It Affects Business-to-Business Email Marketing

GDPR sure has been a long time coming. We’ve been worrying about the effects of the new Data Protection legislation from Europe since 2011. We are now a year away from the deadline of 25 May 2018 to comply. And Brexit won’t save us.

 

For consumer marketers there are big changes but for b2b marketing, changes need to be made but they are not too onerous. And if you already comply with current legislation, you will find yourself with a pretty short to-do list for GDPR.

 

Electric Marketing has prepared this guide to GDPR for b2b marketing. It focuses on what is relevant for b2b marketing.

The key change is that a company must show itself to be compliant with the rules. Write a policy document which sets out how you comply with the rules. Our guide puts the eight key issues into simple language that your policy document must cover.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about how email marketing will be affected by the new rules. This is certainly true for consumer marketing but b2b email marketing is not governed by GDPR, it is covered by the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR).

Until PECR is updated, the rules for b2b email marketing remain as they are ie you may send an email to a person’s business email address about business matters without first gaining their permission. Your email must have an opt-out mechanism. If the person opts out, you must not email them again. This is known as an ‘opt-out regime’.

 

What About Consent?

If you are using data for the sole purpose of b2b direct marketing, you do not need the prospect’s consent to do so. GDPR gives six reasons for lawfully processing data ie using emailing lists. Read them here on the Information Commissioner’s website.

B2B marketing does not rely on consent as the reason for data processing. Your policy document will say that you are processing data for the reason that the GDPR calls “legitimate interest” ie you have a legitimate business interest in emailing the person at their business email address.

 

Worried About PECR (Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation 2003)?

The EU has an ambition to update the rules of PECR in May 2018 and has drafted legislation. The draft legislation appears to allow the UK to retain its opt-out regime for b2b marketing and while this could change, it seems unlikely. It is also possible that the EU’s timetable for updating PECR may slip beyond May 2018.

So PECR is as yet unknowable but if the EU’s timetable for the legislation slips just ten months to beyond March 2019, the UK’s Great Repeal Bill may not include the PECR update. To read more about the likely effects of the PECR update, look at solicitors Bird & Bird’s take on PECR here.

 

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Planning To Capitalise On Brexit?

Target The UK’s Importers And Exporters With These Mailing Lists

Brexit talks have begun and the UK is committed to leaving the EU. While smaller, nimbler companies can afford a “wait and see” approach, the UK’s largest corporates are making plans, and contingency plans, to change how they operate, no matter what the Brexit deal will be.

Pretty much all companies will eventually go through a process of adjustment post-Brexit; the UK’s importers and exporters will likely get there first.

These companies are examining their supply chains, pricing imports from outside the EU, looking at currency exchange rates, comparing transport and logistics costs, identifying possible regulatory changes and gathering information on what opportunities lie for them outside the EU.

Maybe you already have products and services to help companies working through this period of change? Or are you developing services to offer companies reassessing their export markets post-Brexit?

The government website uktradeinfo.com has helpfully published a list of companies which have imported goods into the UK and a similar list of exporters. As well as hosts of micro businesses importing and exporting small amounts, you can see the UK’s largest companies currently engaging in international trade.

Electric Marketing has taken the government information and enhanced it so that you can use it for business-to-business e-marketing campaigns to importers and exporters. We have appended addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and contact names of directors and senior managers to the government list of companies. These new importexport mailing lists can be used to target companies who are likely to be planning for a successful Brexit.

 

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Looking For A Client Who Is The Next Big Thing?

Mailing Lists Of Innovative & Disruptive Companies

Our new mailing lists feature companies who are pioneers in their field: young, ambitious start-ups, companies with an invention to bring to market and companies with new ways of working.

Why go after these companies? Apart from the excitement of working with innovative, passionate teams? Apart from being in at the beginning with a future star and all the financial rewards that could bring?

Many of these companies are, at present, operating under the radar of your competitors. They are not on the lists that everyone else is using. And so they are not fielding approaches from your rivals every week.

We’ve called them ‘innovators and disruptors‘. They are not the easiest people to contact: many of them don’t have a budget for a receptionist to pick up the phone, their postal address isn’t on their website and the best way to contact them can be email or social media.

But if you are targeting companies which break the mould, expect a corporate culture which bends towards non-conformist.

We’ve compiled these lists by tracking press reports, articles on ‘ones-to-watch’ and top 20 innovators tables.

We have excluded the really early days companies who are still renting desks in a hub or incubator with only mobile numbers to contact them. These companies are still refining their offer and do not yet have budgets for services of a typical Electric Marketing client.

The mailing lists of disruptors and innovators identify companies with significant investment behind them or have already secured a client-base, and are now building teams and a future as a serious player in their field.

If you are looking for new clients who could bring you big rewards in the future, take a look at these business mailing lists.

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Information Commissioner promises new post-Brexit UK data protection laws

The uncertainty over the future of the UK’s data protection laws looks set to continue.

In her first speech in her five-year term as Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham has acknowledged that when the UK leaves the EU in 2019 or later, there will need to be new UK data protection legislation.

One thing that is certain is that the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply to all EU member states from 25 May 2018. All UK companies that wish to do business in the EU after that date will need to comply with GDPR.

However Denham says that it is up to the UK Government to decide what data protection rules apply to companies that only operate in the UK ‘both in that middle period from May 2018 to whenever the UK formally leaves the EU, and beyond’.

She adds ‘We’d all like a concrete answer about the specific outlines of post-Brexit data protection law. We know businesses don’t generally like uncertainty. But in the end, it’s Government that will have to decide’.

Denham says that she is in active discussions with ministers and senior government officials on post-Brexit UK data protection legislation, which she believes should be ‘developed on an evolutionary basis, to provide a degree of stability and clear regulatory messages for data controllers and the public’.

Let’s hope the Government consults with all interested parties, including the direct marketing industry, to ensure that the new data protection legislation is sensible and workable.

After all, whatever else Brexit may mean, it must mean an end to excessive bureaucracy if the British economy is to thrive in the coming years.

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What Does A Falling £ Mean For B2B Marketers?

Following the events of last summer, the Pound crashed against the US Dollar to a 30 year low. The UK’s manufactured goods and services are falling in price for shoppers in the EU and across the world.

It follows that UK companies which export are set for a few years of strong sales growth. With growth comes new opportunities for b2b marketers to sell into these exporters as they gear up for expansion by investing in recruitment and training, marketing, market research into international markets, IT, international financial services and many other corporate services.

While many UK corporates are now drawing up plans to increase their exports, there are some companies which are ahead of the game. Electric Marketing has compiled new b2b mailing lists of companies which grew their exports by more than 10% last year. These companies are already showing strong sales growth and the new economic environment of a low pound and Brexit can only improve their prospects.

B2B marketers can buy data on fast-growing exporters in the knowledge that these target companies have insulated themselves against the chilly effects of Brexit and whatever the UK economy has in store for us.

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New Mailing Lists of Fast Growing Companies

In May 2016, Companies House reported that there were 3,725,232 companies registered in the UK. Though many will be dormant, non-trading or too small to buy your goods and services, business marketers must decide on the best corporate targets and take aim. Electric Marketing has long offered targeted mailing lists by job title, industry sector, company size and postcode.

This week we add a new mailing list selection, companies experiencing a high growth rate. We think these companies are excellent targets for your new business campaigns. Each one demonstrating an annual growth rate of 10% and above, they are likely to be fizzing with new ideas, have ambitious plans and be willing to invest in their business to push it to meet its full potential.

As they meet fresh challenges thrown up by their high growth rate, they rapidly staff up, skill up and buy in expertise from consultants and advisers. These companies make timely purchasing decisions.

Crucially, they are less likely to have long term relationships and loyalties to current suppliers and are more receptive to new partners and fresh proposals. Change is key to building a business and adapting to their fast-moving working environment.

The mailing lists show a bias to tech firms and around one third of the companies are technology driven, some in cutting edge areas such as cloud computing, fintech and online trading platforms.

If you would like to be involved with these bright stars of the UK’s corporate universe, full contact details (postal address, email address and phone numbers) are available to buy for your email marketing, telemarketing or mailing campaigns.

 

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Email Marketing To Corporate Sponsors of Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games

It’s hard to ignore the international events in the sporting calendar this summer. Football, rugby, cricket and the biggest of them all, the Olympic Games.  Although sponsoring the Olympics requires budgets that only the multi-nationals can muster; there are different levels of sponsorship so that the host country’s major companies can benefit from worldwide exposure.

At the top of the budgetary tree there are ‘worldwide Olympic partners’: the truly global megabrands who sponsor the Olympic Games every time it comes round: Atos, Bridgestone, Coca-Cola, Dow, GE, McDonalds, Omega, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Visa.

The second tier are ‘official sponsors of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games’. These are big brands in Brazil: the bank Bradesco and its insurance arm Bradesco Seguros; Brazil’s state owned postal service Correios; Brazil’s large internet and phone provider NET; mobile operator CLARO; telecom operator Embratel (part of the same America Movil group as CLARO) and finally, a familiar name, Nissan.

Next up are the ten ‘official supporters’ of the games; the only companies with a presence in the UK on this list are EY and Cisco. Others include Aliansce Shopping Centres, Estacio, Globo, Sadia, Qualy, Skql, Latam Airlines and 361.

After that 30 ‘official suppliers’ to the Rio Olympics; Airbnb, C&A, Eventim, Karcher, Microsoft, Nike, Nielsen, Symantec are in this division.

Of course every team has its own set of sponsors; Team GB has ‘official partners’ in Adidas, Aldi, BP, Deloitte, DFS, Fitness First, Kellogg’s, Muller and Nissan. Official suppliers to Team GB are Jet Set Sports, Krow Communications,  Ocean Outdoor and Simon Jersey.

We’ve put all of these generous sponsors together in a series of mailing lists, divided as always by job title. Our thinking is that these sponsors have allocated big budgets to be spent during the Games and have a limited time in which to spend them. A targeted approach at the right time could see a small chunk of that budget heading your way.

The Olympic fortnight starts on Friday 5 August, followed by the Paralympic Games running from 7-19 September.

 

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B2B Marketing To Corporate Sponsors In The Summer Of Sport

Summer of sport has begun with European Football, next week it’s Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics starts on 5 August. Hundreds of companies have paid to sponsor the events, the teams and the players.

But if you haven’t paid to be an official sponsor, beware of trying to associate your brand with sporting events. Firstly, the sporting event brands themselves police sponsorship very closely; the chicken shop in Stratford that rebranded itself Olympic Chicken in 2012 was short-lived.

Secondly, avoid tortuous connections in your email marketing. The eshot that begun ‘With Valentines Day fast-approaching, now is the perfect time to buy a new toner cartridge’ was mocked and swiftly deleted. Not many b2b companies can claim a real connection to a big sporting event so it might be best to leave that to consumer brands. This is the time to be in takeaway pizzas and big TVs.

Electric Marketing was asked for mailing lists of the companies who are official sponsors of international sporting events. It follows that if there is a sponsorship budget for the European Football, there must be a big marketing and promotions budget surrounding it. If you can make this work for you, we now have lists of sports sponsors.

There are different levels of corporate sponsorship; the ten global sponsors of the UEFA 2016 football championship are Adidas, Carlsberg, Coca-Cola, Continental Tyres, Hisense (Chinese electronics giant), Hyundai-Kia, McDonald’s, Orange, SOCAR and Turkish Airlines.

Although national teams are not permitted to display sponsors’ logos on their shirts, Vauxhall sponsors England, Northern Ireland and Wales national teams. The England team have an official supermarket sponsor (Lidl), their suits come from sponsors Marks & Spencer and Panini is the official sticker provider. There are many more companies involved in sponsoring the teams in the Euro 16 Football and still more in the Rio Olympics.

These sponsors will have allocated big budgets to be spent during these events and have a very limited time in which to spend them. The right approach at the right time could see a small chunk of that budget heading your way.

To access the mailing lists of companies actively involved in the business side of this summer’s sports, see our website page dedicated to mailing lists of UK sports sponsors.

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Mailing List Selections: Put Yourself In Your Prospect’s Shoes

When should you choose to select your list by both employee size and annual turnover?

Generally our advice is not to do this. Pick just one.

Choose employee size if you are selling something relevant for companies whose business relies on having a lot of staff eg, payroll software, health and safety services, absentee management software, internal communications consulting, catering kit for staff restaurants.

Choose turnover for everything else. If you really must.

Let’s say you are buying a list of HR managers, it is largely irrelevant to specify that each company must have 15+ employees. Would you expect your prospect company to hire an HR manager to manage the HR issues for 14 people? It is likely that the MD and his assistant would handle this himself. But there are holding companies who run all the HR and finance for a group of companies. The group may have 200 employees as a whole, but the HR manager works for the holding company which employs 10 people. And by putting that 15+ employees restriction in, your mailing list excludes those group HR managers. There is no accounting for complex corporate structures.

This selection strategy works if you are certain that your mailing list company is selling you people with the job title HR manager, rather than ‘managers responsible for HR’ which will almost certainly include director’s PAs and office managers. Electric Marketing only offers lists by job title. If you ask for HR managers, you will have a list of HR managers.

It is a good idea to ask yourself if you really need to limit your campaign by company size. If you have specified a job title which is only likely to feature among the largest companies, say Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Facilities Manager or Head of Business Intelligence, it is largely irrelevant to specify that the companies must have annual sales of £10m+. Put yourself in the shoes of the managing director of a company with annual sales of under £10m? Would you hire a CSR manager? The fact that a company has a dedicated CSR manager is a clear indication that they are a large company with a CSR budget.

It is only by looking at company accounts that mailing list companies can get info on company financials and companies with a turnover below £5m are not legally required to put the number of employees they have in their company accounts. Companies House requires simple unaudited accounts from small companies. By specifying turnover, you will exclude all the companies which do not publish their UK sales figures: US companies tend to publish a figure for European sales and do not split it out by country. By selecting by turnover your mailing list will exclude these multinational companies.

If you really must target companies by their size, select companies by turnover. Mailing list companies are more likely to have this information. And as a reliable guide to available budgets, look at the job titles of the companies you are targeting. If a company has hired three marketing managers to manage and spend its marketing budget, it is likely to be a decent-sized budget.

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