Electric Marketing Blog
Your best performing list in email marketing is your client list and second to that is your list of enquirers and people who have shown an interest in the recent past. But if you are looking for new business and a list of prospects is not readily available from a mailing list supplier, you might research the information yourself.
We’ve been researching business mailing lists for 25 years and while we’ll happily take on list research projects to your specification, we’ve compiled our top ten tips for mailing list research.
1. Start by compiling a list of companies you wish to target. If you’re not sure, look at your current client list and start looking for similar companies. Either companies in similar industries or of a similar size.
2. You no doubt have in mind the responsibility of the person in a company who is likely to buy your product ie person responsible for _____. Think about the job title they are likely to have. If you’re not sure, look at the job titles of your current clients.
3. Start by searching the web for people with that job title. LinkedIn.com is good but also look at the trade websites for that particular industry and search for articles on business websites which will often quote senior people, giving their name and position within the company. Look for their responsibilities and check that you’ve identified the right job title.
No two companies are structured in the same way and there are likely to be two or three options and job titles which overlap responsibility eg training manager, leadership development manager, workforce development manager, staff development and management development managers may all be responsible for buying in training courses. The finance director and the IT director will both have a say in the accounting software a company buys.
4. When you have some names and company names, start searching the web for the addresses and phone numbers of the companies. Go to the company’s own website to make sure that you get the trading address where staff are based, rather than the company’s registered address which websites such as Companies House and DueDil list. It is now a legal requirement that all companies have their address on their website and it is usually on the Contact Us page.
5. Now you have your calling list and it’s time to pick up the phone, check that the information you have found on the web is correct and ask for the email addresses of the people you wish to contact. Expect a fair proportion of data found on the web to be incorrect. You must explain why you want the email address and how it will be used. Be polite, professional and clear.
6. You may be able to verify contact information with the receptionist but be prepared for them to be hurried and abrupt if your information is horribly out of date. Ask to be put through to the department or, if your target is at a senior level, to the person’s PA.
7. If you have not been able to find any names on the internet, your task is more difficult. Some companies are happy to give out staff names and email addresses over the phone but there is an increasing trend to refuse all requests for names and emails unless you give a good account of yourself.
8. Have your sales pitch ready in your head. You can expect receptionists to put you straight through to any number of people. Some of them will be happy to chat, others not so much.
9. If you are handing this job to a junior person in your team, keep an eye on how the work is progressing hour to hour. As your research progresses you will learn more from conversations with companies as to who is responsible for what and hints as to the buying processes of your target companies. You might want to change the approach as you go along. It is easier to correct your own assumptions about other companies early in the project.
10. Electric Marketing offers a List Research Service. Prices are between £1.50 to £3 per contact name and email address found. If we can’t get the information, there is no charge to you. Just send us your list of target companies or even just an industry sector and job responsibility and we’ll research your prospect list for you and email it over to you. Recent projects have included:
- a list of school improvement managers in local councils
- a list of sales directors who sell to the public sector
- a list of people responsible for IT in small ecommerce companies which are unlikely to have an IT director
To commission your perfect prospect list, call Robert Bingham or David Evans on 020 7419 7999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Leave a Reply
Electric Marketing is always busy in January as UK plc’s marketing team schleps back to work, grabs a coffee and makes itself comfortable in the office.
This week our time-pressed clients, usually marketing managers, have been taking advantage of our two-hour turnaround promise for quotes for mailing and email lists.
We’re always surprised when clients are surprised that we can get a quote out so quickly and we’ve compiled the top five questions you ask the data sales team.
1 How soon will you get back to me?
We can get a quote for a mailing list to you within two hours. It will have a small sample of the data you asked for attached. If you place an order, we aim to email your mailing list to you within two hours. If you need your marketing data sooner, mention this when you order or drop us an email.
2 What is the source of Electric Marketing’s mailing lists and email lists?
Electric Marketing is a research-led data company. Every contact on our mailing lists has been selected to be included because their company is of a significant size and because the contact holds a senior role. We focus our data research on companies with more than 50 employees or with annual sales of over £15m.
We carry out desk research, by monitoring business websites and reading trade magazines and business media. We look for news of people taking up new roles with specific responsibilities for corporate budgets that our clients want a share of.
Then we telephone the companies we have found, confirm that the contact has that job title in that department and check the address, email address and phone number for the contact.
Then we add the contact to the Electric Marketing Database.
It is a labour-intensive process but it means that if you buy a mailing list or email list from Electric Marketing, you are buying a list of relevant prospects in organisations which have budgets to spend.
3 How do I know Electric Marketing data is accurate?
No matter what you are buying, it is always a leap of faith to use a new supplier. Google the words mailing list or email list and every company seems to be making the same promises.
Electric Marketing has compiled a mailing list of 80,000 business contacts over the course of 23 years. We update the entire marketing database, by phone every four months.
We have a team of trained, experienced telephone researchers in house who phone the 80,000 business contacts to check for changes in their name, job title, phone number, email address or mailing address.
Because the contacts on our mailing lists are high-level decision makers, we speak to the people working around them to check the information. PAs, office managers and receptionists are our best sources of current information. If the receptionist says ‘I don’t know, I’m a temp’, we call back another day to update our records.
4 Can I just buy a small chunk of your marketing data?
Yes. We may have 80,000 contacts but no one wants all of it.
You can select your chunk of data by:
* job title ie just the IT Managers but not the IT Directors
* postcodes ie just Manchester postcodes, not the entire North West
* industry sector ie Finance Directors in banks or Marketing Managers in pharmaceuticals
* company size ie HR Managers in companies with more than 500 employees
And you can combine any of these criteria, so you could buy a list of finance directors in banks in London or IT managers in legal firms with more than 100 employees.
We have always had a firm policy of no minimum order for data; just buy what you need and use it quickly, before it goes out of date.
5 Can you invoice me?
Yes we can invoice you if you have bought a mailing list from Electric Marketing in the past and paid it on time, then you have an account with us and we can invoice you.
If this is your company’s first time buying a mailing list from Electric Marketing, we’ll ask you to pay by card.
We cannot invoice for small amounts of under £50.
If you are ordering mailing lists or email lists on our website, you can opt to pay by credit card or by invoice.
For more information on how we compile our mailing lists and email lists, see our page Why Use Us?
Leave a Reply
With the EU eager to ring the death knell for one-to-one marketing and bloggers on the web shouting that cold emailing doesn’t work, we look at new ways to cut through the information overload and reach the unresponsive corporate executive.
Post is too expensive, no one takes telesales calls anymore and gmail-type filters put all your cold email shots into the ‘cold email shot’ file which your target corporate executive never opens. How can you get your message in front of your target – the senior executive with a serious corporate budget?
The bad news: people exaggerate on LinkedIn. That head of marketing for a hot tech start up; it’s a guy in his bedroom in his Mum’s house with a great website and big plans. But he hasn’t got a budget, so he’s no use to you.
More bad news: people don’t update their profile on LinkedIn or they forget their password and the email address they used to sign up is defunct and so is the company that issued the email, so they can’t access the account and they are forever listed as head of marketing for Woolworths. So they start a new account. LinkedIn is littered with abandoned profiles.
But the good news is that LinkedIn is full of people in big companies with heavy responsibilities and big budgets to match them. It is just a matter of identifying the right people.
Using a researched mailing list to identify the people you want to target and find them on LinkedIn overcomes the site’s drawbacks. You can make contact either by requesting to connect (free) or using the InMail service. Either way you know you are putting efforts into starting a conversation with a relevant prospect for your business.
Twitter is a great place for driving traffic to your website. But you want the right people going on your site, so use a targeted, researched mailing list to identify the people you want as clients and start by following them.
Your targets may follow you back, but if you follow them, Twitter allows you to respond to their tweets. Strike up a conversation, maybe just retweet one of their posts or reply to a tweet with a simple ‘I agree’ or ‘great idea’. If you’re feeling timid, just favouriting one of their tweets will get your name in front of them. Most tweeters have their Twitter account set so that they get an email every time someone follows them, favourites a tweet, replies to a tweet or mentions their Twitter name in a tweet.
There you are, your name in their inbox and not in the spam filter. And you’ve said something nice about them, publicly. Who doesn’t respond to a compliment in their inbox?
Electric Marketing’s mailing lists now offer executive’s Twitter names. See here for details.
And if all this chat about tweets, posts and retweets sounds complicated, read the Electric Marketing guide to using Twitter in business-to-business marketing.Leave a Reply
Trigger marketing or event-driven marketing usually refers to consumer marketing but by focusing on key moments in a company’s life, you can use trigger-marketing in marketing to business. You can increase your sales by contacting companies when they are likely to be hiring new suppliers.
The hiring of a chief executive can mark the start of a new chapter in a corporate’s life.
A new chief executive is expected to make changes to the way things are done at a company but the saying that ‘a new broom sweeps clean’ also applies to departmental directors and managers heading up teams. In many corporate cultures it is essential to look busy and not accept the status quo. An ambitious new hiring needs to get noticed; he will often fire suppliers and bring in new partners with fresh ideas.
And this is the time to get your business card, your website or your LinkedIn profile, in front of the new manager to make sure that you are on the pitch list.
As well as being timely, you can make your initial communication relevant to the prospect, maybe offer congratulations on the new job.
Electric Marketing tracks new appointments in a series of monthly updates, giving you contact details of newly appointed managers and directors in the high-spending departments of large UK companies.
We focus on the people who are likely to be buying in services: chief executive, marketing director, HR director, finance director, IT director , sales director, CRM manager and training manager. Once a month, we email our subscribers a list of all the new appointments we have identified (we phone every company on the list a few days beforehand) with their full contact details. At just £355 for 12 datafiles, one every month for a year, it is the most effective information for b2b trigger marketing campaigns available.
We offer ten lists of new appointments, every month, each one focusing on a corporate department. See the full range of new appointments mailing lists here.
By being in the right place at the right time, you can win business.
Read more about trigger marketing.Leave a Reply
We are following the progress of the proposed EU Regulation on Data Protection very closely.
While the MEPs voted overwhelmingly for a set of proposals which would outlaw list broking, cold telemarketing and cold mailing to named contacts, the Ministers of Justice & Home Affairs from each of the 27 EU nations are taking a more business-friendly, risk-based approach. They met on 10 October to agree their own set of proposals. They will meet again in January 2015 to try to reach agreement on the issue of the ‘right to be forgotten’.
When the Ministers of Justice & Home Affairs have reached agreement, then the three-way negotiations with the European Parliament and the European Commission begin. This is likely to happen in the second half of 2015.
According to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), this progress means that the Regulation could be passed into EU law by late 2015. The UK then has two years to implement the law, which means that the Regulation could be enforced in the UK by late 2017 or more likely, early 2018.
To increase the uncertainty of what may happen in direct marketing, David Cameron has promised an ‘in/out referendum’ on Britain’s membership of the EU before 2018. It seems unlikely, but by 2018 we might be negotiating our way out of the EU.
To read the full text of the DMA’s article, written by solicitor James Milligan, see here.Leave a Reply
Proposed EU Regulation on Data Protection will affect all businesses using mailing or email lists to prospect for new customers
We’ve been lobbying against the proposed new EU data protection legislation for getting on for two years now.
Earlier in 2014 the EU Parliament agreed a piece of draconian legislation that would outlaw list broking, insist on written consent for all marketing communications sent to a named person, with no distinction between b2b and b2c, and effectively finish off personalised marketing to anyone other than your recent customers. If that legislation were enacted it would mean the end of direct marketing as we know it. We will return to the days of writing to Dear Marketing Manager or Dear Stationery Buyer.
Following this vote there have been some alarmist blogs placed on the DMA’s website which have stirred the small business community into panic. Here’s one from June
However the reality is that the EU is still debating what form the legislation will take and what that legislation will be. The European Parliament has voted for this legislation but that does not mean that it will become law.
The European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers have now all drafted three different versions of the proposed data protection regulation. The European Parliament draft is by far the most damaging for anyone who uses mailing or email lists to prospect for new customers. The three bodies will enter into negotiations as to which elements of each version will become EU law.
There are two types of EU legislation;
1. EU Regulation which obliges all countries to enact the legislation without amendment
2. EU Directive which has to be debated and passed through the UK Parliament at Westminster and to which amendments can be made.
The current UK Government is pushing for the laws to become a Directive, which will give UK MPs some leeway to alter the legislation as it applies to the UK.
It should be borne in mind that the UK amended the last similar piece of EU legislation (a Directive) with the Electronic Communications Act specifically allowing the sending of B2B emails in the UK without the sender first obtaining consent.
The UK coalition government opposes the proposals and is lobbying for them to be a Directive at the very worst. Unfortunately the Labour party is currently in favour of the proposals and has not replied to any of our letters on the subject.
As things stand we have at least two years until the law is changed.
If your company buys in data to use to prospect for new customers, please write to your MP, explaining what the proposed legislation will mean for you. Also write to Simon Hughes MP who is in charge of the UK negotiation with the EU. The more letters MPs receive, the more attention will be paid to the issue and it becomes less likely that the UK sleepwalks into agreeing to legislation that is damaging for business.
The time to write to your MEP has passed as the vote has happened and most UK MEPs (bar UKIP) voted in favour of the new draconian data laws. But it is always worth explaining to an MEP the consequences of their vote and the effect it will have on your business, our industry and the wider economy.Leave a Reply
Trigger Marketing for B2B Marketers: Tie Your Marketing Communications Into Key Events In A Company’s Life
As anyone who has ever done cold-calling and appointment setting will tell you, it is difficult to penetrate the mind-set of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. How can you sell into a company which is embedded with another supplier? Sometimes you just get lucky and your cold call hits the buyer when there is trouble with the existing supplier – a price rise, a delayed job – and the buyer is in the mood to make a change.
You can increase your new business success rate by contacting companies when they are likely to be hiring new suppliers.
We’ve identified a company merger or acquisition as being a key moment in a corporate’s life for hiring new suppliers.
When a company buys or merges with another company, it triggers a change in its purchasing habits. It may buy in services to help it cope with the challenge of merging or absorbing the new corporation. The company may not have all the experience it needs to deal with new issues the merger is throwing up. This is when it looks to outsource and when, by being in the right place at the right time, you can win business.
As well as being timely, you can make your communication relevant to the prospect. You can grab their interest in the first line by talking about their company’s situation. Instead of presenting your excellent credentials, you can explain how your company’s expertise can help them; either by removing a problem from their in-tray or by taking their business forward.
Electric Marketing tracks merger and acquisition activity in M&A News. M&A News isn’t just a list of mergers and acquisitions; it gives you contact details for the key personnel in the companies involved so that you can make your pitch at a time when the company is in a state of flux and momentous change.
M&A News focuses on the people who are likely to be buying in services: chief executive, marketing director, HR director, finance director, IT director and legal director. At just £145 for 12 datafiles, one every month for a year, it is the cheapest information for trigger marketing campaigns available. See M&A News for details.
There’s more about trigger marketing on Electric Marketing’s websiteLeave a Reply
Yes they are all big brands with a solid British heritage, but they are no longer in British hands. All of these brands have received major investment from Asia and are majority Asian-owned.
If you can see a business opportunity targeting companies with overseas parent companies, Electric Marketing now offers mailing lists with email addresses sorted by nationality of parent company.
We have lists of companies operating in the UK owned by Chinese, French, German, Indian, Italian, Japanese, Scandinavian, South Korean and US companies. The lists don’t just feature British brands but brands from those countries with a market presence in the UK such as EDF (France), BMW (Germany), Honda (Japan) and Samsung (South Korea),
We don’t believe any other UK mailing list company offers this as a selection criteria.
The mailing lists are ideal for any company focusing its marketing efforts on multinational corporations; from international marketing and advertising agencies to multilingual market research teams, from translation agencies, international relocation agents and business language training schools to companies offering legal advice on visa and immigration issues.
As with all Electric Marketing mailing lists, all data has been checked within the last 4 months by calling the companies and checking that the information we have is spelt correctly and is up-to-date.
See how many contacts we have for each country or region and order your lists on these pages. There is no extra charge for using this marker as a selection criteria.
Are you interested in companies from other nations? Email email@example.com and we’ll put your chosen country at the top of our research list and get back to you within the week with a quote.Leave a Reply
For 30 years the UK Government has pursued a policy of attracting inward investment. From the Nissan factory in Sunderland to the new owners of Land Rover (Indian car maker Tata Motors) and owners of Ribena and Lucozade (Japanese Suntory), overseas companies have invested heavily in UK manufacturing.
Retailer House of Fraser has sold an 89% stake to Chinese conglomerate Sanpower and UK high streets host overseas retailers Muji and Uniqlo (Japan), Zara and Mango (Spain) and H&M (Sweden). Wind back to the 1980s and the high street looked quite different.
Each company that comes to the UK to do business brings its own culture, language and ways of working. If your company offers services to overseas companies in the UK or if you can offer a particular understanding of a nation’s culture and sensibility, you might want to target companies by the nationality of their parent company.
This week, we’re adding a new marker to our mailing and email lists; you can now select companies by country of origin. So far we can offer companies who originate from or whose parent company is based in Japan
But we’ll be adding India, China, South Africa, Brazil and USA plus any other country of origin for which there is client demand. Just email Robert at electricmarketing.co.uk with the nation which interests you.
These lists are ideal for business language schools, translation services, visa and immigration lawyers, international relocation advisers and M&A advisers or any company that wishes to target companies whose parent company is not based in the UK.
If you are using these mailing lists, it is best not to specify a turnover band or number of employees limit. Mostly these companies do not publish annual sales for the UK only or give details of employee numbers country by country. Their annual reports feature Europe-wide or even worldwide sales figures which we don’t record.
Suffice to say that if a Japanese, US, Chinese or Indian company is in the UK, it is a big company with budget to spend and worthy of your marketing team’s attention.Leave a Reply
Spot the odd one out: SW SE NW NE WC EC
A young graduate was given the job of appointment setting for the marketing director who wanted to ‘touch base with our London clients’ and have a few lunches in Soho. The Cambridge graduate selects a list of London clients using these postcodes and gets down to making the phone calls. He makes four appointments and proudly hands the marketing director the lunching schedule.
“Newcastle! Why am I spending Thursday afternoon in Newcastle!” yells the director.
Rest of team sniggers; the trainee assumed that if London has postcodes for South West, North West and South East, it also has one for North East London. It doesn’t – NE1 is the postcode for central Newcastle.
If you’ve put the time in selecting your mailing lists by postcode, you probably have a postcode map of your local area in your head. But if not, here’s a link to the Electric Marketing postcode map, for you to bookmark www.electricmarketing.co.uk/map.html
Selecting mailing lists by postcode may seem laborious and nerdy, but it does save time and budget if you are buying data for a campaign inviting people to an event. Admit to yourself that however triumphant your breakfast seminar, few executives from Exeter will make the trip to Manchester for breakfast. So don’t bother mailing or emailing them. Save your budget, look at the postcode map and only invite companies from within a certain radius. You don’t need to get into numbered postcode districts for business marketing – that really is nerdy – using the first letters of the postcode is usually enough. You won’t send out as many invitations, but your response rate will be more impressive and you will save budget on data, print and postage or ebroadcasting.
For (almost impartial) advice on buying and selecting mailing lists, see our guide How To Buy Mailing Lists For Email & Telemarketing Campaigns