6 tips for getting the most joy out of your new bundle

You’ve invested much time and effort into creating the proper criteria for your new list, crafting and refining the perfect criteria.  You’ve narrowed down your preview file to include only those contacts that are right for your program. Your little bundle of joy has arrived in a shiny .CSV file, and you couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity ahead.

Now it’s up to you to turn these new contacts into real opportunities.  Sounds simple, but it is no small task, especially in today’s congested marketplace.  Most marketers have to touch a new prospect between eight and ten times, on average, before they will engage with their brand.  Each touch MUST be relevant or they will never make it past “delete”.  So, how do you get started?  Several list buyers start with email marketing as the first approach, but “batch and blast”, “pray and spray”, or any other clever rhyme is not an effective use of your new list. Equal care and attention needs to be devoted to the nurturing of your new, prospective leads.

We recommend the following six tips for getting the most out of your new B2B list:

This list does NOT arrive full-grown

Welcome to the world!  The contacts found in your new list are just like a newborn baby—they need to be nurtured in order to come to trust and love you and your brand.  Contacts can grow quickly into qualified leads if you give them what they need: educational, valuable, useful information and insight. Try inviting them to a webinar on a recent and relevant problem in your buyer’s world. Workbooks are great interactive tools to help your prospects solve a difficult issue, and position you as a brand that can help them in their quest.

Stock up on caregiving supplies

New parents spend a lot of time and effort preparing a nursery and finding the perfect diaper bag to carry all their supplies.  B2B marketers need to build a thorough strategy for nurturing new contacts.  Multi-touch and multi-channel programs with robust, relevant content offers are proven winners for making the most of your new list.

Be ready to manage the bouncing baby

Just like no baby will sleep through the night right away, no contact list will be 100% accurate, and its behavior needs to be managed.  With between 30 and 40 million people switching jobs annually, there are bound to be records that have changed jobs since the list was last verified.  Keep track of any hard bounces you receive and provide them to your list provider to receive new, replacement contacts. Good results come from good data management.

There can be colicky moments

Even the cutest baby has its moments!  And like a crying baby, a list can get an attitude, too.  Be aware that an “opt-out list” means contacts were sent an email asking for their permission to be included in the directory. Contacts from this directory will be more willing to receive your email if it contains information relevant to solving a problem they have.  If you receive opt-out or unsubscribe requests, remove them immediately from future outreach.  Be sure your communications comply with CAN-SPAM regulations from the get go. Check out this handy guide to CAN-SPAM compliance from NetProspex.

 Nurturing takes a while

Remember, you are starting from the beginning with these contacts.  Just as a baby learns to crawl, then walk, and then run, your new contacts will take time to begin to move through the funnel.  Plan your list-buy and first touch far in advance of your revenue deadlines. Expect to touch them 8 – 10 times before they convert.  Your patience and polite persistence delivering relevant content will pay off in the long run.

Don’t ignore the siblings

As you focus on your brand new names, don’t lose sight of your current contact database; it needs love too! Consider content and offers that are relevant to both your new babies and your maturing toddlers.  And, be sure to check the health of your older contacts. Many data partners offer assessments, which assess data quality and can also tell you how many records are incomplete. With those results in hand, you can consider appending key missing demographic or firmographic information to give them equal opportunity to convert.