The Best Mailing List for B2B Lead Generation


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When it comes to success in B2B lead generation, everybody knows that the mailing list is the most important ingredient in any campaign. A poor list will always produce dismal results, no matter how brilliant the offer and creative. Conversely, good lists often produce acceptable results even with mediocre execution.

Consequently, companies are always looking for the “silver bullet” of mailing lists for their next B2B lead generation campaign— that perfect source of fresh, highly targeted, super-hot prospects just waiting to be contacted. Sadly, this is an exercise in futility and frustration and often a colossal waste of money.

You already own the best list

What’s the best list you can get for B2B lead generation? It’s the one you already (should) have. There is simply no substitute for a homegrown, customized list of prospects – often referred to by direct marketing professionals as the “house” list – which a company acquires over time through different tactics. When such a list is properly maintained and updated, it is a veritable gold mine and will always outperform any list you can acquire.

Unfortunately, companies continue to overlook, under use, or, worst of all, fail to maintain their house lists properly. Why? Some are too focused on short-term results or constantly reacting instead of being proactive, lurching from one spike marketing campaign to the next instead of building continuity. Others mistakenly think they cannot re-contact the same names too often, perhaps intimidated by the “CRM police.” In fact, lack of regular contact can actually be more harmful to effectiveness of a house list: typically, there will be up to 30% attrition rate if prospects are not re-contacted within a six-month period.

Simple house list guidelines

Today, given the state of technology, building and nurturing a house list doesn’t have to be rocket science. You simply need a consistent system that records and updates at least the following basic information:

  1. Contact data (key decision maker, company name, address, etc.)
  2. Type of business
  3. Date of acquisition or most recent activity
  4. Solution interests, needs, or problems
  5. Current status and history

Additional considerations to boost effectiveness

Given the growth of email marketing, every house list should also include email address opt-ins and you should make every effort to encourage your prospects to give you this information. Some marketers also get hung up on functional titles, which are becoming increasing inconsistent across different industries. At ALEA, we have found that it is better to identify what we call “champion contacts,” the persons within the company who are the key decision makers or influencers, regardless of title.

Unfortunately, companies continue to spend a lot of money buying general business lists for their lead generation activities. The sooner you begin concentrating on your “house” list, the faster you will start enjoying lead generation success— and save money and energy.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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