There’s often a lot of debate around the topic of buying a B2B email database. You’ll hear arguments like “it’s not inbound marketing” (which is true) or “you can’t get good results that way” (which is not).
The short answer is yes, it’s definitely worth it – if you do it the right way. And definitely not if you do it wrong!
Let’s take a look at whether you can get results by purchasing a B2B email database, and how.
Is Buying a B2B Email Database Worth It?
It’s All About Quality
There are two approaches that data providers can use to create their lists: aggregating or scraping.
An aggregated list is assembled over time from real email addresses, and when done correctly, results in a high-quality database of contacts.
A scraped list is the exact opposite. A scraper program crawls the internet for strings that look like email addresses. Scraped lists are typically full of garbage data like nonexistent or misspelled addresses, as well as low-quality contacts that most likely have no interest in what you’re emailing them about.
It comes down to this: never use a scraped list. Not only is it going to fail to deliver results, it will also damage your sender reputation, hindering your ability to send more campaigns effectively.
When purchasing an email database, ensure you’re working with a reputable data provider. If you’re not certain where to find one, reach out to us – we partner with a number of excellent vendors we can refer you to.
Can You Get Results?
Yes. Yes you can. Cold campaigns to purchased lists have the potential to be incredibly effective thanks to the sheer scale of them.
Let’s math it out. Say you have a list of 100,000 targeted contacts. Of those, say 70,000 get delivered successfully. With a 10% open rate, that’s 7000 people who’ve opened your email. Half of those click through to your landing page – we’re at 3500 contacts viewing your page.
Even assuming just 1% conversion rate, that’s 35 new leads in your funnel – all from sending one email campaign!
It’s important to understand the differences between cold emailing and opted-in campaigns. Typically, cold contacts are much less likely to take each step of the journey: opening, clicking and converting. That’s okay, because the volume of contacts you can reach is far, far higher.
What Challenges Are There?
As we just mentioned, one of the main challenges in getting results with a purchased list is that you don’t have the familiarity and established trust and authority with your contacts. That means that in order to capture and retain their attention, you need to have top-notch email copy.
I like to explain it this way: every sentence needs to convince them to keep reading the next sentence. If you’re really persuasive and your product or service meets a need that the reader has, they’ll click through to your landing page.
And there’s another main point: your offer needs to address the contact’s problem. This comes back to the quality of your list; if it’s well targeted, your emails will resonate more fully.
On top of the actual marketing challenges, making use of a cold list comes with its own set of technical hurdles.
For example, it’s critical that you clean out your list before sending to it. This is because all email lists, even the best opt-in ones, decay over time. People leave or switch jobs, and sometimes previously-legit addresses get repurposed as spam traps.
A spam trap is an email that exists solely to catch spammers and get them blacklisted. You do not want to send to spam traps. It’s one of the quickest ways to getting blacklisted, and if that happens, you’ll struggle to get any emails to end up anywhere but the junk folder.
List cleansing and verification is generally a third-party service you’ll need to pay for. Clickback has a cutting-edge series of list cleansing and verification processes built in, though, so if you’re using Clickback your lists are automatically cleaned when you upload them.
There are, in fact, a whole range of factors that can cause spam filters to clamp down on your campaigns and banish them to spam folders. These filters are continuously evolving and improving, and these days they’re very smart.
That’s because there’s something of an arms race between spammers and spam filters. Spammers come up with a way to fool the filters, and the filters get upgraded to counter that new method. Rinse and repeat and suddenly you have spam filters that have a huge range of criteria to check against.
These range from use of multiple fonts to whether or not you have certain words or phrases in your email. For example, if the phrase “email marketing” is included in your body copy, you can expect lower deliverability.
It’s virtually impossible for a human to keep all of the possible factors in mind, so Clickback has a real-time spam-checker tool that audits your content for you. It then notifies you if you’ve got anything in your email that could set off red flags.
What About Unconverted Contacts?
It’s natural that you’ll end up with a lot of contacts that open your emails and click through but don’t make the jump to a form fill. Some marketers end up just hoping they’ll get ‘em next time, so to speak.
With Clickback, you don’t need to do that, thanks to its built-in Website Visitor Intelligence™ technology. Those unconverted contacts are tracked and targeted so you can nurture them separately.
It also lets you see their activity on your site, including both converted and unconverted contacts, even if they leave and return later. Ideal for conversion rate optimization!