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There are so many different ways to market your business, from telemarketing to email marketing, social media, direct mail and much more. However, ultimately there are advantages and disadvantages to all marketing strategies and it will always depend on the type of industry you’re in. Some marketing areas will have a far greater impact than others and you need to decide which will suit your business the most to give the maximum impact. Two of the most popular and widely used marketing tools are telemarketing and email marketing.
Email marketing is one of the easiest marketing tools as you can design a mail shot and simply send it out to the masses of clients and potential clients you may have on your data list. Email marketing is a great way to reach the masses with your offers and with many of us now communicating via email, it can be of real benefit especially for e-commerce sites. However, does email marketing have a more positive impact than the traditional telemarketing approach?
Telemarketing has long been an effective marketing tools used by a range of industries. If telemarketing is done professionally by trained people then it can have a huge impact on your business giving you benefits including;
- Builds client loyalty through personal communication
- Improves customer service
- Has a higher conversion rate than email marketing
- Gives you the opportunity to gain competitor information
- Build a database of clients to call on a regular basis securing future business
- Flexible marketing. You can adapt your pitch depending upon the client
These benefits have a great impact on a business and lead to business growth as well as increased profits and revenue. Email marketing does also have its benefits including;
- Low cost
- Increased sales, especially e-commerce
- Measurable results
- Able to reach a mass wide audience
- Results are fairly fast
However, there seems to be a real mix of customers out there in every market. There are those who prefer the old fashioned benefit of speaking to a human being and there are those who prefer to use the internet and not have to deal with anyone giving them more freedom.
As successful marketing strategies go, many companies opt for employing both email and telemarketing so that their business can benefit from maximum exposure. Email and telemarketing do after all intertwine with each other . Telemarketing calls can be used to follow up an email campaign increasing its chances of being seen and taken advantage of by customers. So in conclusion, if your business wants the best marketing campaign then email and telemarketing are the way forward for any kind of business.
No matter what industry you work in, it is crucial for both a business growth and survival to ensure that you are reaching the right customers with your products and services. However, how do you find those potential customers? Do you wait for customers to come to you? Do you have an employee you can spare with the right skills to find those prospects for you? The answer to both of these questions is more than likely no. However, there are specialists out there who can provide you with an effective and relevant data list of potential prospects to help push your business in the right direction.
We have highlighted the top five benefits that can be gained from using a prospect data list. You may not have even considered some of the below benefits but they are realistic and are common benefits for most businesses employing this kind of marketing strategy.
- Email addresses – prospect data lists can provide you with a data list of relevant prospects email addresses. This will enable you to reach prospects with mail shots and special offers to try and entice new business.
- Sales calls – Many prospects may not know your products and services even exist. A data list will provide you with accurate contact numbers that will get you through to the decision maker rather than a receptionist. This allows you to start building a reliable client list to grow your business with. The contacts are so accurate that it will make your sales calls far more effective and increase conversion rates.
- Increased revenue – By reaching a wider range of prospects which you convert into reliable clients, you can increase your sales and drive up your revenue and profits making your business more successful.
- Effective marketing – Marketing costs businesses a large amount of money. Most businesses have a set budget for their marketing to cover everything from mailing brochures, printing brochures and designing mail shots. However, with a data list you can make more of your marketing budget by maximising the potential of your marketing. A data list will ensure that your marketing literature reaches the right audience helping to increase sales.
- Growth & Success – Above all data lists can help your business to grow and gain success. Data lists are cleansed, accurate and offer effectiveness. By reaching more prospects you can grow your client base, increase sales, increase revenue and have the edge over your competitors.
So if you are a small business looking to grow its client base in an effective way then a data list of prospects could be the ideal business solution for you.
B2B Data Specification
Prospect data specifications can be ambiguous, so it is imperative to ensure they are accurate. In my opinion, it is the responsibility of the list broker to discuss the b2b data requirements with the customer and then take ownership of specifying the required data list in accordance with the customer’s requirements. It would then be the customer’s responsibility to agree to that specification, or make changes where required.
This goes back to my previous point:
- The marketing manager (data purchaser) needs to say what they want
- The data supplier (list broker) needs to ask questions
Having worked within the marketing data industry since the 1980’s I have seen many examples of errors, which go some way to justifying why (a) customers need to work with a fully trained and competent account manager and (b) why it is always best to source data from a data ‘person’ (i.e., with open discussion) rather than from an automated / online data purchasing download system.
Typical examples include;
- A. The Nurseries
A client who sold children’s soft-play equipment wanted to target nurseries. He was supplied a data list, roughly equally split between the industry classifications “nurseries & crèches” and “garden centres and nurseries”. The problem was quickly spotted and rectified, though it is perhaps easy to understand why this issue occurred in the first place. But many automated downloading systems request advance payment before you download the data list. So a refund is not always granted once you press “buy”, because data is essentially ‘information’ and once you have been given the information it is impossible to return it. Furthermore, some of the online ordering systems may appear user-friendly at the front end, but it is not always easy to get through to a person on the telephone (and get refunded) if an error such as this has happened.
- B. SME’s
One of my favourites is an appreciation for what constitutes an SME (Small to Medium Enterprise). If a client ever says to me that they wish to target SME’s, I always respond by asking what they mean by this. This is coupled with a suggestion, such as “would 5 – 100 employees be acceptable?”. Nearly always the client would come back to me with an alternative employee band, or turnover figures. And despite nearly twenty five years of data experience, my guess at what the client thinks an SME should be differs from their reality.
Responses such as “No, there needs to be at least 50 employees. Say up to 1,000” are commonplace. Or “Sole traders are fine, so anything up to 50 employees will do”.
Both of these responses not only make a huge difference to the data available to that brief, but will also have a considerable impact on the marketing initiative’s results.
Back to the earlier point; the marketing manager said what they want (“SME’s”), and the list broker had to ask a question to clarify exactly what that meant. It’s not difficult!
The important thing to remember when selecting data is that the fields are usually gathered and verified by telephone. This creates possible anomalies for numerous reasons;
- Changes to the company data over a period of time (since the last update)
- Data capture keying errors on the part of the data verification company
- Exaggerations or errors on the part of the company being verified (data can only be updated on the strength of what is advised)
So if a customer requires companies with 5 – 100 employees, consider that the companies with precisely 5 employees (and there are approximately 200,000 of them!) could for example be a husband & wife partnership, with two or three temps. When they were last called (and the employee size verified) they may round up to saying there are five employees, in the interest of giving a simple number or “bigging themselves up” a little.
- C. London
What is “London”?
The City of Westminster? The square mile? The postcodes EC & WC? An area within the North-South Circular? The compass-point postcodes (N, E, SW, W etc)? Or is it the area within the M25?
The reason I ask it this way is because customers frequently have a different view on what constitutes the London area. Typically I would suggest the M25 area to be correct, but I never assume this and always clarify with the customer first. This is all part of the specification process, and back once again to asking questions to clarify the true requirements.
An Example Specification
The b2b data specification needs to cover all bases, and accurately clarify what the client needs. Here is an example;
- London (postcodes WC & EC only)
- 10 – 50 employees
- All records must include a director or business owner (no managers / branch managers)
- All records must have a TPS-checked telephone number
- Exclude charities, government, medical and education sectors
- Exclude national chains (companies with 10+ branches)
- Select OFFICE premises only
- Select only companies with an accompanying email address; exclude generic email addresses (“info@” etc)
- Then: select and supply the 1,000 most recently verified records
This brief covers all bases and by operating to this same standard client complaints after the data is supplied are extremely rare.
A control cell is a selection of the data which is used to test the campaign results. For example; if your target market is accountants with 5+ employees, the eventual data selection (of 1,000 records) may be as follows:
- Accountants with 5+ employees : 900 records
- Accountants with <5 employees: 100 records
Although the latter selection is not within the desired brief, this 10% of the file acts as a sense-checker. When the campaign has finished, and the results are reviewed, ask the question: did that 10% (the control cell) yield a similar percentage of enquiries / responses / sales?
Although in many cases control cells do not yield as well as the main selection, occasionally they do throw up pleasant surprises. One possible example is that larger businesses tend to prove harder to reach the business owner through a telemarketing campaign, whereas the smaller companies (with less than 5 employees) can yield a greater connection ratio to the business owner. For this reason alone, the smaller companies may prove more fruitful. The sale potential may be smaller, but with the increased connectivity the overall sales may prove higher.
Always consider a control cell, even if your ultimate conclusion is not to have one.
In addition to providing a data specification, good data list brokers will also supply a few samples. So if you aren’t supplied some as standard, then request some. These samples are not intended for use in a test campaign, though they can be. Their main purpose is to illustrate how the data is supplied, the fields and format of the data supply and (most importantly) for the customer to sense-check that what is being supplied meets with their requirements.
For example, the client may respond to the brief & samples with “I see the samples contain an estate agent; actually, we don’t want those either”.
Request A Breakdown
The client has the right to say “I need to sense-check the full 500 records you are proposing to send me, so please would you email me an industry classification breakdown?”.
Or; “Can you email me a postcode breakdown?”
What this will achieve is to let the client see the kinds of business (or their geographical spread) that will comprise their new data list. How many accountants, solicitors, graphic designers etc, and where these businesses are located. And from this they can pick out any additional undesirables to ensure their eventual list is exactly what they need.
Responsiva’s regular customer satisfaction surveys consistently prove that b2b data quality is the paramount consideration. Whilst pricing is always key, minimising the number of mailing returns or dead phone numbers and ensuring the business data targets are exactly right for the client target market are of considerably higher importance.
This short video from Sital gives an overview of the statistics from Responsiva’s customer satisfaction surveys. Over the years these figures have altered very little, and even in times of recession the business data quality remains the highest priority.
More than 70% of Responsiva’s prospect data orders now come from repeat customers, who have previously experienced the exceptionally high attention to detail and data accuracy provided by us.
For more information contact Responsiva on 0800 118 5000 or email us at email@example.com
Taxi companies will appear on most business data lists, yet they are probably the most unwanted of all industry classifications.
So why are they such an issue, and what can be done about it? There are four key reasons that taxi companies become an issue when specifying business data for marketing;
1. Vertical Market Selection: Transport Sector
Taxi companies sit within the Transport Sector. And although it would be normal to consider this sector to predominantly contain couriers, shipping and road haulage companies, taxis also reside in this sector. If considered carefully, to what other possible sector could they belong?
A similar example would be to select the “Education Sector”. Within this sector you would expect schools, colleges, universities, training companies and could even understand nurseries. But the industry classification which is perhaps the least expected is driving schools. There are many thousands of them, and they are not the kind of environment where you may wish to market books, pencils and other educational equipment.
2. Company Size Selection
Another typical business data brief would be to select all large companies (say, 50+ employees) within a given catchment area. And here is where the unwanted taxi firms pop up yet again. There may be just two or three people actually employed within the company, with each driver being self-employed or contracted. Either way., for the purpose of reflecting a company’s size, taxi firms will generally tot up the total number of people working for the company; and that includes all the drivers on the books. So it becomes commonplace that taxi operations are classified as having more than 50 employees from the perspective of the business data selection.
3. Office Premises
In marketing to office premises, businesses will usually have an office related product or service. Such as office cleaning, office equipment, stationery or even IT services. Each one of these services will usually target businesses by a minimum employee size (e.g. 10+) to ensure a reasonable sized sales opportunity. Cleaning an office with 10 staff will possibly mean 2 – 4 hours worth of cleaning per week. But a taxi firm is typically one person behind a desk, operating a phone and single p.c.. So the IT company would not be best chuffed with this opportunity either; 10+ employees in an office will typically mean there is a server linking all the p.c.s, where as a taxi operation is unlikely to have this. But how else could a taxi company be classified? They are not factories, medical centres or even retail outlets in the regular sense.
It becomes easy to appreciate why business data selections should apply a “special case scenario” to taxi firms; although some marketing campaigns would welcome them, in many cases they are a blatant and unwanted anomaly. And this is made worse by …
4. Population Count
There are some 17,000 taxi companies within the UK. Taking one postcode area as an example (Birmingham), a general business list selection from this region would include more than 300 taxi firms. That is a lot of unwanted data if these are not your target market. By contract, there are only circa 60 taxidermist companies UK-wide, so if these were unwanted (from a pool of over 3million records) then they would hardly dilute the power of your marketing initiative by including them. And that’s the point; there are so many taxi firms that their undesired inclusion would weaken any marketing database.
So What Can Be Done?
At Responsiva, one of the first questions you are asked is what product or service you supply. And the very reason for this question is so that consideration may be given to potentially undesirable industry classifications and other pitfalls. It is commonplace that a company would tell Responsiva that they have historically purchased a business list which includes them, ridiculing the b2b data supplier for not understanding their target market. It is true that business data suppliers sell on volume, so by including undesirable taxi firms within the marketing list usually means their sale value is higher. But it would be wrong to suggest any malpractice that they have attempted to pepper the file with useless prospects simply to up the sale value. It is far more probable that the client was serviced by an inexperienced account manager who simply didn’t understand the business universe well enough to know that taxi firms are one of the main anomalies when it comes to selecting business data.
From past experience, the busiest two times for postal mailing activity are January and September. These months tie in nicely to reach the highest volume of recipients, with holiday absences being less prevalent. They are generally well aligned with marketing budgets; starting the year off with a flurry of activity. With a Summer sales review, marketing data campaigns are typically planned for September.
If the b2b mailing list has 4,000 records or more, there are significant cost savings to be made, both from a data list sourcing perspective and the postage. Mailsort discount applies from this volume, enjoying a massive discount on the regular cost of posting. With affiliations to mailing houses, Responsiva will refer you to a specialist in this area if desired.
The marketing data must be chosen to best fit your target audience. Working from what is probably the best single source business universe within the UK, Responsiva brokers data lists from a combined database of more than three million business records UK-wide. The prospect data can be selected by company size, geography, vertical market and premise type, in addition to the required contact fields such as senior decision makers and full company name and postal address.
The business universe receives updates on a monthly basis, ensuring that the data is as fresh as possible. Mailing gone-aways are usually in the region of 1%, and are guaranteed to be below 2%. This conforms with the marketing data industry standards and provides you with a high quality marketing file from which to deliver your sales message. Although Responsiva are not experts in marketing letter content writing, our recommendations are as follows;
- Keep the message short; to a single side of paper if possible. Several pages of text will most likely be discarded by your prospect. Less is definitely more.
- Do not send out expensive leaflets or brochures; these should be saved for the responders to your marketing letters. Indeed the letter should give mention that you will supply further literature if desired, and leave them with some questions so that they do respond.
- Explain some (just a few) of the key benefits of working with your organisation.
- Provide a very brief overview of your company’s experience in your field of expertise. This can be as short as “we have serviced more than 1,000 customers over the past 20 years“.
- Offer something for free if you can. Ideally a sample of some kind. Let the prospect trial your service before they commit to anything longer term.
- Ensure your letter has a call to action; what should your prospect do now?
The last point is key. It is all very well explaining the benefits of your company and how long you have been in business, but this is of limited value if you do not explain what you would like the prospect to do in response to your letter. The most simple of answers being that you would like them to call or email you to request further information, arrange an appointment or simply to take advantage of your free samples.
If you are considering a marketing campaign for September then now is the best time to contact Responsiva regarding the b2b mailing list you will needing for that campaign. After agreeing the specification with you, for your target market, Responsiva will supply you with some free samples. It is recommended that you use the remaining time in August to contact these samples (preferably by phone) to verify the marketing data quality and sense-check that they would be good prospects for you. And that being the case, hopefully you will come back by month end to source the full b2b mailing list for the September initiative.
New customers at Responsiva are invited to register their feedback on our list broker service, around two weeks from receipt of their prospect data list. This survey comprises five key questions and a free-text field for open comments. Approximately 200 customers have taken part.
The first three questions are ranked 1 to 5, with “1″ being excellent (or the most positive score) and “5″ being poor, or the most negative. For the purpose of the first three questions, Repsonsiva have allocated a percentage score as follows:
Q1. Rank Responsiva’s speed of service.
Average score = 1.20. Percentage equivalent = 95%
Responsiva prides itself in offering an incredibly fast service. If we have some counts to run or a b2b data order to deliver then we strive to get the project delivered quickly. Usually (90% of the time) within 30 minutes, and at worst before 9am the following working day.
Q2. Rank the price you paid for the data.
Average score = 2.17. Percentage equivalent = 71%.
The price point is always a sensitive area. All companies want to make an honest profit, whilst being reasonable and fair with the price. Had this score been in excess of 75% then Responsiva’s data lists would probably be “too cheap”. And a score below 50% would suggest the price was too high. So we continue to monitor this percentage and strive to maintain it between 60% and 75%.
Some list brokers charge minimum order values of £250, whilst others are as high as £1,000. Responsiva comes in below these figures to ensure that companies looking for a small business list do not pay over the odds for it, priding ourselves as a fair-priced list broker.
Q3. Was the data accurately specified.
Average score = 1.48. Percentage equivalent = 88%.
Judging from the occasional comment, customers frequently confuse this question with the quality of data or even their results from a campaign. The question is more akin to the brief, rather than the data quality or campaign results. However, all points are pertinent. Where Responsiva have dropped points tends to be customers who experience unsatisfactory levels of new business appointments from their telemarketing. This is not a fair measurement of the prospect data, as other factors come into the equation. However, on the two occasions in the last three years where customers have expressed dissatisfaction with the data quality (usually a high volume of email bounces in excess of 5%) a refund has been given where appropriate.
Q4. Would you buy from Responsiva again?
- Yes: 83.3%
- Maybe: 15%
- No: 1.7%
More than 98% of customers said they would or might buy b2b data from Responsiva again. This is the biggest indicator that our list broker service is fist class, backed up by the fact that the vast majority of orders come from repeat customers.
Q5. Would you like Responsiva to introduce a loyalty scheme?
- Yes: 43%
- Maybe: 42%
- No: 15%
The interesting point about a loyalty scheme for business data services is that we have tried this before; in 2011. Customers received points for every prospect data record purchased, redeemable at year end. Only one customer actually went on to redeem those points, despite reminders.
The scheme itself required administration, and for that reason proved more time consuming than it was worth. In general it seems that most customers would simply prefer a great service, accurate data lists and a fair price.
At the end of the questionnaire, customers are invited to give free text comments about their experience with Responsiva’s data list broking service. The most recent ten comments are listed below, cut word for word;
- Thanks very much for all your help.
- Great service, called up as we had tried lots of other providers and was helped straight away – really appreciated it. Thanks
- Data report not received from telemarketing agency as of todays date so unsure of accuracy of data.
- Toby is a great guy to work with. I’ve only worked with Responsiva once, so do not know what can be improved on, as I really enjoyed my experience with him.
- Overall the service was good along with good advice
- First time I’ve used them, so its too early to say, but overall i have had a good level of service.
- Service is attentive and responsive
- This was a new venture for me personally, I would get my client to deal direct with Responsiva next time.
- We have bought from a few companies and this is the best data we have had so far.
The four main paths for direct marketing use telemarketing data, postal mailing data or email and fax broadcasting data. And each initiative has a differing success rate and associated cost.
Perhaps the most misleading cost of all is the perception that once a database of email addresses has been purchased, all subsequent marketing to them is either free or comes with an exceptionally low rate for the email broadcasting. The true cost of email marketing is the data list purchase itself when compared to the exceptionally low response rate. This is not to say that all email marketing has a low response rate, but cold emails from your first contact with a business will inevitably be disappointingly low unless the offering is exceptionally compelling. Indeed response rates can be as low as one for every 10,000 emails.
Fax broadcasting received adverse publicity some years ago, after unscrupulous traders appreciated that most fax machines were attended by office admin staff and many broadcasts were along the lines of “what do you think of XYZ? Tick box A or B and fax back to us”. The small print stated that the fax back would cost (say) £5 and without giving this point much consideration, the otherwise bored admin staff did just that. So unless there is a specific reason why fax marketing would be the most suitable avenue for your business, it is not an initiative Responsiva will generally recommend.
The particular value of postal mailings is that they are the least intrusive of the four main channels. Companies with a possible interest may either respond, discard your letter or (as frequently occurs) keep the letter until the time is right for them to respond. And although the postage costs are high, these can be reduced considerably for larger volumes of 4,000 or more units. Typical response rates are in the region of 1% – 1.5%. So a postal mailing would probably best suit a company who’s client lifetime value exceeds £250.
The most ‘expensive’ of all initiatives is telemarketing. Adding the costs of the telemarketing data to the human resource element, the cost of a single dial can be as high as £2 – £2.50, so it is important to make sure that every call counts. The first stage is to ensure the targeting is ideal; market only to the businesses of the right size, geography and business types. But also the scripting must be well honed and the telemarketer must have the right enthusiasm and passion to make the calls. The campaign will not yield well if any of these three elements are lacking; the chain is only as strong as the weakest link.
The true value of telemarketing data is that this is the one initiative where questions can be asked and the database is updated. Questions such as;
- Who do you currently buy from?
- How much do you spend?
- When do you spend it?
- Who is the best person to speak with?
- When should I call back?
Some of these questions do not have to be so brutally frank; asking how much a business spends on your products or services (i.e., with their current supplier) can sound harshly direct. So an alternative question can give a better flavour. If you supply training services, the question could be along the lines of asking how many employees are typically put through a training program each year. Or how many they would consider are in need of training. Or if your business services photocopiers and printers, simply asking how many photocopiers and printers the business has, and perhaps the makes and models to fine tune their prospective future needs. Often the best questions in this area are about the volume of goods/people the company has, so that you can ascertain their likely future spend within a reasonable banding.
Call-back dates are vital in telemarketing. If an opportunity for a sale or appointment is unavailable from the initial call, the database should always be updated with the best date and time to call back. More often than not a prospect will not be in a position to buy when you call, so maintaining that relationship and developing the prospect for the future is vital.
Telemarketing data from Responsiva is always screened against the Telephone Preference Service. This ensures your compliance with data protection legislation. Simply plucking company phone numbers from the internet or business directories is not the right thing to do. For starters it would probably breach their T’s & C’s, secondly it takes longer for a human resource to identify phone numbers (whilst being paid by you to do so) and thirdly most internet directories do not include contact names, company sizes or identify whether or not the phone number is TPS-registered.
Over recent months Responsiva have developed a new suite of business data groups, or vertical markets.
When seeking out a new prospect list, one of the most daunting tasks is sifting through the industry classifications to identify the good from the bad. With more than 2,000 classifications to choose from, this process can take several hours and requires the manual intervention to ensure accuracy. Responsiva has now amalgamated all of these classifications into a succinct list of 35 vertical markets. Just over two million of the b2b data records can be classified, with counts and percentages as follows;
|Vertical Market||Business Count||% of Universe|
|Business consultants & Training||73,134||3.6%|
|Computers, Software & Hardware Consultancy||70,483||3.5%|
|Construction & Demolition||182,503||9.0%|
|Farming & Agriculture||60,356||3.0%|
|Finance & Accounting||58,958||2.9%|
|Hotels, Bars & Restaurants||173,701||8.6%|
|Manufacturing & Engineering||141,888||7.0%|
|Marketing, PR & Advertising||12,468||0.6%|
|Membership organisations & political parties||47,113||2.3%|
|Mining & Raw Materials||2,763||0.1%|
|Motor, Repairs & Fuel||83,222||4.1%|
|Photography & Media||21,737||1.1%|
|Printing & Publishing||21,990||1.1%|
|Recycling & Waste Management||8,244||0.4%|
|Social & Charity||55,378||2.7%|
|Sports, Leisure & Recreation||76,868||3.8%|
|Surveyors, Architects & Testing||55,465||2.7%|
|Transport & Storage||78,586||3.9%|
|Utilities (Gas, Water & Electricity)||3,091||0.2%|
Within each of these business data vertical markets resides every possible business classification. For example, within the group “Hotels, Bars & Restaurants” there is every business classification listing from pubs, wine bars, guest houses, hotels, all forms of restaurant (Indian, Chinese, Italian etc), take-aways, internet cafes, tea rooms to any other establishment you would associate with either overnight paid accommodation or having a meal or drink.
In applying these business groups to any data selection, the buyer is able to quickly identify the particular areas of interest or exclusion. Furthermore, if any further explanation is required of a particular group then this is easily expanded to illustrate the full listing of sectors therein.
To demonstrate the value of this new business grouping tool, for July 2013 only Responsiva are offering to apply it free of charge to your business database. Provided your database already includes industry classification or SIC codes (as all good business databases do) we will apply our new business grouping model to your file without charge.
What is the Value of this Tool?
Responsiva would normally charge £200 + vat to apply this business group model, so already there is a cost-saving by receiving this free information. But its true value and purpose is during the measurement of your campaign success. i.e., where are your positive results coming from? These business groups enable you to swiftly analyse your campaigns (or Responsiva will offer to do this for you) and enable you to identify future prospect data from within those high performing sectors.
If you have any questions regarding this new field, please give Responsiva a call on 0800 118 5000.
You may have heard the story of the cobbler, whose kids were clothed in worn-out shoes? The point being to ask whether you would buy shoes from such a trader? Or would you go to the dentist who has manky teeth? I am often approached by mailing houses, offering to print, pack & post Responsiva’s monthly postal mailings; but when I ask them what mailing activity they run they explain that all their new business comes from word of mouth. Or the business coach who offers to help me make my business run without me, whose own business couldn’t run without them. Or even from telemarketing companies who generate new business from networking events or email marketing, rather than by picking up the phone.
No matter what your line of work, if you offer a product or service then you are best placed to take the benefit from it; you can ensure you receive the best possible service, and at cost price too. So with all these benefits, if you cannot sell your service to yourself then ask yourself what kind of service it is you are offering?
As an experienced b2b data list broker, Responsiva supplies business lists for postal mailings and telephone marketing. And with that we send out a postal mailing to new prospects most months. And not just because of any support in our own service, but more importantly because it yields a healthy return on investment. Response rates are typically around 1% – 1.5%, and up to one quarter of those responders ultimately convert to becoming a new customer. The ratios (measured over four years) have proven that for every £1 spent on postal mailings have delivered approximately £2.50 in profit from new business sales. That’s not revenue; for this the ratio is obviously higher. This is quite simply a straightforward 5:2 return on investment ratio from sending out a regular business mailing to new prospects most months. Although Responsiva obviously sources the b2b data list at cost price, the truth is that the mailing list is supplied for multiple usage. So many of the business prospects are re-mailed a few times, making the cost of the data list considerably more efficient. But this does raise the question as to whether a re-mailed business is more or less likely to respond? Responsiva’s statistics on this subject go back more than ten years, and is an area of both interest and focus. If you mailed 1,000 prospects for he first time, are they more or less likely to respond than if you had already mailed them one or two months ago? And are these any more or less responsive than business prospects you had mailed six times over the last one or two years?
The reality is quite straightforward and well worth remembering. The results are the same; a prospect is just as likely to respond if you have mailed them previously (though our measurements only go up to six times) than if you are touching them for the first time. That said, you must remove all mailing returns and responders from any future mailings, which will typically comprise around 3% of the mailing list.
All companies should have around ten channels to deliver new business enquiries, and postal mailings have proven to be a consistent route to market. And the postage is not so expensive when running campaigns of 4,000 units or more, due to the Mailsort discounts which are applied. And if you are thinking “but we could never run 4,000 postal letters every month; we are just a really small business. We couldn’t afford it and couldn’t cope with the volume of responses” then consider this fact: Responsiva is operated by just one person. You can never have too many new business enquiries; it is just a case of how you manage them.