Marketers are constantly looking for ways to reach their target audiences with their companies’ messages in the most cost-effective manner. Direct contact by email, phone, or fax can be efficient ways of doing so. However, contacting your audience directly means having the necessary information by which to contact them, such as phone numbers and email addresses, which most lack. Lead Prospectors, such as Zoominfo and, can provide extensive lists of contacts with contact information (for a fee), which marketers can then utilize to send their messages. 
There are a myriad of lead prospectors in the market today, and knowing which to choose is not always intuitive. In this blog series, we will review the many points to consider when looking to source a lead prospecting company. There are several questions you should ask before sourcing one, beginning with your own marketing strategy and campaign.

Who is the target audience?

You must first have an idea of who is looking to buy your product in order to reach them; that probably goes without saying. You are going to need to provide potential prospectors with parameters around your target market in order for them to give you a list that will effectively meet your needs. Market Research is going to be essential, so try to get as much information on your customers as you can and develop a list of primary demographics.

What will be the key identifiers?

This goes hand in hand with the previous question. After you have determined your audience’s demographics, you need to hone in on the more detailed identifiers that can not only be matched by lead prospectors, but are also most cost effective to target. For example, say you are a pizza shop owner looking to expand your reach to new customers; you may want to start by targeting people who like Italian food in your area. Food preferences are not likely to be data that lead prospectors will capture. However, many do capture addresses. So, if you were looking to buy a list of contacts to start an email campaign, you would want to use location as the indicator which prospectors could match their database against. Prospectors will typically house identifiers such as address, title, and company, which are more useful for B2B marketing campaigns. When sourcing prospectors, be sure to give them your key identifiers so that they can give you an idea of how well they can meet your needs.

How am I planning on reaching them?

The planned method of sending your message will also help determine the information you need from a prospect list, as well as the volume of contacts. If you are planning on calling or faxing your audience, you will need numbers. If you are planning on emailing your audience, you will need email addresses, obviously. What may not be obvious is the length of the list you will want. Emails are a fairly impersonal way of sending a large volume of messages (with the appropriate technology) without expending a large amount of manpower. That is fine for low-cost, high-volume products (e.g., pizza, household products, retail), but high-cost, low-volume products (e.g., automobiles, home remodeling, heavy machinery) often require a more personal touch. Direct contact by phone may work better than emails in those cases, however they are more labor-intensive. For email and fax campaigns, a longer, broader list will be ideal; for phone campaigns, a shorter, more focused list will likely be what you want. Source your prospectors according to those needs, as well.

Once you have these questions answered, you will be ready to start sourcing prospectors, which leads us to the second half of the process. In part 2 of this series, I will explain what to consider when purchasing the ideal list for your strategy.

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Ben Petock

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