With a dirty list you can’t even begin to evaluate if your message is on target or not. Clean it up.

Your lead generation email list is one of the top four factors that cause marketing campaigns to fail. This issue comes up in every one of my lead generation speaking engagements and many of our team’s initial strategy discussions with new clients.

So let’s address it.

Use this checklist to determine why your email list may not be performing up to your expectations.

1. Your Email list is dirty.

Email addresses aren’t correct. Contact titles are missing. There is little segmentation. If your email list is dirty, it’s inevitable that you will get bounces. Not only does that reduce your email response rate, but it puts you at risk with your email provider as a potential spammer. With a dirty list, you can’t even begin to evaluate if your message is on target or not. Clean it up.

2. You are using a purchased email list.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with a purchased email list if you’re delivering valuable educational content. So the issue isn’t that you purchased an email list. The real issue is that it’s cold.  If you purchased a list of contacts in a segment where you aren’t well known, you have to build awareness for your company’s name before you’ll see engagement. That requires consistency and time. Unfortunately, too many business owners give up before they’ve put in their time.

3. Your email list is too old.

My rule of thumb is that any email list that hasn’t been used in one year is a high risk. People move. Companies merge or go out of business. If your email list is old, validate it before you use it. There are probably some good contacts in it, but you can’t be sure which ones they are.

4. Your email list is too small.

If you’re the salesperson, you need a smaller email list so you can prospect to it effectively. Too large a list and you can’t manage it. Your list size may be 50-100 contacts, with a maximum of 250. If you’re running the marketing campaigns for your company, you need an email list that will perform up to the goals you’ve set. For example, if you’re planning a lunch and learn event, you want a list large enough to deliver participants.

5. Your email list is too large.

When we first start working with companies to implement their lead generation plans, business owners and marketers often think a bigger email list is better. They want email lists with thousands of contacts. But bigger isn’t necessarily better. Don’t target based only on the number of contacts. Focus on creating an email list of the right companies and contacts who meet your buying criteria.

What have you discovered so far? Where do you need to make adjustments?

About the author

Kendra Lee

Kendra Lee is a top IT seller, sales advisor and business owner who knows…

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