This section will help you to plan your campaign and to select the list that is best for your business. It may also help you to avoid making some expensive mistakes. It would be wise not to waste time or money by buying outdated lists, which may be full of generic or other inappropriate contact details.
If you use the Advanced Search facilities of Google and specify active UK sites with “Mailing List” in the page title, there are 627 matches, but some of these are not selling lists. We believe there are over 300 companies actively offering mailing lists in the UK. These companies are generally list brokers that buy third party lists and sell them to online customers. They usually trade lists, which they have not compiled themselves and which they do not internally update. They are effectively selling what is in stock, sometimes irrespective of the true shelf life of their lists. Their products are continually ageing and are only improved when they replace the lists, which can be infrequently.
We specialise in business to business contacts (B2B) and are therefore an ideal source of business mailing lists. We are likely to be very helpful at all levels of B2B marketing campaigns. If you wish to market to the public instead of to Businesses, you will unfortunately need to seek help elsewhere.
Prospect Qualification Criteria & Scene Setting
The following are hard facts that will not go away, no matter how much, for the purposes of a particular campaign, one may wish otherwise
Prospect Mailing lists are often based upon Company Size, usually Annual Turnover (Sales) or Employee Numbers. For some products, such as Credit Scores and Debtor Insurance, the Annual Turnover would be the best choice. For most HR related products such as Training and Development, the Employee Numbers would be the best choice. We suggest that you consider your own products or services and choose the most appropriate criteria for your product. However be careful with Annual Turnover, as many financial companies do not have a conventional turnover and small companies do not have to file this information at Companies House. Similarly, bear in mind that some Commercial Companies with high official employee numbers, actually employ large numbers in low cost overseas locations. Generally the largest Private Sector UK employers are the Retailing, Catering and Financial Services companies.
- As per Execubank, there are 28.8 million workers in the UK, including 7.7 million part time workers, 1.1 million of which would prefer full time work.
- The Public Sector is by far the largest single employer in the UK, with approximately 20% of the 29 million strong work force.
- According to Execubank there were 6.1 million people employed in the Public Sector in December 2009, a small increase compared to the previous quarter.
- It has famously been said that the NHS, arguably the largest single employer in the UK, employs more people than the Red Army.
- Execubank figures show that there are 3.9 million self employed workers in the UK, including part time workers. This number is slightly increasing and understates the numbers of Private Sector employees that are not employed by limited companies, as there will be many people who are themselves employees within a business run by a self employed person.
- It has been so often stated that approximately 90% of the Private Sector work force are employed by Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), that it is commonly accepted by most as a fact, even ourselves included. Whilst we believe that it is substantially true, we have not seen any formal data to substantiate this claim and our own estimates would put the likely number closer to 80%. It would probably be sensible to assume that 80-90% is the correct figure.
- As per Mandis Business Intelligence there are a total of 2.4 million registered live companies in the UK; however only 700,000 are active, most of the rest are dormant companies.
- According to Mandis there are 9,000 live Plc registered companies in the UK.
- Mandis numbers indicate that there are 38,800 active Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) in the UK.
- Mandis Red Flag figures show that Weekly corporate liquidations are occurring at the rate of 2,200.
- Mandis figures show that 57% of the 136,000 largest UK companies are based in the South East.
- Each year 11% of Private Sector employees change employers. This means that a 3 year old list of 7,000 records would on average contain 2,310 incorrect contact records.
- The 11% employee churn rate means that any company claiming 99% list accuracy cannot be telling the truth, unless they either give extra records up front, as we do, or ensure that you use the contacts within 5 weeks of them verifying the contact record.
- Average annual pay is £23,870, whilst annual pay inflation was 4.0 per cent for the three months to March 2010.
- Average annual Public Sector pay is approximately 1% more than the average annual Private Sector pay, based on the three months to March 2010.
- There are 2.5 million unemployed in the UK, of which 1.5 million claim Job Seekers Allowance.
- 177,000 people were made redundant in the three months to December 2009, which is 2.5% of the workforce per year.
It is useful to consider the type of market approach that you intend to employ. Is it a scatter gun approach, with very little spent on each individual contact attempt? That would be hoping that a low % success rate across a very large sample would yield the desired returns? This is the preferred approach of some email delivery companies that advertise the ability to send 500,000 emails in a campaign.
Or do you intend to adopt a more selective approach, based upon well targeted contact attempts, with good quality follow up. In part the best approach will depend upon the profile of the potential customers, the value of each sales transaction and the internal costs of any follow through resources.
We, like Voltaire, prefer the more selective approach involving laser like precision marketing accuracy. Voltaire once said, “Victory goes to the best shot, not the biggest gun”. We are firm believers in a highly selective approach. Our business lists will help to ensure that you are the best shot, by providing the right ammunition for those well placed shots, which will be cost effective, as very little of your precious ammunition or time will be wasted. We will help you to win new clients and to increase your sales at a cost that allows you to make the exceptional profits that your efforts deserve.
We recommend that you try, as far as possible, to target exactly those decision makers you want to sell to. It is both costly and counterproductive to waste your valuable resources (staff time or money) on contacting apparently good sales prospects, that do not really meet the exact profile of your target client. More precise marketing would be beneficial in many ways, these would include:
To achieve these benefits, you should only purchase well targeted contact lists of decision makers, which are regularly updated. The lists should be priced per contact. Do not be coerced into paying minimum list prices, as this could trap you into paying more for the contacts than you need to, or alternatively you might end up purchasing more data than is really required and then wasting marketing efforts (staff time) and expenditure (stamps, envelopes, telephone and brochures) on marginally useful prospects. It is therefore vital that the contact lists can be very precisely targeted, they should be capable of being selected by Job Title, Location, Sector, Turnover, Employee numbers and Business Functions.
- Reducing overall marketing expenditure and minimising the average cost per qualified prospect. This will ultimately reduce the average cost of each new client or customer acquisition.
- It will improve morale amongst your direct marketing staff, as by eliminating pointless sales and marketing efforts; it will automatically increase the percentage success rates for your campaigns. This will in turn encourage the staff to perform even better, as they will perceive a good business return for their efforts.
- It will reduce any potential negative reaction to your direct marketing, as people may become exasperated with your company, if they receive direct marketing for products or services that are not relevant to them.
In summary, the perfect source for marketing contacts would a supplier that offers:
Please do not assume that if you write to a Director or Senior Executive, the information will trickle down to the relevant executive. For small micro companies, up to say 12 people, this approach often works, but more often than not it will be immediately binned, as being outside the immediate sphere of responsibility of the Senior Executive. For all other firms, a tailored approach would be much more successful. Wherever possible avoid a scattergun approach and aim to contact the correct person and if possible measure the campaign responses in order to improve future campaign targeting.
- Lists that are priced per contact record,
- Are available on request, within 3 working days,
- With frequent updates, at least 3 times per year,
- With no minimum prices per list,
- With a low cost per contact record,
- With no hidden usage restrictions,
- The ability to buy only those fields that you really need,
- With Professional Staff running the business,
- With targeting of the contacts; by Job Title, Location, Sector, Turnover, Employees and Business Functions.
Recent Contact Records
Try and use contact details as soon as possible after you buy it, as it is ageing or “going off” from the day you purchase it. You will get the best return on your marketing efforts by using the data within 4 weeks of purchasing it. This is because people move jobs very frequently. According to the National Statistics Office, within the Private Sector only 45% of staff remain in position for 5 years or more, that means that each year 11% of people change employers. In a mailshot to 1,000 contacts, if the contact data is 1 year old, 110 of the contacts will on average have left the company. The average list sold by list broker can be up to 2-4 years old in terms of the gap from the date of the contact record verification to the date of mailshot. This means that in typical list of 1,000 contacts, 220 – 440 will have “gone away”, thus wasting up 44% of your telephone or mailing costs.
We confirm and validate our business lists four times a year, or every three months, by telephoning or emailing the companies to directly check the information that we hold. These lists are available to customers at short notice and for purchases of £100 or over, we will email a sample list of contacts free of charge.
Beware of any companies that claim continuous or daily updates. They are usually only updating a small sample each day of say 400 records, this may initially sound impressive, but if we assume that there are 250 working days per year, they would only update every contact record in a 100,000 database just once per year.
“Gone Away” Mailing Guarantees
“Gone-away” envelopes are those letters that are returned with a red Royal Mail “undeliverable” sticker. . As each year 11% of people change employers, an expected average number in a 2 month old list would be 2%. We would like to have 0% of “gone aways”; however unless people stop changing employers, that is impossible. To deliver an effective target rate of 100% to our clients, we would normally provide an extra 2-3% of relevant contacts in any file that you order free of charge; so you will pay for say 100 records but may receive 103 contacts for the same price. If the delivery rate is less than 100 on a mailing within 4 weeks of the purchase date, we will either refund the purchase cost of the shortfall, or if you prefer offer you two new contact records for each record of any shortfall.
Based upon the Official figures from the National Statistics Office, which state that within the Private Sector only 45% of staff remain in position for 5 years or more, any company claiming 99% accuracy cannot be telling the whole truth. Unless they either give extra records up front, as we do, or ensure that you use the contacts within 5 weeks of them verifying the contact record.
It is clear from this analysis that it is in your interests to use the contact data as soon as possible and preferably within 5 weeks of purchase.
Corporate Telephone Preference Service CTPS
This is the master file against which all business mailing lists must be checked. If a company is registered with the CTPS, you must not make sales calls to these CTPS registered numbers; however you may call them for market research purposes and you may mail or email them for sales purposes. You must however absolutely not telephone them for sales purposes.
We are the perfect source for marketing contacts as we offer:
- Lists that are priced per contact record,
- Are available on request or within 3 working days,
- Frequent updates, four per year,
- No minimum list prices,
- A single low transparent cost per contact record,
- Unlimited (must be legal though) usage for 6 months within your company,
- The ability to buy only those fields that you really need,
- Run by Professional Staff,
- With targeting of the contacts by Job Title, Location, Sector, Turnover, Employees and Business Function