Should You Buy B2B Leads in 2018?
September 10, 2018
Not all contact lists are created equal, but if you’re working to grow your B2B lead database, your two options are to buy one or build one. However, with the market changing as quickly as it is combined with the need for startups to hit the ground running, bought lists are becoming more and more popular.
When it comes to finding quality leads, marketers are somewhat divided about whether buying B2B leads is good or bad for business. In this post, we’ll try to settle the question by presenting both sides of the issue—that is, why buying B2B leads can work and why it might not.
Why Bought Leads Are Effective
1. More Targeting Opportunities
Marketing is a data-driven industry. This means you need to have detailed information about current and prospective customers to help you target the right audience with the right message. A B2B list has data about things like a company’s industry vertical, annual revenue, key decision makers, number of employees, and even corporate values. All of these you are useful in determining whether a lead possesses the characteristics of an ideal customer. Purchasing this data means that you won’t have to spend time and resources on collecting it yourself.
Once you have identified your target market, it’s easier to focus on your prospects pain points and challenges. This allows you to utilize the rest of the data from your list to better understand what type of content appeals to your audience and what other marketing strategies will make them more receptive to your pitch.
2. Multi-Channel Integration
Multi-channel marketing is when you use a selection of offline and online marketing channels to target the perfect customer. As a result, you can diversify your marketing spend, potentially generating more conversions and a higher return on investment (ROI) for your business. Collecting audience data from multiple channels requires a lot of time and resources, which is an impossible ask for some businesses.
Purchasing a B2B list means you have a good number of leads to tap for email marketing, social media marketing, and telemarketing. Customer relationship management (CRM) software will help you import the data and integrate it into your marketing campaigns.
3. Vendor Collaboration
There’s no doubt that quality leads are expensive. But does that mean that you should always choose the most expensive list instead of the cheapest one? In B2B lead generation, at least, the priciest list is usually the best. This assumes that your vendor was able to verify the data from the list against multiple sources and from the actual contacts on the list instead of acquiring contact information from some other source.
Therefore, you should be careful in choosing the company that you work with. Your vendor should be able to tell you where or how they got the data that they’re providing. Make sure they have a good track record of providing B2B lists that have excellent engagement and deliverability rates.
You can also look for data list companies that offer free trials. The best data vendors do this because they’re confident enough that their services will meet your expectations and so they’re likely a good option.
Risks of Buying B2B Leads
1. Outdated, Useless Leads
Contact lists from data vendors aren’t always ready to be used instantly. They need constant updating to reflect changes in company affiliation, roles and responsibilities, location, and the like.
Unfortunately, not all data vendors take time to clean their database, so you might end up buying a batch of outdated, useless leads. This increases your chances of failing to reach the right address or person. With an out-of-date list, you’d be lucky to receive a response from less than 10% of the contacts you reached out to.
2. Spam Label
One of the worst things that can happen when you buy B2B leads is to be labeled as spam. You might be guilty of pushing out template emails without filtering your list, making your emails irrelevant or spammy to contacts.
Moreover, it’s an open secret that data vendors sell the same contact lists to other B2B customers. Thus, there’s a chance that contacts in your list regularly receive the same offer from other companies in your vertical. This might create the impression that you’re one of those spammy email senders unless you take pains to personalize your message.
There’s no way to tell how data vendors put their data list together. Did they implement a system? Where did they get the leads? How did they qualify the leads? Answering these questions is essential, so you can have a comfortable level of certainty that your leads will be interested in your campaign’s message.
Otherwise, you might be contacting someone who has expressed their intention to be removed from existing B2B databases. If this happens, you may be dinged for sending unsolicited marketing campaigns to people in your mailing list.
4. Improper Segmentation
It’s not entirely accurate to say that it’s easier and better to create segments when you buy sales leads for your B2B company. Just because a list comes with a wide range of information about your contacts’ industry and demographics doesn’t mean that information is reliable.
If there’s one place where you can find great leads, it’s in your roster of existing customers. People who have purchased from you in the past are more likely to buy from you again, especially if there’s continuous engagement with your brand. You truly know these customers and how to segment them effectively.
To Buy or Not to Buy B2B Leads?
Building a list of quality leads to pass off to sales can be a handy skill to have, but it’s not the only option you can explore. Considering other alternatives is always advisable, especially in marketing. When you adopt different methods of finding B2B leads, your brand could widen its audience reach and ultimately help you grow your business.
Buying a contact list doesn’t come without risks and uncertainties, but if you’re careful and strategic about it, it can really pay off by adding both quality and quantity to your B2B leads list.