Building a Prospect Pool

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Don’t just dive into building a prospect pool! Now you’ve decided on your campaign and you have your messages and delivery channel(s) in mind. You just need to find enough of the appropriate recipients that will make the campaign successful.

Where to start

You might decide to call a data supplier you’ve used before, or perhaps carry out a quick web search for suppliers who appear to have the type of data you need. This could be the start of a long, complicated, and time-consuming process if any one supplier does not have the quantities you require. You could end up searching various suppliers, buying a few lists, merging them and having to attempt to de-dupe against each other; and even then you could still be unsure as to the quality of the final list.

By far the better option is to consult a data specialist who will be able to work closely with you to create an efficient and targeted prospect pool tailored precisely to your specific criteria.

Following a process similar to below, in order to help you identify and create a qualified list from a variety of sources, a truly professional data solutions provider will:

  • Discuss and ensure your criteria are clear and understood – much easier when only dealing with a single supplier.
  • Enquire and agree with you the total number of contacts you are looking to reach with your campaign/s.
  • Use their knowledge of the marketplace to identify which additional suppliers should be included in the campaign, based on relevance, quality and accuracy of their data.
  • Feedback on available data once they have compared lists and de-duped – ensuring you don’t pay twice for any records.
  • Confirm that the sources used are reputable providers (from their industry-specific experience). That will ensure you obtain better coverage with none of the risks of using lots of suppliers whose credibility may be uncertain.
  • Vet the data to ensure it meets all of your criteria.
  • Endeavour to capitalize on their closer relationships with list suppliers, in order to negotiate preferential rates and competitive guarantees to give you peace of mind and confidence.

Maintaining and managing a prospect pool

It’s all very well building a prospect pool, but how do you manage it and maintain it? Whether its B2B data or consumer data, direct mail or email, it is very important that you maintain the data and manage the use of it responsibly. Keeping the data fresh and updated is key to success. Read our blog Here Today, Gone Tomorrow – How Business Data Decays

If you buy data and build it into a prospect pool it’s most likely to be on a 12-month licence agreement. The data you buy today will be circa 30% inaccurate by month 10. So having a plan and method for incorporating regular data updates is very important.

Managing the data

Managing your campaigns and keeping a track of what has been sent to whom, and how they responded, is a challenge in its own right. Ultimately, the way that you use the data will determine the success or failure of your campaigns. Unless you have sophisticated marketing automation software or a team of data analysts you could find yourself drowning in your Excel pool of tabs and spread sheets.

Two example solutions, that a true data specialist should be able to offer, would be:

  • A simple online system that allows you to build a history of campaigns and exclude records from the next campaign.
  • A full campaign management and marketing automation suite that tracks and predicts responses based on user interactions.

So, the next time you are looking at sourcing data from multiple suppliers, consider enlisting the services of an expert solution provider to take off the pressure and reduce the risk of some of the issues described above.