3 Databases to Help You Generate more Busines-to-Business Customers

How to Generate New Business-to-Business Customers

When using direct mail to generate new business-to-business customers, a quality database is essential to a successful campaign.

Three database benefits that yield results are:
Penetration - Because of their size, databases allow you to penetrate more buying sites and more decision-makers at each site.
Selectivity - The right database can deliver unmatched access to customers by industry, job title, location, size of company, and products purchased -- far deeper access than any single source list can deliver.
Multi-Buyers - Because a database combines names from many list sources, many more multi-buyers are available: A prospect who has purchased one item from two or more sources in the database are identified as a multi-buyer. Multi-buyer names almost always outperform one-time buyers.

However, a database is only as good as the sources from which its names were taken. The best list sources for building high-response business-to-business databases are ABC or BPA-audited trade publication subscribers, seminar attendees, catalog buyers, book buyers, and association members.

There are several functions you can target within a business-to-business database, each again with its own nuances:

CFOs are economical buyers, and your marketing must prove to them that your product gives a quick return on investment (ROI). CFOs are extremely responsive to offers for time management, business management, insurance, training, and financial products.  3,470,418 addresses.

CEOs are �big picture� buyers. Their primary concern is whether yours is a reputable, stable organization. They are not interested in nuts-and-bolts details, leaving that to their direct reports. Products and services they buy include financial, office, insurance, education, travel, cellular, incentives, and time management.  9,761381 addresses.

Managers buy products and services that help solve business problems and are focused on helping the company reduce costs, improve quality, or increase profits. Offers that work well to this segment include time management, managerial publications, training, office products and services, cellular, continuing education, and operational products.  8,451,478 addresses.

Engineers research, evaluate, and recommend the purchase of raw materials, chemicals, equipment, components, and other products to management based on their technical merits. Engineers also buy computers, software, equipment, continuing education, tools, training, association memberships, and educational materials.  1,756,673 addresses.

IT (Information Technology) professionals build tomorrow�s infrastructure, and recommend computers, software, and systems to upper management. Offers that work well to this segment include hardware, software, security, networking, storage, training, and educational materials. 
3,762,936 addresses.

Sales and marketing professionals are enthused seekers of information on sales, marketing, and business communication topics as well as market intelligence in their company�s industry. They tend to be aggressive and ambitious, and can make big decisions swiftly. These professionals are responsive to offers for time management, cellular, management publications, travel, and incentives.  11,635,605 addresses.

HR and training professionals are also avid information seekers, looking for guidance on such topics as employment law, hiring, employee recruitment and retention, and management, as well as skills in which they need to train company employees (e.g., safety, regulatory requirements, leadership). Extremely responsive to offers for compliance, risk management, employment law, insurance, training, management, travel, educational materials, office products and services, and continuing education.  2,383,558 addresses.

How can you reach business-to-business prospects all in one place? read more

Direct Mail Formats
The trend today in business-to-business direct marketing is toward short copy, although exceptions abound.

Business prospects are busy, and they are inundated with reading materials.

Tri-fold self-mailers, postcards, double postcards, and one-page sales letters in a #10 envelope with a simple business reply card work well in the b-to-b marketplace for lead generation.

To sell a product directly from a one-step mailing may require longer copy. But usually a 4-page letter is better than an 8-page letter. But very short formats, such as invitations and vouchers, can also work.

In lead generation, it�s imperative to offer a free premium, such as a white paper or special report, as an incentive to respond.

Other popular offers include booklets, CDs, and merchandise premiums such as calculators, flashlights, and tape measures.

Premiums also work in mail order selling, but are less critical here than in lead generation, where your response will fizzle without one.

Buying Influences
There may be multiple buying influences at the same company or site on a single list or database.

Usually, you wouldn�t mail to all the buyers at a site, but often you can get good results by targeting two buyers instead of one. These would be the person who buys or uses your product � and his manager, who must approve that purchase.

The Roman Alliance Database offers comprehensive selectivity by job function and products purchased -- enabling you to reach multiple buying influences (e.g., CEO, IT Manager, CFO, plant manager) at the companies and sites you are targeting.

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Edith Roman, ePostDirect, Database Direct
One Blue Hill Plaza, 16th Floor, Pearl River, NY 10965