B2B Lead Lists: How to build one legally and organically

Hanif
June 27, 2020
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B2B list building can seem to be a daunting task as it requires acquiring the contact information of leads and preparing an exhaustive list. You want a B2B sales lead list which is targeted, relevant to your niche and highly accurate. B2B list building is not a one-size-fits-all undertaking. B2B list building process for a SaaS company would be entirely different from a drug manufacturing company. An effective B2B list building strategy requires leveraging variegated communication channels. What you want is to expand your reach and attract leads from multiple sources rather than just sending cold emails.

Before proceeding to legal ways of B2B list building, let’s take a look at why you must avoid buying B2B lead list:

Why Purchasing Leads for B2B List Building is Not a Good Idea?

It has been established that B2B list building method truly is an intimidating affair. Hence, it might get tempting to just purchase your B2B leads and be done with it! You might also consider buying a B2B lead list if you don’t have a fully-developed marketing team or your existing B2B list building strategies are not working. However, it’s still a bad idea and even illegal in many ways to purchase a B2B sales lead list. It’s understandable that you want to close deals and give a resonating message to prospective clients but is not the ideal way of B2B list building. Here’s why:

Outdated or Inaccurate B2B Lead List

Here’s the thing – the B2B sales lead list that you are considering to purchase will most probably have outdates, unqualified, unengaged, or even inaccurate sales leads. More leads mean more sales and there are scores of B2B lead list providers in the market. However, stale leads are just sheer wastage of your valuable pecuniary resources which you could have diverted to more authentic B2B list building techniques. Many of these purchased B2B sales lead list don’t even target your niche. Therefore, this form of B2B list building approach is not a great use of your sales people and your budget.

Purchasing a B2B sales lead list often results in low quality leads who don’t meet your intent-based or behavioral qualifications. A purchased B2B lead list may give information about a certain company which employs 1000 people. On the contrary, the reality is, they have laid-off close to 300 people which brings the total number of employees down to 700. Moreover, the emails addresses may have become obsolete over the years. The potential lead may not be even working with the same firm anymore!

Spam Reports and Privacy Issues

So, you have compiled a random B2B lead list that you want to start sending emails to. Chances are you will end up in the spam folder of these companies. Why, you ask? It’s because you are sending unsolicited emails to companies that have never shown any interest in doing business with you. That’s quite detrimental for your brand’s reputation and for your B2B list building strategy. You might also face legal troubles due to legislation surrounding the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set forth by the European Union.

Purchased B2B Sales Lead List Does Not Guarantee Exclusivity

Even if you are willing to risk legal issues by generating an inaccurate B2B lead list, there is no exclusivity guarantee. There are great chances that the B2B list building services you bought the list from, are trading the exact copy to your rival firms as well.

Instead, you should focus on legal B2B list building techniques that generate qualified leads since they have greater chances of converting. You want a B2B sales lead list that results in shorter sales process, lower cost per action (CPA), and higher conversion rate.

What are Legal Ways of B2B List Building?

Your ideal B2B list building plan must include:

  • Social media and paid advertising
  • Website optimization
  • Content marketing and lead magnets
  • Industry forums

Before diving into legal B2B list building methods, the first step is to determine the buyer’s persona of your ideal customer.

Create Buyer’s Persona

Before initiating the strenuous task of B2B list building, you must determine who your ideal customers are. As discussed earlier, you most certainly do not want to send unsolicited emails to businesses and hurt your brand reputation in the process. Your ideal customers are those who have genuine interest or requirement of your service or product. As a result, such leads will have high conversion rates. Here’s when creating a buyer’s persona will come in handy!

An effective B2B lead building process warrants conducting a brainstorming session with your sales team and determine the most common traits or characteristics of your ideal customers. Some of these factors may include:

  • Job titles
  • Job responsibilities
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Annual revenue
  • Number of employees
  • Size of companies
  • Industry or sector

This B2B list building process will require extensive research, surveys, and interviews but it is worth the effort. Credible approach of B2B list building will ensure authenticity and relevancy to your niche. Qualified prospects will drive your sales through the roof. Moreover, creating buyer’s persona will attract high-value visitors to your website. A comprehensive understanding of your ideal customers is essential for customer acquisition, product development, content creation, and customer retention. The number of buyer’s persona you create relies on your business needs.

Now that you are equipped with the buyer’s persona, you can develop tailored content, product, and services that suit specific needs, interests, and concerns of your leads.

Gauge the Internet for Contact Details and Validate Them

This step in list building process necessitates painstaking efforts. After creating the buyer’s persona, you have to essentially cyber-stalk your targeted customers. It will require digging out their interviews, company’s website, social media profiles, and press releases. However, the average decay rate of B2B sales database is in double digits! Any piece of information that you may have found about the potential leads can be pretty much outdated. Hence, the third step is to validated the information for efficacious B2B list building approach.

In order to verify the contact details, the best approach is to initiate a quick call. After introducing yourself, you can ask your prospective leads a few qualifying questions. Remember to explain how your product or service would eliminate their pain points. This is a legitimate B2B list building strategy. If this seems like a drag to you, consider outsourcing this task to an external agency.

Leveraging Social Media for B2B List Building

Social media can be a great source of generating B2B lead list if you know how to use it right. It is important to realize and harness the full potential of social media for effective B2B list building. Using social media strategy for building B2B sales lead list requires continual evaluation because of the nature of this evolving landscape. Therefore, you have to be more strategic in your approach.

Quora: A Secret Weapon for B2B List Building

When it comes to B2B sales lead list generation, most professionals undermine the importance of Quora. It is one of the fastest growing social media platforms which gets over 100 million visitors every month. Quora has evolved as a powerful medium of delivering insights and filling information gaps. Moreover, it gets huge amount of traffic from Google. Therefore, Quora can be an impressive social media platform for B2B list building by engaging in valuable conversation.

The most powerful approach is to establish lines of communication with your targeted audience. You can even create your own space on Quora, answer questions related to that topic and get notified when new ones are published. When you offer value to your readers, you gain more followers on Quora which is good for generating an authentic B2B lead list.

All you need to do is type the keyword in Quora’s search bar and you will find what your target audience is looking for. Answer those questions where you can offer insights that shows your in-depth knowledge of the subject matter. Don’t engage in conversation just for the sake of answering questions. Your answers should be detailed, valuable, and insightful for a successful list building technique. Towards the end of an answer, include the link to your website. The number of clicks will depend on the number of views your answer generates on Quora. Since you are targeting your niche audience, this B2B lead list has great chances of converting!

B2B List Building Strategy Using LinkedIn

The best thing about using LinkedIn for creating your own B2B lead list is the fact that the site promotes interaction and user participation. It’s where you can nurture relations with people working in the same industry as yours. Role of LinkedIn as a B2B list building tool has gained traction in the past few years. While it may take considerable amount of time to generate B2B sales lead list from other social media platforms, with LinkedIn you just have to connect with the right people. Active participation and interaction with LinkedIn community will bring qualified prospects to you in a comparatively less amount of time. People will gradually take notice of you and your expertise. They will subsequently approach you for potential business prospects.

However, you should refrain from advertising your business through LinkedIn messages. The right approach is to post articles and latest updates. You should also share insights on other people’s posts in the comment section. Hence, LinkedIn can be a remarkable tool for your B2B list building strategy. The platform also offers paid media promotions that you can leverage for reaching your target audience. Several brands have reported an exceptional conversion rate of B2B sales lead list sourced from LinkedIn.

Some of the paid media efforts offered by LinkedIn include:

  • Dynamic Advertising
  • Pay-Per-Click Advertising
  • Sponsored Mail
  • Native Advertising
  • Display Advertising

Another effective list building approach is to capture leads and emails using LinkedIn Forums launched recently.

Industry Forum: Underrated B2B List Building Tool

Contrary to the common notion, forums are still pretty much alive. Find the niche community your business caters to. Chances are you may hit a goldmine of targeted audience in of these online industry forums. Thousands of people communicate with their peers through online communities making it a perfect way of B2B list building. For instance, “ProductHunt” and “HackerNews” are well-known communities for startup, founders, and investors. In order to build your own B2B lead list, you can visit forums such as Stack Exchange and Reddit for other industries.

Stack Overflow, for instance, is a popular online community of software developers where they answer and ask questions about the same. The site generates over 100 million visitors per month! Not just that, you can find forums relevant to your niche such as academia, motor vehicle repair, video production, electrical engineering, physics, UX, geographic information system, and mathematics.

Start distributing content to these industry forums once you find the right ones. You can also opt for paid advertisements on Reddit which target specific Subreddits. Remember, you may receive backlash from the Reddit community if your content does not add value to that particular subreddit. For B2B list building, look for niche-related Subreddits. For instance, if you want to acquire freelancers for generating your B2B sales lead list, search for freelance-related Subreddits.

Website Optimization

Optimizing your brand’s website is an organic list building technique.  Here are few things you must examine for optimizing your website:

Fix Broken Links and Pages

When was the last time that you checked the broken links section on your dashboard? Every website is vulnerable to technical glitches and errors because of which your B2B list building strategy may not be working well. Scan your dashboard for such broken links and fix them. Some of the common errors include 504 gateway timeout, 503 service unavailable, 502 bad gateway, 500 internal sever error, 404 not found, 403 forbidden, and 400 bad requests.

Broken pages and links can prompt your prospective leads to prematurely exit your website. As a result, the conversion rate declines significantly thereby disrupting your B2B list building plan.

B2B List Building Opportunities Using Google Analytics

Remember to target long tail keywords while optimizing your website. You can discover long tail keywords using Google Analytics. Such key phrases or keywords have greater conversion value since they are more specific. They may have low search traffic but are more profitable in the long run. In order to benefit from this strategy, having a clear vision is of paramount importance. Search for long tail keywords that your competitors are ranking for as well.

Conduct Mobile-friendly Test

One of the criteria that Google utilizes for ranking your website is the mobile-friendly test. If your website is not optimized for hand-held devices, Google can penalize it on account of poor user experience. It can also lead to loss of many qualified leads. You can utilize Google’s mobile-friendly test for analyzing which parts of your website are not rendering well on mobile devices. This method would certainly improve your B2B list building strategy.

Record Website Visitors

The sales teams of most companies see only 2% conversion rate. The rest 98% are generally anonymous visitors to your website. It is imperative to identify this untapped pool of potential leads for your business. Through this B2B list building tactic, you can obtain high quality leads and improve your conversion rate noticeably. Many companies out there are selling visitor identification software. You can find up-to-date, complete, and accurate information about website visitors regarding their job titles, company size, contact information, and company name.

For gainful B2B list building process, it’s advised to use filtered, custom feeds made available by the software. In order to obtain desired results, it’s best to integrate customer relationship management (CRM) with the visitor identification software. Therefore, recording your website visitors is always a better option for B2B list building compared to buying the prospective leads.

Content Marketing and Lead Magnets for B2B List Building

Another bonafide list building tactic is content marketing. Writing a few words on your website is not enough. You have to combine content writing with a strong content marketing strategy as well. One of the proven ways of B2B list building is guest posting on an authority website that caters to the same niche as yours. Their audience should be your target audience. This list building strategy will bring authentic, high value leads for your business.

There are other options apart from guest posting which include:

  • Webinars
  • Audio content (podcasts)
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Long-form guides
  • Articles
  • Content round-ups

On the other hand, creation of lead magnets is an incredible form of trading quality content for users’ email address or other contact information.

Some examples of lead magnets include:

  • White paper
  • Free software trials
  • Free app demos
  • Detailed case studies
  • Calculators and tools
  • E-books

B2B list building process is an arduous task. However, to generate qualified leads, these strategies are indispensable. You will no longer be disappointed with stale B2B sales lead list that do nothing for your sales. These B2B list building tactics are more targeted thereby generating leads relevant to your niche. As a result, you will establish authority in your niche and sourcing high value leads will no longer be a strenuous endeavor.

Also Read

5 Effective tips to nurture your B2B sales lead

7 Reasons Why You Can’t Afford to Forget About Marketing Intelligence

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