How Selective List Building Drives Results: A BDN Case Study

shutterstock_120159649Building and using lists for targeted marketing outreach programs is important to your marketing program, but where is it all leading?

Is everyone on the list subjected to a one-way onslaught of interruptive sales messages? Or are you using a permission-based approach where the target actually wants and welcomes the information and messages they receive? And what about the legal and ethical implications of your email-based marketing program?

Legitimate email marketing providers will not allow the use of purchased lists, and though it is permitted under CAN-SPAM laws, you can still be labeled a spammer if recipients complain. The solution is to provide great content and allow your target audience to opt in or subscribe. That’s exactly what BDN has done with our own email marketing, and our experience helps illustrate the approach.

One of our favorite blogs explains that that “the difference between a lead and a subscriber is akin to the difference between a date and a marriage. Both are important relationships, but one often requires more commitment than the other.”

They go on to say that a subscriber is much more valuable than a lead because subscribers have made a commitment and are actively engaging in a relationship with you. A lead, on the other hand, is completely non-committal, always keeping you at arm’s length. One is likely to buy from you in the future and the other — not so much.

BDN is making a move from interruptive to permission-based marketing, and here’s what we have learned.

In one month our company has built a list of qualified leads, and it’s growing rapidly. We are reaching fewer people overall, but the people we do reach actually want to hear from us.

In the past, when we sent our messages to a large, unqualified list of industry marketers , the results were uninspiring — although list building has to start somewhere.

Our performance was poor, with significantly below industry average rates for opens and click-throughs, and an above-average number of unsubscribe requests.

Here’s where we are today. In just one month we have built a list of 70+ qualified leads and our performance is top notch.

  • Our open rate (58%) is 37% above the industry average of 21%
  • Our click-through rate (24%) is 22% above the industry average of 2%
  • We have had no unsubscribe requests. The average is .53%
  • We are ranked as a great quality sender with no spam complaints, and no hard or soft bounces.

What’s more, thanks to the new list, web traffic has skyrocketed. The first email alone brought 57 new visitors in just one day, and the momentum continues to build.

Tips and Tricks to Gain Subscribers

  • Install SumoMe. BDN has collected 23 email addresses in less than a month using the free version of the app. (We could upgrade and would probably collect more)
  • Gate content on your website and include an opt-in button
  • Promote on your homepage
  • Promote in email signatures
  • Promote at the bottom of eblasts
  • Promote on social media
  • Add a list builder to Facebook

For more information about the difference between leads and subscribers, see this SBI blog. This BannerView article has more information about the legal and ethical implications of email marketing. For more analogies about how marketing is like dating, visit BDN.

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