42 Leading Social Networking Sites for Business Professionals and Entrepreneurs You May Not Know

 

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Many of us actively use sites such as Twitter and Facebook to promote businesses. And those of us who want to connect with more business-related contacts may turn to sites like LinkedIn to develop relationships with people we have worked with or may want to work with. But not every site is oriented toward the business world and its needs.

There are a growing number of social networking sites specifically focused on business users and meeting their needs. Here is a list of 42 additional leading social networking sites for business professionals and entrepreneurs including startups that are worth a look. This list is current as of April 2015, and will likely remain very fluid in the future.

1)      Affluence.org– Affluence.org is a private social network where wealthy individuals connect, share information and engage in meaningful conversations. Affluence.org also provides exclusive, high quality content and advice from experts on subjects such as art, technology and travel.  Membership in Affluence.org reportedly requires a net worth of $1 million (US) or annual household income of $200,000.

2)      Biznik– A community of  entrepreneurs and small businesses dedicated to helping each other succeed.  It is the local, independent entrepreneurial community where collaboration beats competition.

3)      Black Businesswomen Online– A social network for African American Women in Business, Entrepreneurs and Bloggers.

4)      Black Business Space– Black Business Space is a community of business owners and entrepreneurs. It uses the tagline “Where Networking and Money Meet”.

5)      Blogher– Blogher  calls itself “A Life Well Said”. It is a community of women bloggers in many areas.

6)      Blogster– Blogster is a blogging  community that features specific-interest blogs. Blogster members can network  and collaborate by creating a blog, commenting on articles and interacting in a diverse online community.

7)      Cofoundr– Another fast growing online network for entrepreneurs. It is a private
community of startup founders such as developers, investors, CEOs, advisors, and
programmers. They are looking to find co-founders, build teams, and get advice.

8)      Data.comThis site was formerly Jigsaw.com and is now owned by Salesforce.com. The individual option offers an online business card networking directory updated by its more than 2 million members who  can easily establish contacts with each other.

9)      EFactor– An online community and virtual marketplace designed for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. It is the world’s largest network of entrepreneurs, including over 25,000 vetted investors.

10)  Ecademy– A business network for creating contacts and sharing knowledge. It offers online networking for business, offline networking events and global networking groups. It has been around since 1998. Chairman Thomas Power is the ultimate networker, with 23,000+ LinkedIn connections and 741 LinkedIn recommendations.

11)  Entrepreneur  Connect– This community was created by Entrepreneur.com
as a site where professionals can network, communicate, and collaborate with
others. This site is not intended for mass self-promotion,  but is a positive destination where entrepreneurs can exchange real advice and make lasting connections.

12)  FledgeWing– FledgeWing is an online community aimed at entrepreneurial university students launched in February 2009. It provides aspiring student entrepreneurs with the social media connections they need to develop build and launch new companies.

13)  Focus– A community focused on helping business decision makers and IT professionals make decisions and share expertise in functional areas of business. The community has numerous categories such as small business, HR, Finance, Sales and Marketing.

14)  Go Big Network– This site helps connect companies with investors. Over 300,000 startups have used this community to find funding.

15)  Google+Google’s entry into social networking is called real life sharing, rethought for the web. There are many important people in the technology world who have joined in, sharing their expertise and opinions.

16)  GustGust is the  site for Professional Investor Relations, from Pitch to Exit. Gust provides the infrastructure for identifying opportunities and managing the investment relationship.

17)  Home Based Business Network – This site is an online community and resources for starting a home based business, featuring home business profiles, blogs, forums, videos, ideas, and more.

18)  JASEZone– A professional community where you can find potential clients and business partners.

19)  Meetup– Helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities around the world. It can be used for professional interests, not just personal interests.

20)  Networking for Professionals– A business network that combines online business networking and real-life events in US Cities.

21)  PartnerUp– This is an online networking community that entrepreneurs and small business owners use to find the expertise and resources they need to start and grow a business. Members can connect with potential partners,  advisers, and business resources such as commercial real estate.

22)  PerfectBusiness– A network of entrepreneurs, investors and business experts that encourages entrepreneurship and mutual success. It provides everything you need to launch and grow a business, including educational videos, articles, events, business plan
software and direct access to experts and investors.

23)  PROSkore PROskore scores and ranks business professionals based on influence and experience using professional history, popularity in social media and peer validation PROskore then uses these scores to help members discover new business opportunities with other members across their network. PROskore currently has over 100,000 members worldwide.

24)  Ryze– A business networking community that allows users to organize themselves by interests, location, and current and past employers. It is particularly oriented to new entrepreneurs.

25)  SiliconIndiaSiliconIndia is the largest professional network in India. It has over
2 Million members, and more than 50,000 new members are reportedly added every
week.

26)  StartupNation– This site provides real-world business advice to people who want to start a business and who want to grow their small businesses. It is a free service founded by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs.

27)  TalkbiznowBased in the UK, this is a comprehensive interactive business networking site for business professionals.

28)  The Funded– Entrepreneurs canresearch, rate, and review venture capital sources worldwide here. It is an online community of over 16,500 CEOs, Founders and entrepreneurs.

29)  Upspring– You can connect, share, and learn about the professionals and businesses in your community here.

30)  Unstucture.org– This is an open discussion platform for business professionals, bloggers and contemporary thought leaders to discuss and debate action ideas that would aid the evolution of business. It also has an annual physical event and has published a book of insight and action ideas for businesses of the future.

31)  Ushi.cn– Ushi is the premier business networking site in China. It includes 50,000 CEO- and CTO-level executives and boasts representatives from more than 85% of China’s venture capital and private equity firms.

32)  XING– A European business network with more than 11 million members.

33)  Yelp– A local business review and talk networking site, including user reviews and recommendations.

34)  Young Entrepreneur– A site for entrepreneurs and small business owners who
are passionate about promoting business for themselves and others to network.  It was founded in 1999.

35)  YouNoodle– This site is a place to discover and support the hottest early-stage companies and university innovation. The members passionately support the start-up ecosystem.

36)  Ziggs– A professional connection portal founded on the principles of professionalism and respect.  It claims to be your one-stop source for building your online brand, marketing yourself on the web and simplifying communications with people.

37) WaitersToday– An educational, informative, hangout style social network for waitresses, waiters, bartenders, and other restaurant staff.

38)  LocalsNetworking– A great site for small business owners looking to increase their referral marketing. All the benefit of referral marketing with none of the hassle, no early meetings or expensive fee, or membership requirements and site is free to join and use.

39) Novertur– This one is for small and mid-sized enterprises to connect with relevant trade partners abroad and B2B services to help them.

40) JASEzone– A professional community where you can find potential clients and business partners.

41) NetworkingForProfessionals– A business network that combines online business networking and real-life events.

42) Plaxo– An enhanced address book tool for networking and staying in contact.

Bear in mind the Leading Social Networking Sites for Business Professionals and
Entrepreneurs You May Not Know may be here today and out of business, acquired,
or working under a new business model tomorrow.

Can you think of any other great social networking sites for business professionals and startups that you use?  How have they worked out for you?  I’d like to hear about them.

Posted in marketing, online marketing, social media, social networking, Uncategorized, web marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

18 Leading Marketing Channels for Industrial Marketing Success

images2GSU61L3 Marketing the latest industrial products and services may not be as glamorous as promoting the latest high-tech gadget.  However in many ways, it is significantly more important since it often has far reaching implications regarding the safety of the world we live in. E-mail marketing, tradeshows, content marketing, and search engine optimization are the leading marketing channels for the industrial sector.  The most critical channels are digital channels, which indicate many marketers understand the importance of devoting resources to a mix of digital channels.  More and more industrial marketers have added blogging to their arsenal of marketing channels in recent years. Without further ado, here is my list of 18 leading marketing channels for industrial marketing success:

  1. E-Mail Marketing– It is a great, low-cost way to communicate with current, past and potential customers. Increase brand awareness, reinforce and rekindle relationships, drive purchases, and announce sales. Provide reminders, share the latest company or industry developments, distribute content such as blog pieces, whitepapers, and articles, and enable easy sign-up for your website visitors.
  2. Tradeshows– Industrial companies often allocate a large portion of their marketing budget to tradeshows. Sadly, they often don’t maximize tradeshow ROI since they don’t communicate enough with their audience before, during and after the show. Social media, e-mail marketing, e-newsletters, mobile apps, and company websites are critical here.
  3. Content Marketing– Content is king and you don’t get the crown without a winning content marketing program. It often makes sense to repurpose content in different formats, have a content marketing strategy in place, use an editorial calendar to plan content, and align content to different phases of the buying cycle.
  4. Company Website– Here’ a direct quote from Linda Rigano, Executive Director of Strategic Services at ThomasNet that says it all. “Treat your website as if you were hiring a six-figure salesperson. If you were going to put them on the street, what would you do? You’d arm them with information about the marketplace. You’d arm them with information about your products and how people use them. Then you’d put that person in front of the audience and check with them.” Website content needs to be search engine optimized.  There is some great software out there that helps with this.
  5. Social MediaLinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube/Video Sharing Sites, company blogs, and community sites/LinkedIn groups are critical to use/participate in. It is advisable to have social media links from your corporate website.
  6. Online Directories/Websites– With so much of business conducted online, industrial marketers have begun to migrate from print to online advertising at directory sites such as ThomasNet, MacRAE’s Blue Book, GlobalSpec, and Industrial Quick Search plus websites including publishers and associations.
  7. Trade Magazine Advertising– Industrial marketers still spend a fair amount on trade magazine advertising. This is often done to generate sales leads and for corporate branding. Tracking leads from ads helps you get the most bang for your ad buck. Wherever possible, include a unique promo code for your ad and phone extension for tracking purposes.
  8. Public Relations– Reach out to targeted media with announcements on new products and services, company news, new appointments and distributors, and more. Engage with editors and help them out by submitting appropriate content for upcoming editorial opportunities and pitch mutually beneficial story ideas. You can distribute via major newswires and can reach major media outlets, bloggers, and radio and TV people as well.
  9. Internet Banner Advertising on Individual Sites– This is a great way to get website traffic/leads from relevant websites.
  10. Blogs– They are great way to create authority and credibility, offer relate-ability by having a personality, drive search engine results, repurpose content, and most importantly generate qualified leads.
  11. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)- Industrial marketers determine the most valuable keywords/keyword phrases and feed Google, Yahoo, and Bing the necessary content from company websites and other content vehicles that can be crawled from the web. Being found on the first page of search engine results substantially improves lead generation. This is often accomplished through a combination of on-page and off-page activities that meet Google’s Quality Guidelines and utilize industry best practices. Keep in mind search algorithms keep changing and you need to keep creating new content or your site can quickly lose relevance with search engines.
  12. Paid Advertising (PPC)- It makes sense to target high value keywords or specific niche opportunities. Pay per click campaigns can be structured and managed to deliver a positive ROI. There are proven pay per click management strategies to drive traffic to your website, improve on-site conversions, and control costs. Building a PPC campaign that leverages industrial keyword research and real world business knowledge gives you a distinct advantage over competitors. It is best to focus on relevant traffic and improve the quality rather than quantity of leads.
  13. Videos– Videos enable you to convey thought leadership, show how products work, and even replay your webinars. They can be featured on your company website, YouTube channel, and can be shared via e-mails and social media.
  14. Direct Mail– Direct mail is far from dead. With B2B mailings down substantially, it presents an opportunity to stand out from the crowd when you mail something relevant that subliminally screams ‘open me’.
  15. Webinars– Webinars are live meetings that take place on the web. The meeting can be a presentation, discussion, demonstration, or instructional session. Participants can view documents and applications via their computers, while shared audio allows for presentation and discussion. They are a great way to generate leads which can be converted to customers.
  16. Printed Directories– While the mighty Thomas Register is no longer printed (it is now ThomasNet online), there are still various printed directories such as manufacturers by state from Manufacturers News, product and service annual directories from publishers, plus tradeshow and association directories.
  17. Internet Banner Advertising Networks– Services such as Google AdWords allow you to place ads on a variety of news sites, blogs, and other niche sites across the internet to reach more potential customers.
  18. Telemarketing– One of the ways industrial marketers can generate qualified leads for salespeople is via telemarketing to qualified lists of prospects and past customers. It is best to track performance of outside telemarketing firms to ensure you are getting sufficient ROI.

While the above are all channels industrial marketers use, it is better to do a great job in a select few critical channels such as digital channels that drive sales and profits rather than a mediocre job with all. What has been your experience with the above marketing channels? Have I missed any important marketing channels for industrial marketing?

Posted in blogging, content marketing, digital marketing, Direct Mail Marketing, e-mail marketing, email marketing, industrial marketing, Internet Banner Advertising Networks, Pay Per Click, PPC, public relations, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, SEO, social media, Telemarketing, tradeshow marketing, Webinars | 1 Comment

A social media genius

206cdd2Tony Kadysewski is a fun guy who grew up in the print world.  He had a dream and transformed it into a high traffic blog for a very specific vertical market, retail and P.O.P. fixtures.  He learned social media best practices the hard way and creates and maintains site content all in his spare time. 

sperry-top-sider-rope-polo-front

You never know what will appear in Tony’s 3-4 FixturesCloseUp posts each day.  For example, the image above is from his post on Sperry Top-Sider knot ties.   The average person may not be interested in them or how they are displayed, but if you are a retailer looking for new display ideas, seeing this and other similar posts could be the equivalent of hitting the jackpot in Atlantic City.  Content is king, especially when it is engaging content.

http _fixturescloseup.wordpress.comFixturesCloseUp has a 4 year online history: is Google verified; includes nearly 4,000 published posts; over 6,800 images on a 370 board Pinterest site; an established Twitter channel; RSS and email feeds; the FixturesCloseUp Trademark and registered domain name; plus 1,000+ pre-written draft posts (enough for 1 year of outreach), and maintains ongoing pre-scheduled posts running 3 months ahead through October 2014+. 

Tony has a wide range of interests and FixturesCloseUp is truly his baby.  When he asked me to help him find a new home for FixturesCloseUp so he had more time to devote to other interests, how could I say no.  I know FixturesCloseUp will always be close to his heart and that of an ever-growing group of retail and P.O.P. fixtures users.  I also know he will ensure the transition goes smoothly.  Tony and I truly look forward to seeing some lucky publisher, fixture manufacturer/distributor, and/or entrepreneur take Fixtures CloseUp (and their business) to the next level.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

73 Astonishing E-Mail Marketing Statistics You Need to Know

Did you know that marketers sent over 838 billion e-mails in 2013?  That’s almost 9 times as many direct mail pieces the U.S. Postal Service delivered.

I know the types of stats you’re looking out for: numbers on e-mail engagement and frequency, mobile optimization, and ROI.  Data is power, which is why I have put together this list of 73 essential statistics every e-mail marketer needs to know.  I know firsthand just how profitable e-mail marketing can be.  One of my e-mail campaigns generated $700,000 in profits on a minimal investment.

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E-MAIL MARKETING ROI
1.    Email marketing has an ROI of 4,300%.
2.    For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.
3.    Companies view email marketing as a better return on investment than PPC, content marketing, social media, offline direct marketing, affiliate marketing, online display advertising, and mobile marketing.
4.    60% of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI.
Takeaway:  E-mail marketing should be taken more seriously.  Integrate e-mail with your overall marketing mix and consider allocating more internal and/or external resources to e-mail marketing.

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GENERAL E-MAIL MARKETING
1.    Nearly two thirds of marketers rate their company e-mail as poor or average and less than 4% rate it as “excellent”.
2.    91% of consumers check their e-mail at least once a day.
3.    56% of businesses say they plan to increase their use of e-mail marketing in 2014.
4.    42% of marketers use e-mail service providers for services beyond e-mail broadcasting. This is up 12% from 2010.
5.    Companies that use an e-mail service provider are more likely to be satisfied with their e-mail marketing than companies who do not.
6.    Less than half (41%) of companies are using more than half of their e-mail system functionality, which has not improved since last year.
7.    In addition to broadcast e-mail, measurement and analytics, personalization, automated campaigns, and segmentation are the popular services provided by e-mail service providers that marketers tap into.
8.    Businesses are looking for deeper integration of e-mail with other business functions. The most common barrier to integrating e-mail with overall business strategies is disconnected systems and technologies.
9.    Only 8% of companies and agencies have an e-mail marketing team.  E-mail marketing responsibilities usually fall on one person as a part of her wider range of marketing responsibilities.
10.   There were 3.6 billion e-mail accounts in 2013.
11.   By 2016, the number will reach 4.3 billion.
12.   54% of e-mails sent by businesses are marketing messages.
13.   838 billion marketing messages were sent in 2013.
14.    91% of consumers check their e-mail daily.
15.    72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via e-mail.
16.    56% of businesses say they plan to increase their use of e-mail marketing in 2013.
17.    27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more e-mail.
18.    1 in 2 marketers use animated gifs in their e-mail campaigns.
19.    E-mail ad revenue reached $156 million in 2012.
20.    E-mail marketing spending grows 10% year over year.
21.    40% of B2B marketers rated the leads generated by e-mail marketing as high quality.
22.    74% of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications via e-mail
23.    The average clickthrough rate for B2B marketing e-mails in Q2 2013 was 1.7%.
24.    59% of companies are integrating e-mail and social channels together.
25.    17% of marketers don’t track or analyze e-mail metrics for their organization.
Takeaway:  An e-mail marketing plan should be developed that is fully integrated into your overall marketing mix.  Have an e-mail marketing calendar created to maximize engagement and sales with your active and past customers and prospects and have e-mails sent out regularly.

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MOBILE
1.    E-mail is the most popular activity on smartphones among users ages 18-44.
2.    Over half of smartphone users grab their smartphone immediately after waking up.
3.    64% of decision-makers read their e-mail via mobile devices.
4.    The #1 e-mail client for Gmail users is the iPhone’s built-in mail program, with 34% of all Gmail opens.
5.    32% of marketers do not have a strategy in place to optimize e-mails for mobile devices.
6.    39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile e-mail.
7.    48% of e-mails are opened on mobile devices.
8.    Only 11% of e-mails are optimized for mobile.
9.    69% of mobile users delete e-mails that aren’t optimized for mobile.
10.  Women click 10% more often than men on mobile e-mails.
11.   25% of e-mails are opened on iPhones.
12.  64% of decision-makers read their e-mail via mobile devices.
Takeaway:  Keep mobile at the center of your e-mail marketing plan.  Make sure links in your e-mails are optimized for mobile and readers can continue to engage via mobile.  Subject lines are more important than ever.

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SALES
1.    66% of US online consumers, ages 15 and up made a purchase as a result of e-mail marketing messages.
2.    Over 70% of mobile purchasing decisions are influenced by promotional e-mails.
3.    Over half of businesses achieve over 10% of total sales through e-mail marketing.
4.    44% of e-mail recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional e-mail.
5.    7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing e-mail in the prior week.
6.    66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message.
Takeaway:  E-mail marketing is a powerful sales channel.  It represents a growing % of company sales and profits.

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SUBJECT LINE
1.    Nearly one third of e-mail recipients open e-mail based on subject line alone.
2.    Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long has an open rate of 58%.
3.    Personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened.
4.    Crazy subject lines generate opens but will damage subscriber relationships. If you use a subject line such as “Free books”, you better actually offer free books.  An exciting subject line that gets someone to open an e-mail but leaves them with nothing special in return can have a negative effect on your business in the long-term.  Why would a subscriber open your next e-mail if they no longer trust you?
5.    Using “Alert” or “News” or “Bulletin” in subject lines significantly boosts open and click-through rates.
6.    Using “Daily” or “Weekly” in subject lines boosts open and click-through rates whereas “Monthly” hurts open rates and click-through rates.
7.    Using the words “Sale” or “New” or “Video” in subject lines boost open and click-through rates.
8.    For B2B companies, subject lines that contained “money,” “revenue,” and “profit” performed the best.
9.    64% of people say they open an e-mail because of the subject line.
Takeaway: The key to higher opens and click-through rates is consistency (daily or weekly), urgency (alert, news, bulletin), and special offerings (sale, new, video).  Don’t use insane subject lines unless they deliver as promised.  Run A/B Split Tests for subject lines when sending e-mails.

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LIST & DELIVERABILITY
1.    Almost half of subscribers are inactive on an e-mail list.
2.    Over 20% of marketing e-mails never make it to a subscriber’s inbox.
3.    E-mail open rates are noticeably lower on weekends than on weekdays.
4.    Sending four e-mails in a month instead of one significantly increases the number of consumers opening more than one e-mail.
5.    76% of e-mail opens occur in the first two days after an e-mail is sent.
6.    Gmail opens have decreased by 27% since May.
7.    82% of consumers open e-mails from companies.
8.    Suppressing anyone in your list who hasn’t engaged with your e-mails in over a year increases your deliverability rate by 3-5% immediately.
9.    Less than 1 in 2000 subscribers mark an e-mail as SPAM.
10.  This year, about 84% of all e-mail traffic will be spam.
11.   Roughly half of an e-mail list will be active – either opening or clicking on e-mails.
12.  Lists are responsible for 50% of the success or failure of a mailing and e-mailing campaign.
Takeaway:  Clean out your e-mail list every few months and avoid sending on weekends.  When selecting e-mail marketing software, make sure deliverability is strong.

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TESTING & OPTIMIZATION
1.    Design and content is the most time-consuming e-mail activity for marketers and it is taking away from spending time on testing and optimization.
2.    17% of marketers are not tracking e-mail marketing metrics for their organizations.
3.    E-mails that include social sharing buttons have a 158% higher click-through rate.
4.    Monday e-mails had the highest revenue per e-mail. (Experian 2012 Q4 E-mail Benchmark Report)
5.    A winning subject line test can beat a long-standing control by 100% or more.
Takeaway:  Use e-mail tools to spend less time designing and more time on testing and optimization.

These statistics tell a compelling story.  E-mail is still the preferred mode of communication, is still biggest driver of new leads, has an astronomical ROI, and should clearly be one of your top marketing priorities.

Posted in list rental, marketing, online marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, SEO, social networking, web marketing | 5 Comments

How to Select Profitable Outside Lists

The most important factor in determining the success of a direct marketing campaign is the list (who you mail, e-mail, call, or a combination of the three).  Lists account for approximately 50% of the success of a direct marketing campaign.  With so much riding on list performance and over  60,000 postal, email and telephone mailing lists from more than 1,400 vendors  to choose from, it is crucial to spend the time to select, and rent the lists with the best potential ROI.

The first step is to decide who you want to mail or email.  You need to focus and define your ideal target audience(s) who will find your message and offer most relevant.   Who are the most likely responders?   They often have similar attributes to your  most profitable customer groups or have bought similar products or services from competitors.  You may want to create different versions of your direct mail or email piece for these different groups of people. Marketing automation tools make this easier than ever.  You’ll want to analyze your own in-house customer list to identify your best customers and find more people like them to mail to.  80% of your business often comes from 20% of your customers.  Do you know who these customers are and what characteristics do they have in common?  To increase sales most profitably, you want to attract new customers who will be profitable for you to sell to/serve.  Your best future customers will be most like your existing best customers.

What if you don’t have a mailing list?  You should still try to determine the characteristics
of your customers.  You may want to pay a list service provider such as D&B to get your existing customer list appended (attached) with more information about your existing customers to help you better determine their characteristics.  Write down the characteristics of your most profitable customers.  This becomes your list selection criteria for when evaluating and selecting new direct mail lists to rent.  You generally will want to list demographic information such as age, sex, income level, location, etc. as well as psychographic or lifestyle information (hobbies or interest they may have).  When mailing to businesses you’ll also want to know what’s called “firmographic” information as well (how many employees the company has, their revenue, etc.)

Armed with this information, you can then rent lists that match these characteristics.  List brokers can often arrange a merge purge of your customer list and lists you are considering renting (especially with larger databases) to determine the number of duplicates (people on both lists). The lists with the most duplicates (overlaps) with your existing customer list generally perform better than lists without many duplicates.  The duplicates indicate a new list has similar customers to those who buy from you now.

You will want to provide list brokers with a list recommendation request which typically would include history of lists you have rented for the campaign you are working on. Profitable lists are called continuation lists.  Lists you are trying out are called test
lists.  Continuation lists have the best profit potential until list fatigue sets in.
Lists are typically rented for 1X usage, although you can often negotiate multiuse or annual use discounts which only make sense for proven continuation lists.

Although the best way to find a good list broker is from experience and word of mouth, you can also find them from key direct marketing publications such as DM News and Target Marketing, from DMA annual conferences, from list broker links on the NextMark site and by asking who others use in direct marketing groups on LinkedIn.   Once you find them, it is like hitting gold.  Some have specialties (international, non-profit, etc.).  They
can help navigate you through the complex list world which includes everything from compiled to response lists and more.   They have access to services such as NextMark for searching for lists meeting your specific criteria and can provide you with a custom list recommendation which would include a summary and data
cards of the list recommendations.

Most marketers don’t realize they can also do their own search on NextMark.  They also may not know there could be 20 different lists under mergers and acquisitions attorney for instance, and the lists will often perform very differently based on a number of factors (e.g. list quality, recency, and the makeup of the  list).  Strong continuation lists can  often lead you to additional segments from these lists to consider testing.  List brokers will know or can  find out who is renting a list and the continuation renters of a list (they  rent again and again) which often leads to more profitable lists. Re-rental of a list is a good indicator that the list is performing well for another  company.   They often know which lists are not doing well for their clients or clients of their firm.

Not all lists are in the NextMark system.  Doing online Google searches including ones on  associations in your target area can often lead to additional lists which may or may not be on the market which you may be able to test subject to the approval of the listowner.  Listowners are often willing to exchange lists with you if you have a list for rent which saves list rental cost for both sides and could lead to future list rentals.

You generally need to submit a sample of your mail or email piece to your broker which is forwarded to the listowner for approval. The listowner may deny a rental to competitors or to offers they don’t feel comfortable with.  A lot of direct mail lists are not available as e-mail lists (especially association lists) but it is worth  inquiring about.  Most e-mail lists are opt-in and generally the listowner will not allow a renter to do their own e-mail blast or via a renter’s outside e-mail service provider.  Often, an e-mail list owner won’t even let a  renter have their e-mail list go into their merge purge at a 3rd  party data processing company.  I have  found a way around this is to find out if the listowner will allow you to just have their direct mail list of the list you are renting go into your merge  purge whereby additional codes are added to each record and then the e-mail addresses are added to the records that survive the merge purge and thus can be e-mailed after opt-outs.

The base price is the price you pay to rent a list before  additional selects (e.g. hotline which indicates recency, industry, geographic,  gender, etc.)  A good list broker can
often negotiate a special net on larger rentals (e.g. 50K quantity or more) and
on smaller quantities where you can show a high duplication rate on a
continuation list you are looking to rent vs. your in-house suppression file
and other rented lists on a recent merge purge report.  They can often get selects waived to cut your list rental cost and the waived selects won’t impact their commission which
they work hard to get.  When you need to hit a certain quantity to mail and there is a limited universe of lists to choose from, you can look to negotiate on marginally profitable lists at pricing needed to hit ROI objectives.

Here are some more tips for selecting the best lists:

The best names on a list are generally “Hotline” names. These are the people who are new to the list within the past three or  six months or who have purchased or responded within this timeframe.  It’s a good idea to rent these names first to  see what the response rate is. If the Hotline names don’t respond, generally the entire list won’t either.

Be selective and precise in selecting who to mail to.  Through data-mapping, a publisher of reference books can specifically target medium  to large academic libraries. This process of eliminating inappropriate people is called suppression.

In most cases you need to test many lists for responsiveness and evaluate them relative to cost.

Make sure your prospects likely to be interested in your offer also have a proven history of acting on offers that interest them.

It’s a best practice to check references for a new list supplier carefully, especially if they don’t come recommended by a trusted source.

Request samples of lists you are considering to check for accuracy on LinkedIn and more.

By selecting the best suited lists coupled with some out-of-the-box creative ideas and strong negotiating, I was able to turn a marginally profitable campaign during strong economic times into a subsequent campaign that earned $700K in profit for my employer, during the worst economic slump in nearly eight decades.  You can profit from the best lists and list selection too.

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Mark Gottlieb’s Updated Resume

Mark Gottlieb

464A Liberty Street #102

Little Ferry, NJ  07643

Cell:  201-647-0199   Phone:  201-807-9091

Mgconslts@aol.com

http://www.linkedin.com/in/mgconslts

 
Accomplished, out-of-the-box thinking, marketing executive with a proven record of helping startup to Fortune 500 companies penetrate domestic and overseas markets.  Adept at using direct marketing, social media, and MARCOM to accomplish company goals.

Skills:  Broad digital, print, B2B, B2C, and global marketing experience, encompassing strategic planning, direct and e-mail marketing campaign planning and analysis, lead generation, e-commerce, web analytics, social media (e.g. blogging, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, content syndication, and content aggregation), search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), pay-per-click (PPC), branding, creative development, databases, public relations, competitive intelligence, advertising planning, business development, and sales promotion, with the ability to negotiate the lowest possible costs, and provide creative, innovative, enthusiastic and forward-thinking leadership in a team environment.
 
Key Industry Expertise:  Publishing, industrial, manufacturing, and technical and technology verticals.
 

Consulting Experience

 
Mark Gottlieb Consulting                                                                                                    Little Ferry, NJ, 1996 – Present

Proven experience generating domestic and international business for a wide range of companies and industries utilizing my strong marketing, digital marketing, and public relations experience.

Selected Accomplishments for Clients

  • Provider of security solutions to over 200,000 business customers and 25 million PC users–  Worked on a variety of projects encompassing lead generation, e-mail marketing, social media, content syndication, marketing automation, and project management.
  • Distributor of decorative millwork, moldings, and related products to businesses and consumersSales rose from $500,000 to $2 million in my first year consulting for this company.  Company grew from a small local millwork supplier to a large national catalog/online marketer thanks to my digital and direct mail marketing, market research, marketing strategies, press release coverage, e-commerce, and project managing and contributing to catalog and website production.
  • Mortgage subsidiary of largest USA based bank– Developed and implemented marketing campaigns averaging 100,000 in size and managed project tasks as this global financial services leader ramped up mortgage marketing.    
  • Lettershop– Sales rose $1 million the first year consulting for this company.  Introduced a NJ lettershop to the world of digital marketing via my social media, SEO, SEM, and PPC campaigns.  Also identified new target markets, developed promotions, and maximized press release coverage.
  • Major manufacturer and distributor of signage, displays, and display components– Placed my press releases in over 1,000 key publications/online media around the world.  One of my PR placements resulted in a new distributor for a recently launched product line that quickly generated orders in excess of $1 million.
  • Manufacturer and supplier of bendable substrates for a wide range of businesses– Sales increased from $4 million to $6 million in my first year thanks largely to my identification of new markets and business from my free press in 90+ magazines that generated nearly 2,000 leads.
  • Large global distributor, importer, and manufacturer of specialty hardware and complementary products– Lead generation predominantly from my press releases for salespeople and branding for major Toronto Stock Exchange listed company during its crucial USA market launch phase.
  • Top global information technology company– Obtained speaking opportunities for key executives to polish their public image and introduce new product lines.

 

Professional Experience

 
MARKETING MANAGER, Marquis Who’s Who LLC (B2B publisher of reference books and online content)                                                                                  New Providence, NJ, 2001 – August 2010

  • Consultant from 2001-2007 and hired full-time in 2007.  Marquis Who’s Who top management signed written approval allowing me to consult with other companies during off hours.
  • Increased book and product sales as much as 200% and profits from these sales as much as 800%.  One campaign generated $700,000 in profit on a $200,000 investment.
  • Negotiated 80-100% reductions in list rental costs through innovative out-of-the-box thinking including list exchanges.
  • Saved $500,000 per year in information production costs while maintaining high quality standards.
  • Managed marketing for all books which were sold globally included Marquis Who’s Who titles, Official Museum Directory, Official Catholic Directory, Direct Marketing Marketplace, and others.  Also managed marketing of other titles from LexisNexis and Bowker prior to Reed Elsevier divesting Marquis Who’s Who and Bowker.
  • Instrumental in the successful migration from reference book to web subscription sales.
  • Created, analyzed, and executed frequent, broad based integrated campaigns for books and online reference products including e-commerce, web analytics, and social media.  Campaigns ranged from the thousands to millions in size.
  • Developed out-of-the-box tests that resulted in increased purchase rate of 50% and more.

 
MARKETING MANAGER, Spiral Binding Company, Inc. (manufacturer and distributor of business equipment and supplies)                                                                                                                                          Totowa, NJ, 1997 – 1999

  • Sales rose 25% through my maximizing business with current customers and producing new sources of strong revenue with additional customers in best current markets and new markets, domestically and abroad.
  • Built the Spiral Binding Company name and business through my marketing and promotional campaigns, which included the development of profitable catalogs and marketing materials.
  • Managed profit and loss; developed and executed budgets.
  • Supervised and worked with creative staff and managed the activities of computer service bureaus, a mailing/fulfillment house, photographers, and production departments.
  • Explored alternative media for customer acquisition and successfully launched and marketed a company Website on the Internet.  Developed strategies to keep company’s web pages consistently near the top of all key search engines to maximize ‘hits’ and leads.

MARKETING MANAGER, Outwater Plastics/Industries, Inc. (distributor of moldings, P.O.P. and store fixture products, lighting, and millwork that targets both B2B and B2C)                                             Bogota, NJ, 1987 – 1996

  • Developed and implemented marketing campaigns responsible for driving global sales from $7 million to $26 million and the customer base from 23,000 to 86,000 during this period.
  • Discovered and successfully launched a product line that became the foundation for a successful company spinoff.  The spinoff went from 0 to $8 million in sales in 3 years.
  • Three hundred press releases worth in excess of $150,000 per year were printed/broadcast by various media.  The number of leads and subsequent business from press releases often outperformed advertising results.

WRITING AND WORDPRESS POSTINGS, Mark the Marketer Blog                                  Little Ferry, NJ, 2011 – Present https://markthemarketer.wordpress.com/

I created this blog to gain access to a larger potential client/networking population.  By providing free value added services such as cutting edge ideas and insights on marketing techniques, I was able to network and build my LinkedIn connections which continue to grow exponentially and now exceed 8,000.

Professional Affiliations

Social Media Marketing LinkedIn Group Moderator (733K mbrs.)
Social Media Marketing Innovators LinkedIn Group Owner
B2B Content Marketing
Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Network
Direct Marketing Association Official
Ecommerce and Online Marketing Experts
DMA Business-to-Business Council
Forbes CMO Network
Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association
DMCNY – The Direct Marketing Club of New York
Publishers and Book Sellers Association
Social Media Marketing
Those in Media
B to B Marketing

Education

Bachelor of Science in Marketing
Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J.

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Check out my marketing consulting website

http://markgottliebconsulting.weebly.com/index.html

 

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