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6 Effective List Building Techniques

Question: What are some effective techniques for building targeted and effective lists for email and print promotions I don’t want to waste my time marketing to the wrong people, and there are so many options on Agency Access to explore. I know there is no way to instantly generate an effective list, but what strategies do you recommend for researching and vetting possible marketing leads and developing lists over time? What sort of monthly list maintenance do you recommend?

When building targeted lists for email promotions and direct mail promotions, you need to be aware of a few basic criteria selections that will help keep your lists effective. Beyond criteria, you need to have an efficient system to organize and track results for both lists.

You should also have a notebook or management system that allows you to jot down notes about clients: i.e. Mr. Jones likes receiving email but not direct mail, or Ms. James at Company ABC hires fashion illustrators while Mr. Smith, also at Company ABC, hires food photographers. If you are an Agency Access member, you can use accessNetwork, which acts as a client relationship management (CRM) tool, for this purpose.

Here are a few important steps you should take when building your lists:

Step One: Promotion Type

If you are using a list building service, such as the one offered at Agency Access, it will ask you if the list you are creating is for an email promotion, direct mail or both. Make sure you choose the correct option for the list you are building; your numbers will reflect differently when you look at your email statistics if you choose both “email and direct mail” contacts.

Direct Mail and Email: 5,000 contacts

Email: 3,700 contacts

Direct Mail: 1,300 contacts

For example, contacts in a “direct mail” list will not have email addresses and therefore will not receive email promotions. If you build a list of both “email and direct mail” contacts – as in above example – and send out an email promotion, your list size reflected in email statistics would not be the same as it is in “Saved Lists” due to those “direct mail” contacts without an email address. Based on the example above, your email statistics would reflect 3,700 contacts, and not 5,000.

Step Two: Company Types

You need to pick the company type that relates to the work you do. For instance, if you are a fashion photographer you should not be marketing to all contacts listed under Department Stores. This will wind up being a waste of time for you and the industry contacts – it would be a better fit if you specifically market towards Department Stores

Step Three: Job Titles

After you have selected the proper company types, be sure to choose the top titles at those companies. By taking this approach, you ensure that you are marketing to decision makers, and not wasting your email credits. Below are examples of the main contacts in each company type:

Ad Agency: Art Buyer/Print Producer, Art Director, Creative Director

Magazines: Photo Editor, Art Director

Graphic Design: Art Buyer, Art Director, Creative Director, Graphic Designer

Step Four: Hiring Frequency

When using our accessData list building service, the next selection you will be able to make is hiring frequency. If you are a photographer, you will want to select on “Companies That Hire Photographers” and/or “Companies That Buy Stock Photography/Illustration.” If you are an illustrator, you would select on “Companies That Hire Illustrators” and/or “Companies That Buy Stock Photography/Illustration.”

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Step Five: Location

You also want to stick to geographic areas that are part of your target market. You can select from national to regional to specific cities and states.

Step Six: Specialty

We always stress creating the most-targeted list possible to ensure the highest success rate with your marketing campaign. Choose specialties that best reflect your work and industries you want to target. Again, if you are a fashion, photographer you would want to stick with all specialty types relating to fashion i.e. Magazines > Companies That Hire Photographers > Fashion/Apparel/Accessories or Graphic Design > Companies That Hire Illustrators > Fashion.

Optional Step Seven: Awards

Depending on how much presence you have in your desired industry, you can even break down contacts into companies or individuals who have won awards i.e. Graphic Design > Companies That Hire Illustrators > Fashion.

If you have a specific company in mind that you would like to work with, an alternative would be to search for a company in our directory search. You can look at the company details and it will show you exactly what specialties and brands the agency has. You can also click on the company website link and it will bring you to their website for further research if you wish.

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Building a List for Print Promotions

The best leads to include in a direct mail campaign, in addition to your short list of companies you really want to work with, are those who clicked and opened your email promotion. You can gather this information and download it right from the Agency Access website after you send out your email. These contacts are the most engaged with your work and represent your hottest leads.

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One Last Reminder

Our database is updated daily with companies and contacts that have been added or deleted. Be sure to refresh all of your lists before each promotion. That way all information is current and you are not wasting postage or email credits by using out of date information.

About Christie

Christie Starace is Agency Access’ Campaign Manager. Having worked in many different facets of Agency Access for the past seven years ranging from customer service to research, she currently runs the Campaign Manager and Campaign Manager Pro programs. Her love and passion for the programs continues to grow strong with each new client. She currently has a BA in Business Management. Agency Access

Related Articles:

1. A Coveted Spot: Getting Your Promos on a Creatives Desk

2. Email Mass Marketing vs. Targeting Art Buyers

3. 10 Simple Steps for Executing Email Campaigns

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