Build a Custom Database

How we build a custom database

When building custom databases we use a combination of web research and telemarketing. We start with the web research, which is heavily dependent on Google and LinkedIn. We also use telemarketing where necessary. We employ local telemarketers and a team in Manila to do the web research.

2 Database Building Options - Company Search Vs Open Search

Company Search

About 70% of the time, clients will ask us to build a database around a set of target companies. An example might be that they want us to build a database of IT managers from Legal Firms with more than 50 employees. This involves a 2 step approach. Step 1 is to research the companies. Once we have created the target list, we then send it to the client to have them remove any companies which they want to exclude. Typically this will be because the company is an existing customer or because they have an existing sales relationship. Once the list has been checked, then in Step 2 we use further web research to identify the individuals, together with their job title, website and main phone number.

Where we cannot find a key individual through web research, we use telemarketing to call and ask for the right person.

Open Search

Some clients are more job function focused than industry/market sector/target company focused. An example might be that they want "IT Security Managers from any company in California". Their thinking might be that any company that can afford to hire a dedicated IT Security Manager, probably has the budget to afford their services. In this scenario, we use Google search strings which we have refined over time. This type of search is easier and quicker but is less thorough. It often fails to pick up managers who might be responsible for security but whose job titles are non-specific, such a IT Manager. Telemarketing cannot be used in the search phase.

Obtaining emails and related opt-in permission

Once we have identified the right contacts, we are usually asked to also obtain their emails and related opt-in permission. For this we need a "carrot" that we can offer in exchange for the prospects' email. A great carrot would be an invitation to attend a short event with 3 high profile guest speakers.

A "tired" carrot, would be an invitation to download a product brochure or a press release that is claimed to be a case study.

A simple rule applies. The better the carrot, the easier it is to get emails and this lowers the cost per email obtained.

In general, an email opt-in campaign will be run as part of a broader campaign, such as an on-going lead nurturing program. This is the way of the future.

Database Size

A custom database should be all about quality rather than quantity. Anything between 100 and 500 contact records is pretty normal.

Costs and expectations

Database research typically works out at about $2.50 per name. Therefore a custom database of 100 contacts, would cost $250.

Obtaining opted in emails typically works out at about $9 per record. Therefore to opt-in a database of 100 contacts would cost $900. However, this cost is very dependent on the quality of the carrot and the target sector. And at least 50% of this cost should be attributed to the underlying campaign. We can give you a better estimate, if we know what kind of carrot and target sector we're dealing with.

The percentage of prospects that can be opted in, in a "1.5 calls per prospect, on average, budget", is usually between 65% and 80%.

Most campaigns are run on a set budget.


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