Size Matters: List Building Equals Business Footprint
There is one business secret that’s so easy to do, I’m amazed when I see resistance to it.
It’s list building.
I’d go so far as to say, if you don’t have a list, you don’t have a business. In fact, if you tell me the business you’re in and how many contacts you have in your database, I can tell whether you’re making money or not.
Here’s a general benchmark by industry category of how many names should be on your marketing database if you’re an SMB (small business). These are minimums based on my experience with client databases. Certainly, the more the better…if you actually do anything with your names!
1,500 Professional Services
Following the “10X Rule” (10 times easier to sell a customer than find a new one), you should have 10 times more prospects on your list than customers. If you don’t, it’s time to buy a targeted mailing list and start prospecting.
One of the best ways to prospect is to call to get email addresses of your business contacts. In our office, we get an 80% permission rate. We’re not pitching; we’re offering valuable information. Then we put these people on a drip marketing series, based on their interest.
We’ve used this strategy for more than 4 years. Time consuming? You bet. But our opt-out rate is very low and we generate plenty of leads to keep all of us busy. Just this week, we got a “Let’s go; we’re ready” call from a prospect we first contacted over a year ago. There was never a doubt we’d be his vendor of choice–he’d received valuable info from us at least 24 times in our drip marketing campaign. (We could even tell which emails he read and which ones he ignored, so we were pretty prepared when he called!)
The size of your list matters. It’s one of the KPI’s of being in business. If your list is too small, your footprint in the marketplace is a tip-toe, not a stomp.