Can leads be achieved from old contact lists?

Your contact lists – are they in the best shape possible to convert contacts into business? Surely they are all up to date, neatly segmented to correspond to your target markets, with full details of all of your contacts?

Chances are, no matter how disciplined and organised you are with your contact lists, there’ll be an ‘old’ list lurking in the background. Perhaps, it’s from an old CRM system, or from an exhibition you attended a few years ago. So what’s the value of these old lists – they may as well be ditched, hadn’t they?

Not so fast!

If you take care to look after your lists by making regular contact, then you’ll find that they can reap rewards. Yes, it’s true of course that data degrades at around 30-40% per annum, due to all sorts of reasons – changing jobs, retirement, maternity leave, secondment etc. But even then, you just never know who is on the look out for what you offer.

What about ‘dodgy data’?

It’s worth pointing out here that we are talking about lists of contacts that are in some way qualified. For instance, contacts you met at an exhibition, through networking, a list of previous clients, or people who have been recommended or referred to you over the years. What we’re not talking about is dodgy data of the ‘disgruntled ex-employee sells company records for £299.95’ variety!

We recently took our own advice here at Essentiamail, and unearthed a list that had been neglected since we switched to our new CRM system several years ago. Some of the data was 5 years old or more even. Yet cleaning it up, by slowly introducing it back into our monthly email cycles, let us filter out what was null and void, what needed to be updated and what was worth keeping.

We found that:

• some of the companies were no longer trading
• many contacts had moved or changed roles
• most importantly, some were still very active and worth emailing

Why do old contact lists matter?

Not only was this a useful exercise in data cleansing, it actually led to some quality appointments being made and ongoing conversations. Combine your email efforts with a follow up phone call and you’ll open many more doors. Even if the contact you’re calling has left, you may well be passed through to the person who has taken over, and who knows where the conversation will take you.

The point we are making here is simple. There’s someone out there who needs your services, or is interested in your product. But if you’re not engaging with them, they’ve no way of knowing they need it.

So, clean up your data by emailing it, calling it or ping testing* it – and before you discard that old list, think twice. There could be a gem buried amongst the rubble.

*If you’d like to find out more about how ping testing works and the benefits, we can help, just give us a call.