Email in the US received a significant boost thanks to quality data providers.


Article translated by Google, apologies for any inaccuracies.
Read the full article (in French).

France holds the record deliverability of email messages in Europe with 91.1% in the second half of 2011 (according ReturnPath, March 2012). If we consider that this performance is the result of database performance and quality data, why the bad image of emailing? Below is an excerpt of an interview with Frédéric Pichard, Founder and President of Zebaz.

The Workshop: is emailing really threatened?

Frédéric Pichard: No. Used properly, email becomes a weapon of mass construction! It allows you to finely select market segments. United States, the market will grow emailing 53% between 2010 and 2014. Not bad for a supposedly saturated channel!  The development of mobility also offers a second life to email. smartphones and tablets will become the primary mode of reading emails over the computer.  According to the study conducted by European ReturnPath in March 2012, 41% of messages are not optimized for mobile viewing.  Boosted by mobile, email in the United States saw a significant boost, thanks to database providers such as Jigsaw and NetProspex.  Hard bounce rate does not exceed 5%, the opening rate is higher than 25% and as high as 75% on “Triggered emails” from form registrations.
Read the full article (in French).

5 Ways to Make a MQL Sales-Ready

NetProspex Go-To- Market

You may be asking yourself, “So, what is a MQL?” Great question! A MQL is a Marketing QualifiedLead, or someone who has engaged with your marketing efforts enough to meet your company’s definition as ready to be passed from marketing to sales. This definition is straightforward, however it is how companies define their MQLs that needs a closer look.

So often, sales teams complain that a MQL has not been truly qualified by marketing before handing it over, resulting in wasted time and resources and increasing tension between the two. As you consider how your organization defines exactly what criteria is necessary for a MQL, keep the following tips in mind:

1.    Truly identify the buyer. The best marketing teams work with sales to learn about and define their best buyers. Both teams come to agree upon the definition of a lead that is ready for sales. Once you have this definition – deliver on it; don’t send along unripe leads or it will undermine your credibility with sales. Having this foundation in place will set the proper expectations between sales and marketing and ensure that marketing can measure their contribution to the number at the end of each month.

2.    Message to the buyer. Seems pretty obvious, but all too often companies send the same message to all of their buyers. Different buyers have different needs, which is why many companies build buyer personas to understand the needs of their customers, their likes and dislikes, even their personalities! Aligning your value to the buyer persona helps you talk in terms of what they care about. Today, relevance is critical in getting folks to pay attention.

3.    Understand the buyer’s journey. Buyers require different information at different stages of their buying cycle to move their decision-making forward. As part of your efforts to get to know the buyer, you should understand HOW they buy and what info they require to make a decision. Understand what gets them to consider, evaluate and select your product and then align your assets to it. Anything other than the info they need is akin to the sound of the grownups in the Peanuts cartoons (“mwa, mwah, mwah waah”).

4.    Content is your greatest tool. Let’s face it; the days of features and benefits are over. We live in a world full of solutions and value-adds. One way of differentiating is with truly unique, educational content around the problems your company solves. If you continuously offer compelling content, prospects engage and self-identify as MQLs.

5.    Avoid the asylum. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Today’s marketers measure the heck out of what they produce. With automation systems that make it easy to measure, not falling victim to insanity should be easy. Here is a rule: If it is not working, STOP! That doesn’t mean try again or send it to “one more list”. It means halt and reevaluate what you are doing:

  • Have you properly identified your buyer?
  • Do you know what they care about and respond to?
  • Do you know how they make their decisions?
  • Are you providing them with the info they seek in the places they like to get that info?


Getting it right is an evolution and good marketers roll with the tide and constantly test and evolve their strategy. These tips should provide a good starting point for that evolution.

Article provided by NetProspex.

Soundbites from our B2B Marketing Breakfast

NetProspex B2B Marketing Breakfast

25 smart B2B marketers gathered at Netprospex HQ this morning, joined by Ann Handley of MarketingProfs to discuss content marketing. Thank you to everyone who came out, and contributed to the conversation. Below are some soundbites from the event:

Sketch by CEO Gary Halliwell

“He who has the budget creates the content.”

“Marketer’s don’t always call it ‘content marketing’. They say ‘branding’ – and storytelling is used to ensure everyone from the CFO to the guy who opens the warehouse doors is saying the same message.”

“We’ve heard marketers are publishers… but marketers are really producers. They take stories and produce them across multiple formats for distribution across multiple channels. They slice and dice a story into 140 characters and eBooks alike.”

“Aligning with sales is the new black… but often times sales is trained in a separate language than marketing uses. I predict a new focus on helping marketers and sales speak the same language across content.”

Keep it simple. None of your readers will ever complain that you’ve made it too simple.”

“At MarketingProfs we’ve started creating info-doodles. A picture is worth 1,000 slogans.”

“B2B brands want to be more human, and the tone of content can help humanize a brand.”

Ann recommends adopting the Flawesome methodology… “being awesome despite your flaws. Content doesn’t have to be perfect, humans aren’t perfect.”

“We’re trying to convince our team that it’s OK to write like a human.”

Like us on Facebook to see photos from today’s event.

Follow the hashtag #marketingbfast for more takeaways.

We could have talked for hours… stay tuned for our next event where we can continue the conversation. Special shoutout again to Ann Handley of MarketingProfs for being our special guest today.




Trends in data analysis offer opportunities, challenges

NetProspex in BtoB magazine
July 23, 2012 – 12:01 pm EDT

This month’s Business Mailers’ Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference, hosted by database marketing company MeritDirect in White Plains, N.Y., was rife with discussions about measuring data performance, integrating data, data licensing, and just about everything pertaining to this year’s topic, Big Data.

“Why is it so difficult to understand what information to use, how to extract the most value from it and how to measure it?” said Charles Stryker, CEO of data consultancy The Venture Development Center, Mount Laurel, N.J. “Companies are using less than one-tenth of one percent of the data they could be using. The opportunity to ingest the appropriate data you’re not ingesting is monumental.”

One trend promising to extract more value from data is data licensing, whereby marketers purchase lists for extended use over time, instead of renting them for one-time use only.

“Data licensing is a dramatic departure from how to sell and use data,” said Chris Blohm, senior VP-data and media services with MeritDirect. With data licensing, the lists are sent directly to the marketer (instead of a bonded mail house) for use in any way, and as often, as that marketer sees fit. Typically, the license runs for one year.

Blohm said the trend is being driven by the rise of online data compilers such as Inc.’s (formerly Jigsaw), Database101, NetProspex and ZoomInfo, with transactional websites that allow marketers to assemble and buy lists from compiled and crowd-sourced techniques.

A one-year list license allows marketers to conduct multiple campaigns that delve deeper into companies; integrate the purchased data across various parts of the business, including both sales and marketing; better measure results and compare them to the performance of in-house lists; and augment partial in-house records.

“Because of this type of buying method, marketers have changed the way they think about and acquire data,” Blohm said.

Marketers eager for better data insights aren’t stopping there.

According to Stryker, increasingly useful sources of data collection include data from search and social media, as well as from Web crawling and crowd-sourcing.

Search data can be used to identify prospect companies whose employees are searching for particular products, offering an early warning sign of pending purchases, Stryker said. An analysis of social media, meanwhile, helps verify the accuracy of database contacts, and identifies what people like and don’t like.

Web crawling and crowd sourcing offer distinct ways to identify Web users and their professed needs. And when these four data sources are cross-matched, even more accurate, insightful information can be made available, he said.

However, Stryker acknowledged that “the weak link today is finding people with the skill at looking at billions of data points and extracting insights from them.”

Bruce Biegel, senior managing director at marketing consultancy Winterberry Group, cited another challenge facing marketers: integrating “known” data from in-house lists with unknown or vague information offered by website visitor behavior.

“One of the most interesting cases is recognizing somebody when they come to your site, and giving them the right offer,” Biegel said. “When 80% of your audience is completely anonymous, how do you treat them?

“If I can organize this data, stop it from being so messy and segment it, I can then feed it into a decision engine to make the right offers to the right people at the right time,” he said.

Biegel urged marketers to create a “registration ethos” at their companies, to build their email databases for purposes beyond email campaigns.

“The key to syncing, matching and recognition is the email address,” said Biegel, noting email’s relationship to browser identity. “The more you can do to get people to subscribe, register or declare with their email addresses, the bigger pool you’ll have available for matching that information with the known contacts in your CRM database.”


NetProspex a finalist for “Innovative Technology of the Year” Award from Mass TLC

NetProspex clients

Woohoo! We’re thrilled to be recognized as a finalist for the Innovative Technology of the Year- Sales and Marketing award from the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.

Our B2B data cleansing solution CleneProspex was recognized for having a “significant impact on the company, customer, and market.”

Contact data quality is a problem that plagues B2B marketers, yet a company’s prospect database is at the core of every lead generation program. Often, companies build this database over time, from multiple sources, with data that is constantly decaying. In fact, according to SiriusDecisions, one third of a marketing database goes bad in the course of one year.

Our CleneProspex™ service is used to assess and improve the quality of a client’s prospect database. The service identifies and removes records with an undeliverable email address, potential email threats, out of date phone numbers, missing fields, or duplicates. With this service, marketers improve their program results, reduce costs and risks associated with bad data, identify gaps in their prospect database, and realize greater business value from their contact records. Clients can then fill in missing data from a massive, crowd-sourced database of business contacts.

Who’s Who in BtoB Magazine? NetProspex CEO Gary Halliwell, that’s who!


Congratulation to NetProspex CEO, Gary Halliwell for his recognition in BtoB Magazine’s “Who’s Who in Direct Mail” 2012.

“This year, Halliwell spearheaded a $7 million capital financing deal to extend the company’s database compilation capabilities, crowd-sourcing of sales leads and channel partner integration. The Software & Information Industry Association named NetProspex a double CODiE award winner as best lead-generation service and top solution for integrating content into work flow.”

Read the full listing here.



Which Boston Internet and digital media companies added the most jobs in Q2?

NetProspex in Boston Globe

By Scott Kirsner, Globe Columnist

The executive recruiting firm Cook Associates has started to produce an interesting quarterly report on hiring at Boston-based Internet and digital media companies. And Cook Associates managing director John Barrett was nice enough to walk me through it this morning.Barrett uses LinkedIn to examine 137 Internet and digital media companies that have 10 or more employees in Boston, and see whether they are adding jobs, cutting jobs, or staying the same. (He doesn’t include employees added at other offices, and he says he verifies numbers with some of the companies on the list — but not all.) In Q2, Barrett found that his cohort of 137 companies added 400 jobs. Fifty-nine percent increased their headcount, 31 percent decreased it, and 10 percent kept it stable.

The ten Internet and digital media companies that added the most jobs in Boston were:

1. Vistaprint
2. Turbine
3. TripAdvisor
4. Google
5. Wayfair
6. Constant Contact
7. TechTarget
8. HubSpot
10. Fiksu

Barrett, who works out of Cook Associates’ Burlington office, tells me that since he started tracking this data at the beginning of 2012, “we saw a very sharp slow-down in hiring in Boston at the end of April and early May, among early-stage companies. That was not happening in New York.” What’s going on?

Barrett says there are two major generators of Internet and digital media jobs in Boston and New York: venture capital funding, and Silicon Valley companies setting up branch offices. “In the last 24 months, investment in Internet and digital media companies in Boston has been at roughly 50 percent of the dollars going into the sector in New York,” says Barrett. “And New York has had a huge influx of west coast Internet companies opening offices there, like LinkedIn and Yelp.” By contrast, he says, in our neighborhood,’s Cambridge office is still fairly small, and Google’s Cambridge office has grown from about 750 people to 782 in the last six months. “That’s just about two percent,” he says.

Over the course of 2012, Barrett predicts that employment in the Internet and digital media sector in Boston will grow about 10 percent, “which, for one of the fastest-growing segments of our economy, is pretty sluggish.” Employment in New York will grow 25 to 30 percent this year, he estimates.

Barrett’s top 10 list above includes the ten companies that have added the most headcount in the quarter. He also assembles a list of “up-and-coming” private companies, which have all added between six and fifteen employees in the quarter — often building on a smaller base. “These are companies that have not yet exited, and are growing very aggressively,” he says. They are:

● Bluefin Labs
● Cartera Commerce
● CustomMade
● DataXu
● Hopper
● Jana
● Nanigans
● NetProspex
● nSphere
● Percipio Media
● Rue La La
● Scvngr
● SimpleTuition
● TipTap
● Visible Measures
● WordStream


Why “list” is no longer a 4-letter word

NetProspex lists

Gary Halliwell, July 17, 2012
Marketing lists have a bad reputation. For B2B organizations, acquiring information about potential customers has historically meant buying or renting lists from publishers and professional directories. Poor data quality, lack of coverage, and few segmentation options were some of the limitations of an industry that owes much of its thinking and behavior to the byzantine, non-digital world of direct mail, rather than the needs of marketers driving today’s revenue generation engines. “List” is often a four-letter word associated with a sketchy industry.

However, we are seeing a turning point in the B2B data industry that has occurred because of the incredible growth of customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation — a sector that has boomed throughout the current recession. The combination of technology and business process automation in the sales and marketing environment continues to deliver revenue for companies large and small. However, when you mix dirty data and automation, quite simply, nothing happens. I refer to this as “friction” in the lead generation process, and it has been the impetus for change in the data industry, forcing the separation of the wheat from the chaff.

Marketing and CRM automation provide the plumbing of today’s sales process. Data are the things flowing through the pipes, and dirty information will easily gum up the works. When marketing emails bounce and sales follow-up calls reach a dead end, bad data get really expensive really fast in a revenue generation environment. Today’s B2B marketers are smart — they aren’t using lists for “spray and pray” tactics, but rather for targeted audience development driven by a bloom of content marketing. They’re also smarter data shoppers — not falling for the old tricks of buying data without accountability for its performance. Today, data acquisition and maintenance strategies are key ingredients of successful marketing departments.

This new market drove the turning point; the old way just wasn’t working for marketers, and the data providers needed to change. Fortunately, at the same time this was occurring, technology came into existence that forever overhauled the list business as we know it. Sets of segmented, consistent data of high quality are now the tools of a savvy marketer and the fuel that amplifies persona-based content marketing through automated systems. Marketers today can choose to work with data that have been “scrubbed” to ensure greater accuracy, disparate information can be combined more easily, and, with the advent of this cleaner and more complete data set, marketers can perform more complex segmentation, slicing and dicing to their hearts’ content.

Today’s marketer has choices when it comes to buying lists and improving the data they already have. As the industry continues to evolve, buyers will want to perform due diligence when they select a partner. Marketers can and should:

  • Know the origin of the list data
  • Be familiar with the methodology being used to keep the data clean
  • Expect reputable list providers to offer a guarantee
  • Ensure their email campaigns are CAN-SPAM compliant
  • Look for a partner that provides additional data services that may be helpful, such as data cleansing

When done right, lists can be a respected and critical part of successful B2B marketing programs. Marketers leveraging automation, lead scoring, content marketing, and inbound web registrations all have one critical piece of the puzzle in common: contact and company data. The B2B data companies willing to rise to the challenge can become partners for marketers who need to amplify their messaging and create demand. The rest will be left behind.


11 takeaways from the “Building the Marketing Dream Team” webinar

Dream team

Yesterday, our Senior Director of Demand Generation, Tamara Graves, presented alongside Ellen Valentine, Product Strategist at Silverpop, and Talibah Mbonisi, Manager of Marketing Operations at Silverpop. The event was hosted by Kate Maddox, Executive Editor at BtoB. Register and watch the on-demand recording here.

It was a jam-packed hour full of actionable insight as to what it takes to build the marketing dream team at a B2B organization today. If you couldn’t make it, here are 11 takeaways from the event:

1. Marketing is changing, our teams must change with it.
The four major drivers of marketing change today include the rise of social media, buyers’ self service mentality, new marketing technology and solutions, and smartphone/tablet proliferation.

2. The role of marketing operations is taking the place of email specialists and database managers.





3. PR & Media planning roles are seeing a shift to focus on inbound, content, digital, and social marketing.


4. There’s a new role model for B2B demand gen marketers: Karl “The Mailman” Malone.


5. A demand gen marketer is responsible for campaigns that work the whole funnel from top to bottom

6. There’s a difference between demand gen and sales execution.


7. Demand gen marketers don’t only care about the # of leads created, but rather, how much $$ it adds to revenue.


8. Marketing operations professionals are the key to marketing tool selection and integration/strategy.


9. Change hurts for B2B companies… as more than half of the webinar attendees don’t have an operations position.

10. Today’s marketer is a techie, data nerd, creative, and diplomat…. all rolled into one fabulous being.

11. Marketers should add “tin cupping” to their skill set.

Understanding the shifting roles of marketing professionals will be key for B2B organizations in the future as technology continues to shape our strategy in new and exciting ways. Register and watch the on-demand recording here.

Fueling the B2B revenue machine


The latest in our series: You bought a list – now what?

We always talk about marketing automation as the engine in a Ferrari – it only runs with quality fuel, in our world, that means quality B2B data.

Robert Rosenthal recently posted a great article “B2B Marketing Is Now a Revenue Machine. Really The post is a great summary of the opportunity for B2B marketers today to create demand with on-demand data prospect services, digestible content, short videos, and powerful marketing automation.

Until recently, it could take B2B marketers years to dramatically expand a prospect database. Now, thanks to newer data sources, you can do it quickly – for a small fraction of the conventional cost.

These records include email addresses in compliance with CAN-SPAM. So you’re able to regularly market to prospects via cost-effective email advertising – without constantly paying rented media or offline production charges.

One question that NetProspex customers face when using a targeted list is what to send this list. The content is just as important as the list. Robert suggests videos without a registration form, as they’re educational, fascinating, and easily digestible. We just finished a similar video for our Data Assessment Report, check it out!

Of course, this also means prospects can tune you out by ignoring your email – or simply opting-out. And if you ask prospects to fill out a form to receive a reward, the overwhelming majority will essentially say “Thanks but no thanks.”

So while B2B marketers are able to grow the database rapidly, they won’t win hearts and minds so fast. What’s typically needed is an email campaign that breaks through, makes the right impression on prospects, and gets them to act.

Web video is an increasingly popular way to educate B2B prospects. It’s the power of television, without the waste. Video enables you to run a conceptual series packed with emotional ideas – pulled off in brand-appropriate ways. When Web video is executed properly, engagement rates often soar.

To get the most out of every prospect list, Robert suggests automating your marketing efforts.

Marketing automation technology not only takes results reporting to another level, it transforms the relationship between sales and marketing. The two functional areas agree on precisely what constitutes a sales-worthy lead. Marketing finally stops hearing “All the leads suck” from sales. And sales continually sees more genuine prospects to pitch through real-time reporting and instant lead-routing; triggered campaigns; and other good stuff from the marketing team.

Place all the stars in alignment and B2B marketing really, truly can become a consistent revenue machine.

Read the original post. 

Thanks for letting us share your thoughts, Robert!