Building a Contact List

One of the most powerful tools of the marketing industry is an employee’s list of contacts or their ‘black book’.  A contact list should include a wide range of people, including current and former clients, managers, coworkers and even former employers.  Keep your contacts up-to-date and check in with them periodically to ensure they can become a great help when needed.

Leverage Personal Networks
In marketing, it can be hard to continuously come up with warm leads and opportunities.  This can cause the agent to become stuck at a roadblock, and may think of giving up altogether.  But one of the best ways to network is to use your current contacts in order to reach out and gain new leads.  Chances are that your clients and coworkers know someone, as the old saying goes, “that knows someone who knows someone”.  Of course, the agent must realize that not every person will be willing to help, or some simply may not have any information, but that doesn’t mean they have to give up.  Build your contact list with many different people from your personal networks so that you will always have different angles and options to use when seeking help or business leads.

Warm Lists
A warm list is a lead list created by the agent and typically consists of every person they know and have some sort of personal contact with.  After creating this list of prospects, the agent can better tell who would be interested in what they have to offer because they know a little more about the person’s situation and background.  By classifying your contacts in this manner, the agent is better equipped to offer them a product or service that is in their specific interests and needs.  Warm lists are designed to give you an edge on clients that are interested in what you have, rather than just asking a random group of people.

Warm lists can include:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Friends
  • Neighbors
  • Church members
  • Personal trainers/instructors

Internet Lead Generation
Internet lead generation is a marketing term that describes the process of gaining marketing leads through the internet, such as by ads, surveys or e-mail. Common examples include customer reward programs, loyalty programs, and other discount membership programs.  Clients voluntarily sign up for special programs, surveys, or simple ‘information requested’ forms.  These tools are used to build a contact list of clients that are interested in the company’s product or service.  From this point, the potential client is sending word to the agent saying they want more information and want to be contacted by the company.  These types of lead generators are a great tool for agents to gather warm leads and gain a head start when contacting potential clients.

Purchasing Lead Lists
One of the oldest marketing tools used is for an agent or company to purchase a third party lead list, which is created with a list of random names and contact information. Companies create the list and sell them by size – anywhere from 50 leads to over 1,000 at a time.  They were first created as mailing lists and offered consumer name and home address to which companies would mail cards or letters.  In our age of technology, lead lists have grown from including mailing addresses to including e-mails, cell phone numbers and even some online websites.  Companies can purchase these lead lists and attempt to ‘cold call’ these consumers to see if they are interested in their service or product.  However, since these purchased lists do not notate if the consumer is interested or not, much of the contact from these lists can be unwanted and is often labeled as ‘spam’ from the consumer.  Any company purchasing a lead list should proceed with caution and consider other methods of building their contacts first.

Case Study

Jeffrey and Beth were busy discussing new ways to add to their current marketing contact lists.  Beth commented that her list was running low on leads and Jeffrey said his contacts were very outdated.  At first, Beth suggested they could purchase a lead list online, but Jeffrey said that idea would likely produce little results, and resulted in a lot of spam.  Jeffrey then said they could try some form of internet lead generator, but Beth said that could take a lot of time and doesn’t create a personal relationship with the potential client.  Finally, Beth said they should re-vamp their contact lists and start from there.  She told Jeff she would begin speaking with other people in her network, such as some of the other employees and agency members to see if she had a contact that could refer her to new prospects.  Beth then told Jeff he should create a warm list of all the people he knows in his life and see if he could update his small contact list.  Jeff thought that was a great idea and said he would begin working on his list right away.