Specializing in Marketing Services for the Learning and HR Solutions industries

Archive for September 2012

List Acquisition for Marketing

Factors for a List Acquisition

Contacts lists for marketing or other purposes can vary greatly in quality and accuracy. In acquiring a contact list, several factors should be considered, including, but not limited to:

• Reputation of the list source (or agency selling list)
• Fields of data provided
• Price
• Allowed use of list

List Construction & Maintenance

A major factor in the price of lists is the method of construction.

Bad Lists
For example, most of the low-priced contact lists are derived by software web crawlers being set forth on the internet to electronically examine websites and extract email addresses. Invariably, these crawlers find outdated email addresses or email addresses that are associated with spam operations (e.g. info@. . . , or jobs@ . . . .) Avoid these types of lists at all costs.

COX Lists
Source of COX Contacts
Lists that COX uses and sells use a very different method of construction. The list construction generally conforms to the following process in most cases:
1. Initial working list is acquired via some method (e.g. associations).
2. Individual(s) are contacted to verify (a) they are still there, (b) contact info is current and accurate, and (c) they are responsible for influencing a training or HR decision.
3. Additional research is accomplished to capture other data (e.g. Employee size, company revenue, etc.)

The third-party lists that COX sells generally conform to the above process. And the COX contact database that we internally use and rent to clients are derived from these same processes and organizations.

Maintenance of COX Contacts

COX has found that contact lists “get old” or “go bad” at an initial rate of approximately 5% per month for the first 4-5 months, with the rate slowing over time. By “old”, we mean that people have left the company, changed jobs, or vital information about the contact has changed (e.g. different telephone #). At 12 months, approximately 30-35% of most contact lists are now bad.

The COX team spends tens of thousands of dollars every year in the maintenance of our contact lists. We allocate significant time by our DBAs (database administrators) in their utilization of modern DB techniques and state-of-the art tools and systems to continually manage and clean our contacts. COX also maintains a staff whose primary job is the manual parts of contact database management that cannot be addressed via DBA activities. COX spends tens of thousands of dollars every year in DBA resources, tools, systems along with these manual support procedures in order to save you time and dollars.

Just Released! Learning Technology Solutions Forecast: 2013 Edition

If you don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, this report could be the next best thing to predict what lies ahead in 2013!

Based on a primary research study conducted by Cox eLearning Consultants, LLC,Learning Technology Solutions Forecast: 2013 Edition; summarizes the results of this annual study. This is the worldwide report regarding learning technology solutions and trends. The major findings of this study include:

• the projected buying trends for learning technology solutions in 2013 and beyond;
• the top 3 features that are most important in each of a variety of learning solutions;
• the top features that influence acquisitions of learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS);
• the applications that companies support with various learning solutions;
• COX’s own predictions for 2013, based on the study’s results.

The report is available for sale and immediate download at the COX eStore for the introductory price of $145 which is valid through 10/31/12. To purchase the report, click here to go to the COX eStore.

Skillsoft Acquires MindLeaders

MindLeaders to Complement Skillsoft’s Capabilities for Serving Global Compliance and Certification Markets.

Email Strategy Marketing 101

While talking with a client today, it dawned on me that something we at Cox eLearning Consultants take for granted is not necessarily common knowledge in many businesses. That is Email Marketing Strategy 101. Email Marketing is still one of the key ways to gain brand awareness and exposure to a broad and large audience, BUT to be effective it must follow a well thought out strategy.

The strategy that Cox eLearning Consultants has found to be most effective follows these guidelines:

• Focus – don’t overload the email with too much information and keep it short and to the point!

• Frequency – make a habit of sending out 1 – 2 email campaigns a month. The frequency will build brand exposure, and it will also give you a greater chance at reaching your target audience at a time they are in purchase mode for your product. How many times have you skipped contacting a prospect for a couple of months only to find that you missed out on that opportunity because a competitor did reach out at the right time?

• Targeted Marketing – identify specifically who your audience is by industry, title, geography and company size.

• Overt Benefit – It must be absolutely clear what the benefit(s) will be in buying your product.

• Dramatic Difference – it must be clear that buyer will benefit from this offer in a dramatic way over alternatives presented in the marketplace.

In the big picture at Cox eLearning Consultants, we find that it is also very important to take checks and balances on individual campaigns to determine what is working best, what has stopped working and needs to be changed or freshened, and to continue the methods that have proven to be successful. This takes active and pro-active email campaign management to be successful.
Happy Email Marketing!

Lisa Bailey September 7, 2012