How to Generate Leads Without Committing Criminal Acts

I’m willing to bet my socks that B2B lead generation is a key focus area for every modern marketing professional these days. It’s a kind of sad, though understandable, phenomenon which can work to diminish the impact of marketing down to the number of appointments the department can set for sales.

As you might imagine, I’ve got a lot to say about that trend. But for the sake of this post, let’s drill down into some tips to get results from your B2B lead gen campaigns – without breaking the law. After all, reaching out uninvited to cold prospects with hot offers can be a tricky and nuanced task. Here is some advice from an old pro:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the CAN-SPAM act. Compliance with CAN-SPAM should be your first order of business, as violations can be pretty severe. I’ve never actually heard of anyone getting nailed for it, but trust me: you don’t want to get your company on the wrong side of that.
  1. Stop filling your CRM or marketing automation tool with purchased lists. Just stop doing that. If sales is insisting, elevate this conversation to executive leadership. Filling your outbound email tool with purchased names is the quickest way to get your IP address flagged as a spammer. It’s also probably in violation of the terms of service of your automation tool. And it doesn’t work. TREAD CAREFULLY.
  1. Ramp up your inbound efforts. Start delivering insightful, funny, analytic, poignant, interesting content to your audience to get them to choose to hear from you. Focus on delivering value to your reader. Forget about becoming a thought leader: it’s more important to become a trusted source of information. Especially information that no one else is talking about. The leadership position will come.
  1. Create mechanisms for consistent communications. Consistency is key: if you reach out with a weekly summary of industry happenings every Friday, don’t miss a Friday. Become an expected and welcomed visitor to your target’s inbox. Don’t mess with their trust.
  1. Partner with outbound firms. Outbound sales firms, like our partner Automata, have perfected ways of reaching out to ‘cold prospects’ without being flagged as spammers. Let them do the hard work; you focus on the positioning, the testing splits and the creative to help separate your company and your offers from the field.

There’s no need to wash and iron your prison stripes. B2B lead generation can be achieved without incurring the wrath of regulators and prospects. Just be careful, do your research, talk to your leadership about risks vs. rewards, and go partner with people who already know how to do what you want to do. The alternative is not worth your time or effort.

Contact us if you want to learn more. We’re happy to talk your campaigns through with you.

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