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How to Build Lead Lists for Your Outbound Strategy

The right outbound marketing strategy is essential to creating a thriving business. But behind every great process is one crucial question: Who will you target? Arguably, your lead list is at the core of the answer to this question. A highly targeted lead list will allow you to tailor in on prospective candidates that matter— those that will fit in with what your business has to offer. So let’s jump in and see what it takes to build a quality-driven and focused lead list.  


Define your buyer persona


To have an effective lead list, you need first to figure out who your ideal candidate is. This helps you focus your outreach efforts on the candidates most likely to engage with and utilize what your business has to offer. 

Whereas an Ideal Customer Profile (AKA ICP) defines and targets your audience based on characteristics such as region, industry, job title, your Buyer Persona (AKA BP) can be thought of as a narrative. It is a fictionalized version of your ideal candidate, one that allows you to understand and empathize with your targeted prospects. In a society so heavily inundated with advertising messages, utilizing a BP helps you target the people that matter in a way that matters. 

Here are some elements you can include in your ideal persona:

  • Psychological traits: These make up your persona and ultimately influence your decisions. These could include personality types, emotions, fears, and desires. 
  • Behavioral traits: These make up a person’s actions. A person that behaves dominantly might react differently than one that is compliant. 
  • Buying habits: Is your ideal candidate on a budget? Do they shop often or scarcely? Do brand names matter? These are habits that can influence whether or not a prospect will want to do business with you. 


Create a target audience


You have identified your ideal prospect and created your BP. This has equipped you with the characteristics and qualities that you would like to find in your leads. Now, you need to take your BP and create a target audience. Think of your target audience as representing your buyer persona— the group you will reach out to. By identifying your target persona and audience, you can then take it a step further and identify specific companies. After all, reaching out to Marketing Managers will require a different approach than outbound marketing tailored to CEOs. 

For example, if your business sells luxury industry-sized laundry soap. Your ideal buyer loves cleaning, essential oils, traveling, resides in North America, and works in the hotel industry. This would make your target audience hotel operators, hotel management companies, hotel trade show attendees, and conference attendees, as well as people who oversee hotel industry publications. These target audiences would require a different approach and tone when trying to sell your product to them.  

Once you develop a BP, the next step is filtering your results to show the specific ideal audience you’ll want to reach out to. You have your Buyer Persona, and you’re ready to start building your lists, so how do you go about finding these targets? Once you have identified your ideal audience, you can refine and filter out your results to weed out any potential candidates that might not be the best fit for you. Some potential using some of the below parameters, data that you can use are:

  • Demographic Data: This refers to qualities such as - job titles, locations, industry, seniority level at their company.
  • Firmographic Data: Think of this as the demographics of a company as a whole. Data that focuses strictly on organizations and companies— - number of clients, type of organization, industry, location, revenue. 
  • Technographic Data: This data surveys the technology used at certain firms or companies and can go as far as describing when it was acquired. 
  • Psychographic Data: This data might be a great asset when it comes to pinpointing targeted leads that fall in line with your BP. Such data includes a person’s or company’s values, interests, hobbies, beliefs, personalities. 


Collect the data


You have identified your BP and your target audience and are ready to find your leads. Your next step is to take this data and filter results that match the audience you are looking for. While a manual search is also a viable option, utilizing software will allow you to search particular criteria (for example, SVP, hotel industry, North America, AM Resorts, <1000 employees), yielding leads that will be most valuable for you and your business. 


Common mistakes when generating lead lists 



Mistake 1: Relying too strongly on automated research


While software can be an impeccable tool throughout the execution of your outbound strategy, it does not replace the meticulous and focused approach of human research, especially when it comes to psychographic data that focuses on beliefs, attitudes, and opinions. Some data needs to be uncovered by the human mind. 


Mistake 2: Not analyzing your data


Your data is a valuable tool. While your research might yield potential leads, it is essential to analyze and inspect every single one. After all, your current campaign might not call for a particular prospect, but you never know when another might. 


Mistake 3: Not validating your data


The scientific method emphasizes the importance of double-checking your results and validating them. Your results might not always offer updated information. A potential individual might no longer hold the job title that your software results show, and a company might have furloughed more than 50% of its employees. It’s important to cross-check the data. 


Mistake 4: Settling for quantity over quality 


An extensive lead list does not always mean promising leads. Focus on quality over quantity. The better the lead, the more research that goes into it. Utilize your resources effectively so that you can yield the best prospects for your campaign. It’s not a numbers game. 


Mistake 5: Don’t toss what you already have on the backburner 


Reassess your existing data and keep it updated. If a lead fell through in the past, don’t erase the lead. That prospect might be a potential sale in the future. Group existing data together, reorganize what you currently have.


Mistake 6: Don’t be a know-it-all


They are called experts for a reason. If you find yourself struggling to build lists, consider outsourcing. Companies and researchers specializing in acquiring data and generating your ideal leads might be less time-consuming and costly in the long run. After all, a successful outbound marketing strategy relies on a solid lead list, so if you find yourself struggling, reach out and get the expert know-it-alls to help!