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Importing Contacts

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

Lead management

Importing your contacts is an exciting time and it’s important to get it right from the get-go. What you need to look at is compliance, eligibility, and engagement level of your current contacts.

Spam laws

One of the first things you will probably use your marketing automation tool for is email marketing. In that case, you need to immediately be reading up on spam laws and opt-in processes. If you do not read up on these laws, you may be breaking them. You need to have an opt-in and opt-out process in place so that people know they’re choosing to hear from you. If you do not, there are certain places where this has become an actual offense, and it’s only a matter of time before other countries catch up. At the end of your emails, you also need to have subscription types and an unsubscribe option at all times. Make sure that after you’ve imported your contacts, you’ve made sure that your email marketing is safe.

Analyzing contacts

After you’ve imported your contacts, analyzing contacts for sales potential is the next step.

Let’s take the example of an airport hotel. What kind of person would they be looking for to market to? The three personas we see here are Chris, Maria, and Frank. You can see that I have marked no, yes, and maybe. Chris has been disqualified because he is unlikely to use an airport hotel any time soon. Maria, on the other hand, is highly likely to use the service, and Frank has the potential and should be kept in the loop. As you’ve imported your contacts, you will probably then discover that people like Chris may be considered unengaged or ineligible. An ineligible contact is someone who is just never ever, ever going to be a customer and also has no potential to be an evangelist for you. Marketing to these people is pointless. If they will never become a customer or do something useful for you, you should not be forcing your message to them.

Removing unengaged and ineligible contacts

An unengaged contact is slightly different from an ineligible contact because their contact properties actually match your profile of who could be a valuable customer. However, if they just do not engage, you cannot do anything with them. So they should also be wiped from your list. Including unengaged and ineligible contacts on your list for the sake of having a large list is a bad idea. It actually just ends up obscuring your metrics and making your reporting inaccurate.

A clean list is a happy list

Focus your marketing on the people that matter. Don’t waste your time attracting the wrong kinds of people. Base your contact properties on the information your sales team are telling you and also the behavior you’ve seen on your website and the engagement with your brand in public spaces. This will save everybody time and it will keep you within legal boundaries.

Buying email lists

Just to remind you of the downside of buying email lists. Your sender score will suffer incredibly if you continue to do this. When you import a list that you have bought rather than use a list that you have built up through content and through social and through other means of, like, for example, organic traffic, you increase the potential of spam complaints and unsubscribes. When you’re sending emails and high numbers of people are marking it as spam, the sender score will start to drop. If your sender score starts to drop and your email deliverability goes down, you will end up on blacklists rather than on whitelists.

Basically, you have no idea if people on paid lists are actually good for your business or not. This is why the best quality leads are driven by inbound practices, such as those you have targeted and earned through providing quality content and pulling their email addresses in optionally rather than forcibly.  

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Andrea Francis

Inbound marketing manager @ Poppulo

  • Inbound marketing manager in employee communications technology 
  • Worked at Relayr as a senior marketing manager, creating and implementing a global inbound marketing strategy
  • Worked with Hubspot as a marketing manager and funnel optimization specialist focusing on converting leads to qualified leads for the EMEA region
  • Content marketing and blogging with various SaaS startups at Startupbootcamp Amsterdam

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

DMI Short Course: GDPR

The following pieces of content from the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library have been chosen to offer additional material that you might find interesting or insightful.

You can find more information and content like this on the Digital Marketing Institute's Membership Library

You will not be assessed on this content in your final exam.


    Marketing Automation
    Andrea Francis
    Skills Expert

    This module begins with the fundamentals of marketing automation and looks at how businesses are using marketing automation tools with CRM software to create significant sales enablement, lead nurturing, and customer relationship management opportunities. It provides in-depth coverage on generating, managing, and nurturing leads, including topics on importing and managing contact lists, lead scoring and tracking, segmentation, retargeting, and using marketing automation data and social media automation tools to drive campaigns and to detect new business opportunities.