Office Products Resellers and the Foundation for Email Marketing

You can't conduct email marketing campaigns without contacts; once you have a list of references, what are some fundamental requirements to establish and maintain the foundation for effective email marketing?

As explained in our Office Products Resellers & The Importance of Email Marketing blog, earning an ROI of as much as 3,800% may be possible. However, you must position yourself to perform among the top-tier elite email marketers. This means each element necessary for an effective email strategy must be optimized.

  • Part 1 - Contact lists, organizing, and segmentation
  • Part 2 - The Foundation - buyer personas and the Buyer's Journey
  • Part 3 - Planning campaigns and strategy
  • Part 4 - Execution - automation and Workflows
  • Part 5 - Goal Setting and Measuring ROI

The first email element I'm focusing on in this series of five blogs is the contact list and how this must be organized and managed for inbound digital marketing campaigns to be optimized.

Ensure contact details are accurate - first and last names must be spelled correctly and written in upper and lower case appropriately capitalized.

Contact ownership - if you have multiple salespersons, ensure your entire contact list is assigned an owner. As the contact database is expanded, all new contacts continue to be given one.

Contact qualification - site visitor conversions (email contact adds) must be qualified. New references captured through content offers should be contacted within an hour; once capable, the lead can be handed over to sales for the next stage in the sales process. 

Email decay rates - contact databases typically decay by 20% or more annually. Email addresses change, get retired, and subscribers opt-out.

Job changes - your very best contacts may move from one company to another, so you could lose a powerful connection if you don't maintain your database.

New subscribers - must be constantly added to preserve value in your contact database. A database of 20,000 contacts will typically deteriorate to around 10,000 within four years unless there's a strategy to obtain new contacts.

Contact segmentation - roles and responsibilities for each contact must be identified. Is your contact a decision-maker or an influencer? Is the contact so far down the totem pole they will have little to no value as an influencer?

Define channel verticals - do you have your contacts segmented by the different verticals you sell into? For example, if you're selling products and services to Accounting and Law Firms, your contact database must be accurately segmented by these two verticals.

Relevance & engagement - are your contacts relevant? Did you develop your contact database or obtain it from a third party? Are your contacts going to be surprised if they hear from you, or have they opted-in to your email marketing program?

Static Lists Versus Smart Lists - one thing is sure in "Everything changes all the time," so it's important to have automation tools to segment lists based on what contacts do. Someone downloading content from your website is telling you they are interested in the material's topic. That should mean the contact is added to a list where you can focus your future marketing collateral on that interest, sending relevant, interesting material, minimizing opt-outs, and maximizing engagement!


Email marketing has the potential to be a significant component of a digital strategy to help improve the future of office supplies dealerships and to exploit an office products growth opportunity. But, to do so, it must be done right!

  1. A 20,000 contact list will likely lose 20% of its volume yearly through decay. That's 4,000 contacts lost in 12 months, or 80 per week. Maintaining a book of 20,000 contacts means adding 80 new ones every week. Simultaneously managing the ten requirements identified above without using automation tools will take up a lot of time that will most likely not be allocated, resulting in a poorly maintained list ineffective for world-class email marketing efforts.
  2. Building, expanding, and maintaining a list of relevant, engaged email contacts must be a high priority for businesses in the modern digital world. However, companies will only stay motivated to prioritize this if they see positive results from the efforts. Implementing strategies for obtaining new contacts through inbound web traffic and deploying automation tools for segmenting contacts to allow effective targeted marketing are vital elements for world-class email marketing results to be accepted.
  3. Bottom line - you have to earn your email contacts and maintain them. Inbound marketing can be an effective way to build a contact database, but it's not likely worth the effort without software automation tools for maintenance and segmentation purposes.
Leave your comment