When you receive a sponsorship, luncheon, or speaking opportunity, there is usually a little bit of “fear of missing out” effect. While we consciously know these opportunities usually don’t yield great results, we also have a hard time saying no to an opportunity where we could potentially meet that one great prospect, or learn something unique about our audience.
It’s hard to delete that email.
The sender usually peaks your interest by describing a great cast of potential customers you will "likely" meet, or famous names of companies and individuals who have either attended in the past, or "expressed interest" to attend this time around. You know it's a shady value proposition. It's hard to just hit "delete" though.
When you are offered to buy a list of prospects (or better...suspects) the examples are always to good to be true....and usually they are. But sometimes they are not.
So what do we do?
None of the above is a good strategy. It’s time to decide. Here is how I try to make these decisions. While it takes a bit more time to evaluate the opportunity, it still takes less time vs. sitting on it or making the wrong call.
Questions to ask when evaluating to buy a list:
The reality is that most lists are the result of rehashing existing data sources, sometimes sprinkled on with a bit AI, and the only real high value lists that you can buy are based on a recent event (people attending something or signing up for something) that will age quickly, or include a lot of hard manual labor to vet the contact info and relevance of the individual at this moment in time (making sure they did not just change jobs etc.). You typically have to pay for that....
Questions to ask to evaluate a sponsorship opportunity, or a commitment of your (team’s) time:
Assuming a cost per quality MQL (say $1000), #2 and #3 can tell you if this is worth pursuing. Will you get the 3+ MQLs to make this worth your while? How likely is it that you’ll close some business here?
The above is solely a decision from a Marketing investment perspective. There can of course be other reasons to join an event, like for personal education purposes, your personal networking or just to enjoy yourself. If those are valid reasons, now at least you know why you either say yes, or leave this email in your inbox to give it more thought.