Need B2B Contact Lists? 6 Best Email Marketing Services and Databases

December 30, 2023

Gabriel Sbrigata


Topics we'll cover

If you ask me, lots of marketers who are always on the hunt for the cheapest and largest B2B contact lists are playing the game wrong. 

Let me further explain… Did you know the cost of acquiring new customers is five times more expensive than the cost of retaining existing customers? In this economy? I’ll pass.

According to Forbes, “Statistics show an increase in customer retention by 5% can lead to a company’s profits growing by 25% to around 95% over a period of time.”

If customer retention is our end goal, then quality is everything. And that focus starts at the very first step, where you’re building a contact list that serves as the cornerstone for delivering value that keeps our audience invested in the long run.

In other words, this is the game to play: the quality game that will continue to prove its worth even in the long run.

That’s where working with a credible lead-generation partner, to obtain the best B2B contact lists, can actually fuel your sales pipeline. And easily. 🙋‍♀️

So in this blog, I’ll share some email marketing services and databases that can help you generate B2B contact lists — that will serve you well in the long haul. Plus I’m including a bunch of essential tips on how to evaluate a provider.

But before we jump into the nitty gritty, let’s take a look at what B2B contact lists are.

Tech professionals don’t like to give up their contact information. That’s why Lauren from OffSec works closely with ViB for targeted demand generation — that exceeds her goals on repeat.

What are B2B contact lists?

B2B contact lists are just as they sound – lists that contain contact information, especially of decision-makers in your target audience. These are the people most likely to need the solution you’re offering.

Let’s not overlook the tail end of that statement, it’ll hold weight later.

Contact lists are the cornerstone of outbound and top-of-funnel marketing techniques because they jumpstart pipeline creation.

Buying lists vs “traditional” email lead generation

Some marketers prefer building their contact lists through B2B email marketing strategies. Think opt-in forms on their websites, creating gated assets, or including share buttons in their emails. 

While these organic or earned tactics are effective, they’re also time-consuming — time we’re already short on. 

The quickest and easiest way to build a targeted contact list is by purchasing one from a credible demand-generation provider with an established audience in your target market.

Understanding B2B data or list providers

Okay, so buying data is quick and easy, but is it viable? 

Absolutely! Working with a provider that checks all the boxes not only saves you time and energy in the long run but surprisingly, it saves you money and leads to a higher ROI. 

But, as with most things, for every great provider out there, there are a dozen phonies. Let’s identify the red flags you should be on the lookout for.

🚩 Red flags in B2B list providers

  • They purchase third-party lists and resell them.
  • They scrape public websites for emails without the user’s consent.
  • They call and pester people for their emails.
  • They own editorial networks and have a generalized audience.

Look, you don’t want to be those guys. Not only are you most likely going to have low engagement and conversion rates, but you also have the potential to ruin your brand perception and burn the bridge for future collaborations.

✅ B2B list providers you can trust

Are there real, honest providers out there, with compliant B2B data lists?👇

To be frank, data providers who don’t use third-party data are super rare. Because alternative sources (zero and first-party data — more on that in a bit) take serious effort to build.

Take the ViB Community for example, which is a tech network (or “database”) consisting of millions of professions. They’ve opted in to be part of our tech community, to find solutions that fit their needs.

In turn, ViB helps marketers from tech companies generate demand, by simply matching the right tech buyer, to the right tech seller.

ViB Community Decision Makers

This strong network is the result of over a decade’s worth of growing and nurturing. And it’s a well-oiled machine today to help B2B marketers and salespeople find their buyers effortlessly.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

So what are some services that tap into this community? What kinds of options do I have to get me quality B2B contact lists?

I hear you. In this next section, I’ll go through six services and databases you can rely on.

What are the best B2B contact list databases and email marketing services?

Now that we have a better understanding of what we should require of our B2B contact database provider, let’s take a look at some of the very best.

1. ViB Emails: Low-setup email marketing service for quality list-building

ViB is the go-to demand-generation partner for high-tech companies. ViB specializes in providing qualified leads by utilizing a community of millions of tech professionals. 

Specifically, ViB’s email marketing lead generation solution — ViB Emails — helps busy marketers generate qualified leads through targeted emails sends to segments of that engaged community.

ViB Emails Product Screenshot

This brings me to ViB Emails’ first key differentiator: quality leads.

Community members (aka your potential leads) opt-in to join the community to receive tech updates. And in turn, ViB receives accurate and compliant data that then helps us match clients like you to members looking for your solutions. 

This zero-party data approach lends itself to a cost-effective structure, leaving more money in your marketing budget!

And now for the second major differentiator: it’s so easy to set up.

Here’s how it works. Marketers only need to chip in with two things:

  1. Provide the email 
  2. Provide targeting requirements 

From there, ViB does the rest. We curate a list of thousands of targeted contacts, take the email, send it from our domain, and even conduct resends and create performance reports.

As members interact with the email, you’re able to observe clicks to your CTAs and visits to your landing pages.

How Vib Email Service Works

So what kinds of emails can you promote via ViB? What are some of the top use cases that clients love when working with ViB’s email marketing and data provider services?

In other words, go for more top-of-funnel level messages and CTAs, to help kickstart a fruitful relationship with these community members.

Discover everything you need to know about ViB Emails, including how it works, the challenges it solves, and its success stories, through our comprehensive video walkthrough.

2. Kaspr: Data enrichment based on third-party sources

Kaspr is a B2B email data provider that retrieves contact information from the web in real-time.

Kaspr Product Screenshot

If you’re conducting individual prospecting — as a founder, seller or recruiter, Kaspr’s neat for enriching the profiles you have an eye on, with additional contact information.

They also provide an automated lead prospecting platform that allows you to collect, store, and manage your data in one place. 

Through Chrome extensions, you’ll have access to a large amount of GDPR and CCPA-compliant data. Think of Kaspr as a safe, wide-net data partner. 

Kaspr does use a range of third-party data sources, so you’ll still need to prep for any misses in quality and accuracy.

3. ViB Deal Intent: Contact and self-provided intent information

ViB Deal Intent is a B2B intent data solution that identifies prospects actively evaluating and purchasing solutions like yours.

Screenshot of webpage - ViB Deal Discovery - best b2b sales intelligence tool

Like ViB Emails, all data generated through ViB Deal Intent comes from zero-party data sources and is freely given by customers. 

By liaising directly with targeted prospects, ViB collects explicit intent signals from the source. 

So, this solution gives you more than a B2B contact list. You’ll also get explicit, and self-provided info about each prospects:

  • purchasing timelines, 
  • project budget
  • decision-makers involved,
  • contact information,
  • and consent to be contacted.
Graph of intent data points collected as part of ViB Deal Intent's unique zero-party data collection approach

Some of the top reasons customers love this service:

Discover everything you need to know about ViB Deal Intent, including how it works, the challenges it solves, and its success stories so far, through our comprehensive video walkthrough.

4. Bombora: Readership-based intent signals

Bombora is a B2B intent data provider that measures prospects’ digital journeys across various B2B websites.

Bombora Product Screenshot

Their data comes from a privacy-compliant co-op of 5,000 of the most highly visited websites in the B2B space. By utilizing the networks of other players in the space, they’re able to amass large amounts of data, funneling that information onto you. 

Intent signals are based on the readership on the websites. 

While these intent signals will never be as explicit as zero-party, self-provided data, readership signals do represent an interest in a topic. And that beats scraping a cold contact list.

But you’ll still need to evaluate — are your best buyers involved in research? Or are you targeting enterprise accounts and senior executives?

5. Agency-led email marketing lead generation team

Brightest Minds Product Screenshot

Their team will scour the internet for leads that fit your target audience. Then, they’ll provide an outbound Email/LinkedIn strategy that is then run and managed by their team of professionals.

If “busy” is your middle name, outsourcing the whole email marketing lead generation process to a team makes a lot of sense.

Your team has the opportunity to completely offload your lead generation strategy and step in once leads are considered “warm”.

6. Zoominfo: Credit-based contact data provider

Zoominfo is an all-in-one contact data platform that allows you to connect with customers in their network.

ZoomInfo Product Screenshot

They curate broad third-party business information and buying signals, verify that data, and add it to their database. 

Zoominfo is an industry incumbent, so their prices can be a little steep, especially for smaller companies. They do have a range of licensing and credit plans though.

Credit-based, Zoominfo provides you with a set number of leads based on the number of credits you purchase. 

Each of these B2B contacts list providers has unique structures, offering diverse features, pricing models, and data sources. The goal is to find one that best suits your company’s needs and expectations while also offering zero-party, compliant data. 

🔎 See our list of do’s and don’ts when buying lead lists from B2B data providers.

What are the 3 criteria to focus on when choosing a B2B contact list provider?

Great question! While I touched on the peripherals of a few of these above, it’s time to lay it all out there, and help you make sense of all these contact data providers and services.

As marketers, we’re always looking for the next MQL (marketing-qualified lead). We don’t want just any lead, we want to fuel our funnel with the leads that are most likely to convert. 

What three things must be true for a provider to supply MQLs? 💭

Relevance, accuracy, and honesty.

1. Are the B2B contacts lists relevant?

Does the contact data fit your ICP (ideal customer profile)? Your leads should consist of decision-makers in your industry. 

Leads should have a genuine interest in your solutions. There’s no point in playing with fire underwater– you can’t make work that doesn’t fit.

2. Are the B2B contacts lists accurate?

The data provided should be accurate and up-to-date. 

It’s not beneficial to receive a leads list consisting of out-of-use or incorrect email addresses — aka the list is full of data decay! 

The provider should be committed to running routine scans to remove invalid or inaccurate email addresses.

3. Where are they obtaining their B2B contact data?

All B2B data lists should purely consist of data that was willingly and legally obtained. Most B2B contact database providers use a combination of first-party and third-party data.

Let’s take a look at the different types of data 👇

graph of zero-party data first-party data second-party data and third-party data - B2B email marketing lead generation techniques
  • First-Party Data — Businesses inexplicitly collect data from customers.
  • Second-Party Data — Partners or sellers share their first-party data with you.
  • Third-Party Data — Aggregators collect data through various unaffiliated sources and sell them to your business.

The problem with that? This data isn’t willingly given. 

On the other hand, zero-party data is actively and freely given by the customers themselves. 

📊 Want to learn more about zero-party data? Get more info here.

Why is data compliance so important?

Data compliance not only safeguards your business from potential legal consequences but also builds a foundation of trust with your audience.

In an era of heightened privacy concerns and stringent regulations like GDPR and CCPA, following data compliance standards is non-negotiable.

Choosing a vendor that prioritizes and guarantees compliance mitigates the risk of using inaccurate or outdated information, protects the privacy rights of individuals within the list, and shields your company from fines and reputational damage. 

TLDR: Always consider a B2B contact list provider’s approach to lead sourcing.

There’s a better alternative to buying lead lists and tedious list cleaning. Try ViB Emails’ unique community-based approach to lead generation — and reach up to 75,000 contacts with a low-cost trial.

Getting started: Where do B2B tech companies go from here?

We’ve journeyed through the B2B contact list provider landscape, and even looked at some compelling alternatives. That’s a lot! I hope you’re well-equipped to choose a credible and effective provider to partner with you in powering your sales funnel. 

So what’s next?

If you’re still feeling lost, my best advice is to make tiny investments in trials. Yes — do a few of them.

To start, sign up for a free ViB Emails trial, or grab a copy of the ViB Emails datasheet below.

And remember, if you need any help in strategizing, understanding our audience, approach, or how we obtain our data, you can always chat with a team member!

What is ViB Emails datasheet - B2B demand generation services

More Content For You

B2B Demand Generation Solutions: ViB Emails Datasheet

Unlocking the Power of B2B Email Marketing Services: Your Essential Guide to Lead Gen from ViB.Tech

The 4 Only Types of B2B Email Marketing Services You Need