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Kevin and Graham discuss the way you can enhance your CRM database with more complete information. We talk to Duncan Gledhill about his tool Contact Enhance.

Duncan Gledhill co-founded a company called Emailmovers in 2003, which went onto become one of the UK’s leading email marketing agencies. In 2015, Duncan ran a survey with 11,000 customers that he had worked with.

He asked them what their biggest challenge was when it came to segmenting their data?

  • Time was a huge issue for them.

Duncan started working on Contact Enhance. It programmatically enhances their data. This means customers do not have to waste time doing in manually.

Duncan read Ryan Levesque’s book Ask, to help him craft the right question on his survey.

Do you know how to find out what people really want to buy? (Not what you think they want, not what they say they want, but what they really want?) The secret is asking the right questions – and the right questions are not what you might expect. Ask is based on the compelling premise that you should NEVER have to guess what your prospects and customers are thinking. The Ask Formula revealed in this book has been used to help build multi-million dollar businesses in 23 different industries, generating over $100 million dollars in sales in the process.

You will discover why the Ask Formula is arguably THE most powerful way to discover EXACTLY what people want to buy and how to give it to them – and in a way that makes people fall in love with you and your company. In this tell-all book, expert online marketer Ryan Levesque (featured in CNBC, Yahoo Finance, The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, Mass Market Retailer, Bloomberg Businessweek and more) turns everything you know about customer surveys on its head. You’ll discover how Ryan Levesque developed his proven system for creating survey-based, customized sales funnels. And you’ll also learn how YOU can implement the same system in your own business – no matter your market.

The Ask Formula blueprint is laid out in clear and detailed steps for anyone to use and adapt. Whether you re an aspiring Internet entrepreneur, advanced online marketer, or established business owner, this book will both inspire you and show you how to skyrocket your online income – while creating a mass of raving fans in the process – simply by asking the right questions in a surprisingly different way. For people looking to scale up their business, Askwill utterly transform how you think about consumer behavior and selling online. For example, you ll learn: How to increase your income by 36% by asking potential customers this slightly unusual 4 word question. Why most businesses are doing surveys all wrong (and the one question you should NEVER be asking your prospects) And much, much more… Discover for yourself why leading marketers all use and recommend the Ask formula.

Ask prompts you to listen to your customers if you are thinking of launching a new product. Hence the survey. Duncan read every page and made prodigious notes on the book. Like back in school!

How do you apply the “Ask” formula in practice?

He started with a survey to 11,000 customer emails. He asked them what their challenges were. Duncan was inundated with stuff that people were struggling with. He had no idea these were their problems. For Duncan and his team, these problems were quite easy for them to fix, but his customers were really struggling with them.

Segmentation was one of the issues raised, there were all sorts of challenges his clients were facing. Duncan decided to focus on segmentation.

Duncan has run the survey format, advocated by Ryan Levesque a few times, including with another business Duncan runs, Digital Entrepreneur, which he setup in 2012. This is a network for digital entrepreneurs who are doing more than £1m per year, focusing on the advanced digital business, not startups.

Duncan ran a survey to members, and had dinners in London, Warsaw, Berlin. People from Apple, Tesla, Facebook have come to the events. Duncan has run surveys to those people to ask them what they are struggling with as well.

Other resources that Duncan recommends

Key Person of Influence, by Daniel Priestley.

Every industry revolves around Key People of Influence. Their names come up in conversation. They attract opportunities. They earn more money. Many people think it takes decades of hard work, academic qualifications and a generous measure of good luck to become a Key Person of Influence. This book shows you that there is a five-step strategy for fast-tracking your way to the inner circle of the industry you love. Your ability to succeed depends on your ability to influence. Start now by reading this book.

Oversubscribed by Daniel Priestley.

Have you ever queued for a restaurant? Pre–ordered something months in advance? Fought for tickets that sell out in a day? Had a hairdresser with a six–month waiting list? There are people who don′t chase clients, clients chase them. In a world of endless choices, why does this happen? Why do people queue up? Why do they pay more? Why will they book months in advance? Why are these people and products in such high demand? And how can you get a slice of that action?

In Oversubscribed, entrepreneur and bestselling author Daniel Priestley explains why and, most importantly, how. This book is a recipe for ensuring demand outstrips supply for your product or service, and you have scores of customers lining up to give you money.


  • Shows leaders, marketers, and entrepreneurs how they can get customers queuing up to use their services and products while competitors are forced to fight for business
  • Explains how to become oversubscribed, even in a crowded marketplace
  • Is full of practical tips alongside inspiring examples to alter our mindsets and get us bursting with ideas
  • Is written by a successful entrepreneur who′s used these ideas to excel in the ventures he has launched

“Social Selling” by Tim Hughes

Tim was formerly a director at Oracle.

As the digital landscape has changed buyers’ habits it’s increasingly difficult to reach them early enough in their decision-making process using traditional sales methods. Developing relationships with decision-makers through social networks has become an increasingly critical skill – enabling sales professionals to engage early on and ‘hack’ the buying process. Social Selling provides a practical, step-by-step blueprint for harnessing these specific and proven techniques including:

– How to use networks purposefully to build social trust and create a high-quality community
– How to develop real influence and authority in your subject area and connect with change-makers
– How to scale the social selling strategy across an organisation including maturity and investment models, risk and governance, and technology platforms.

What were the questions used?

  • Ask your audience what their SINGLE BIGGEST CHALLENGE is when it comes to a particular niche.
  • Duncan asked: What is your single biggest challenge when it comes to segmenting your data?

What Duncan learnt was three things: time, tools and data sources.

  • People didn’t have the time to manually profile the data they were collecting – he estimates that is one hour 46 minutes to collect the 52 fields that Contact Enhance does in less than 3 seconds.
  • They weren’t sure which tools to use to enhance their data or to segment it.
  • Once you have the tools and time, where do you go for the data? Where do you find the most accurate, up-to-date information? There are so many different data sources out there.

The company behind Contact Enhance is Digital Bridge Communications Limited, a sort of innovation lab of a company for EmailMovers. The Government was helpful in providing R&D innovation grants to companies in this digital space. It made sense to form this as a new business. Digital Bridge Communications’ first product is…

Contact Enhance

  • You upload your file and a few minutes later, that file is returned and each record has been enhanced with the fields that you want.

The problem he was having was that most people had email addresses, because of the nature of their business. They would be generating email addresses through their landing pages, white paper downloads, etc.

What they needed to identify was the name of the company. They only knew the email. And that’s what was taking the time.

Contact Enhance solves this with an algorithm, which has a 96% accuracy on it. Currently, Contact Enhance matches 70% of the records presented. That’s because, where they don’t get 96% accuracy, Contact Enhance doesn’t return anything at all.

The ask for information

The more you ask for, the more time you are asking from that person. They start to calculate in their mind the amount of time it will take. Their brain will process a very simple equation. They guess how long it will take to fill out the form, they value the information, then the work out the time they put into to completing the form is more than the value of the information or less.

If it is more, they abandon the form. If it is less, they will continue and complete the form.

The brain is programmed to do this. Nowadays, we are far more savvy and precious about their time and providing their information. Hence, most downloads of lead magnets, ebooks etc ask for FIRST NAME and EMAIL and maybe a bit of information in the message itself is about as much as people can get.

Given that lots of people are sat on forename and email, Contact Enhance is trying to help organisations overcome a massive challenge being created elsewhere in the market…

In recent years, companies like Facebook have reprogrammed the way we think by using personalisation in our FB streams. The information we now receive in our FB streams is far more relevant due to algorithms that feed from learnings about us. They know that the more relevant the feed, the more money they will make from us.

So, Facebook are programming our brains to look for relevant information. The problem that comes from this, is if your business isn’t the size of Facebook, and you don’t know how to develop sophisticated algorithms and you still sending general information to aggregate data, then that conditioned brain that Facebook has created now has this filter running in front of it, that picks out emails and data that is just not relevant to them.

What happens then, is they unsubscribe, they don’t interact and open rates drop. What Contact Enhance is trying to do, is trying to add the data to customer databases so they CAN make their data more personalised, by segmenting that data. This allows smaller businesses to keep up with the bigger organisations in terms of relevancy and helping them get through those filters.

How does Contact Enhance work?

You submit a list of email addresses to Contact Enhance. An outcome of that is that you get lots of columns of information, that has the company name and other data related to that company.

Kevin makes the point that he downloads ebooks and so forth with his gmail address. Nothing links the gmail back to the company. Contact Enhance considers Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo as a personal email address and with data protection legislation these addresses are ignored.

Contact Enhance tries to provide as much data as possible ONCE they have the company name. Getting the company name is the magic. Thereafter, Contact Enhance goes out onto the World Wide Web and they pick up those fields, other data points. They come back with up to 52 profile fields. One of those fields might be what technology the company is running on their website, which could have 111 bits of information.

You could have a single email submitted into the system and then 150 fields come back.

What you then might find, is after you have been doing this process for a while, if you love data, you may start to see patterns in the data that weren’t previously visible. These patterns might be the types of technology these customers are using, they might be what their Clout score is, how many followers they have on Twitter.

As anybody knows who works with data, once you find a pattern, you can start to extrapolate that to find prospect audiences that will respond far better than cold audiences.

Currently, Contact Enhance is interesting larger companies. With smaller companies, the story is often, great I get all this data back, but I’m so busy that I’m not going to be able to do anything, so I am just going to bang an email out in Mailchimp, once a week, like I normally do, because it puts food on the table. That is probably an SME challenge that may not be overcome.

Try Contact Enhance for yourself

You can enter your email at now. If your company name doesn’t come up, that it will be because certain companies have got a bit of a disconnect when it comes to bots searching for them online.

Contact Enhance looks for 3 points on the web that all say the same thing about that domain when it comes to a company name. If those three things DON’T say the same thing Contact Enhance does not return a result on the company name. For those people who have been in work for a long time, they need to go onto the online directories and check the accuracy of their data.

The Contact Enhance user could make the deduction that an email that didn’t return a company name hasn’t been going for very long. If it’s a lead that’s great, less so if it is a supplier that says it has been trading 10 years! Don’t send money too readily. Be careful, because the web doesn’t show that much information about them.

If you log in, you’ll get up to 52 fields. The first 50 credits will be free of charge.

Where does the information go?

Take a typical SME that is running a campaign with a landing page. That landing page has got a white paper that the SME has worked painstakingly hard to create. It’s a very valuable piece of information. They have posted it in LinkedIn, they’ve posted it on Reddit and all over the place.

People are starting to come to the page and are starting to download it. Maybe 3 or 4 a day.

When they download it from that landing page, normally if you are using Unbounce or Lead Pages, you will have connected it to your CRM or maybe directly to Mailchimp.

When that information is submitted on a form, and it goes into Mailchimp, Contact Enhance spots that a new record has arrived in Mailchimp. Every 5 minutes the solution takes a look. When it spots a new record, it runs off, does its work and adds the additional information.

What Mailchimp have is Auto-Update in Segments, so if the person just registering 5 minutes ago has a Clout Score of 70, that segment of online or social influencers, will automatically be updated to include that person, and in the welcome message that they get or in one of the emails in the sequences, you may reference the fact that they are influencer and relate your product to that. If you do this you are sure to get their attention, more than if you were just talking to Joe off the street.

In other words, you are not ignoring them as a person. You are using technology to personalise your communications and be more relevant to that person. Once you are more relevant, you are more valued. Once you are offering more value, you start to build trust. Your goal is not far out of sight once you start developing trust.

How will GDPR legislation impact Contact Enhance?

There is a very interesting article on the B2B website called: B2B Marketing and the GDPR. Dec 2016.

When dealing with employees of corporates, that is limited companies, LLPs, partnerships in Scotland and government departments, the rules for telephone and direct mail are the same, opt-out.

However when emailing or texting, you do not need the prior consent/opt-in from the individual. You can therefore send them a marketing email/text as long as you provide an easy way to opt-out of future communications from you.

For any B2B marketing communications, regardless of channel, the content must be about products and/or services that are relevant to the recipients’ job role.

B2B will remain opt-out, but the relevant to recipient. How can you be relevant if you just randomly blast out communications to the people on your list? However, if you have segmented your list, using Contact Enhance, and you are sending information to segments that is relevant, then you would be in line with that legislation.

Things may change between now and a year hence when the legislation will come into place. There is a lot of conflicting information out there. The DMA (Direct Marketing Association) helps to make sense of the legislation.

But regardless of legislation, why would you want to blast anyone to try get a sale, or move someone closer to get a sale? Surely the point is Contact Enhance can help you become far more attuned to your audience, far more relevant. Be smarter. Don’t send irrelevant emails.

SMEs have another problem. Larger companies have money to spend to adapt products and services to the new legislation. SMEs will need to find easier, cheaper and faster ways to do this, otherwise they’ll face a large fine.

Contact Enhance is one solution for SMEs to increase segmentation and avoid falling foul of the GDPR legislation:

  • Take their email list
  • Put it through the system
  • Enhance their data
  • Then create segments
  • And personalise their communications to make them relevant.

The larger companies haven’t done this yet. You would be amazed by the larger companies lack of preparedness. However, they do have the money and resources to do the work.

Because of Contact Enhance and segmentation, they will see the logic of that investment:

  • The more they narrow
  • The more they segment
  • The more relevant they become
  • The more they win.

Gartner said that by 2018, companies that personalise and segment their databases, will do 20% better than those that don’t.

It is a wise decision. Contact Enhance is a simple, clear and helpful next step for large and small business alike.

Why segmentation benefits your business?

Duncan tells the story of a business, a coaching client, where he spent an hour on the phone with them two days ago. For a lot of SMEs this is just too much and they need coaching through it. They were looking at the results of some data that they had enhanced. They found a field that was hidden inside the data which was about the technology they were using.

They found that their biggest clients had adopted an application called Facebook for Work. This is a new solution from Facebook.

They found the companies were also using Zendesk.

They had discovered a SECRET field that described their market. So, the advice was “forget everything else” and just go after businesses with Facebook for Work or Zendesk.

That is a secret field. If you can find a secret field that no-one-else has found by analysing data you’ll be far more than 20% ahead of your competitors. In terms of cost per acquisition. All you have to do is find these secret fields that describe your best customers and make a bee-line for more of the same.

Find people who have that technology and hunt them down. In this case, you just wouldn’t know that a company was a Facebook at Work or Zendesk user without Contact Enhance.

You could go after those people who use that software with hard personalised emails.

You can also turn it around and join groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and where people were talking about Facebook at Work (There is a small group on LinkedIn dedicated to Facebook at Work).

The client was advised to join the Zendesk and FB at Work groups and learn what they were talking about these products. Learn what they are talking about. When the group’s members would ask for details of the client’s business, then their solution is a good fit for those members. 80% of the clients were using those two pieces of software.

Contact Enhance calls this the Technology Stack or Tech Stack. What we know about a business through their website and various points on the web. Also, the SPF record on their mail servers – more here…

Segmentation in B2B has a moment now, to move forward at a pace.

With GDPR coming into force in May 2018, you cannot just apply profiling to your business to consumer contacts. That will be against the law. The person you hold information on must give you explicit consent to give you explicit consent.

With consumer data, profiling is set to become a whole lot more difficult. The options will be to inform them that you have this information and asking for permission.

From a B2B point of view, Contact Enhance is good to go. It does not handle personally identifiable data.

If you hold lots of emails and included amongst them are GMAIL addresses, then that is technically personal identifiable information. Belonging to a consumer. If you continue you use that data you could be in trouble.

Instead, put your data through Contact Enhance and it will tell you which data is personal and which is limited businesses and plcs. You can then download those, and create a DIVIDE in your database for ‘these are the people we don’t know anything about’ and ‘these are the companies that are definitely limited companies’ ‘these are the PLCs that have got a company name’ – let’s treat them differently.

Where you have a consumer email address, stop emailing them. Even though you may be sure it is a business, just move them to one side. Where you know the data are companies, start to segment them and communicate to the segments in a more relevant way.

Graham represents Contact Enhance, because it is a fantastic solution to real problems faced by businesses right now.

Find out more about Contact Enhance:

What email platform would Duncan recommend?

Tagging ability is more flexible than creating a custom field. Create a custom field for Facebook at Work. This is a traditional system. These types of fields grows and the amount of work that it takes to create a personalised email, grows exponentially.

Tagging takes much of the work out of this. A tag allows you to tag the record as a Facebook at Work. This allows you to query the database and extract that specific tag for one specific communications piece.

This is the route to better open rates and conversion rates.

You don’t have to do loads of work. The tags can be structured in a way that makes sense to you, like CRM:Salesforce, so you can look for any CRM version.

Any system using tags is a more effective solution.

What kind of people should be interested in the system?

  • Anybody who is putting data at the heart of their business.
  • Anybody who has realised that data is one of their biggest assets.
  • Especially if all you have is a load of email addresses!

These are the biggest market for Contact Enhance. That’s because it will make those emails WORK BETTER. Open rate and click through rates will go up and your conversions will go up. Period.

There are 3 niche industries that tend to focus on data at the heart of their business:

  • Recruitment – keeping data up to date is key.
  • Agencies that consult with clients and show them how to improve their performance
  • Developers – data is key to their business as they put strategies together for clients.

The next 100 days? What can I get done?

It certainly won’t take 100 days. A coaching client started on Monday, did a survey mid-week and is sending their first segmented personalised email on Friday.

They enhanced all their data, looked for patterns. They took those people that matched those patterns and asked them what their biggest challenge was in their marketplace. They got response back and prepared an email to go out on Friday.

The survey was a survey of the right people. Not just everybody. They took 20 of their best clients. These were enhanced to find patterns in the data. They went out to those people, but they also bought more data, that was a match to the profiling information that they had got from Contact Enhance. They knew their SIC codes, they knew how many employees they had, they knew where they were located. Those 3 fields were then used to choose a wider audience from a larger list (EmailMovers) and they sent an email out. The responses started to come in from a text email.

The next step will be to put together a communications plan for the next two weeks. These emails will solve a specific challenge that they told the client about in the survey. It doesn’t take a long time. Machines are doing a lot of this work, but does require focus.

The Contact Enhance Return on Investment

Clients of Contact Enhance are often very busy. They are trying to get time back. So they can work on their businesses instead of inside them. They consider technology is the answer to some of that.

Contact Enhance is a technology that gives back time to business people so they can be cleverer. The time they get back from Contact Enhance they use for something else almost immediately.

“You were manually profiling 40 records per day, when I first talked to you. We’re now doing 30 of those. So, we’ve saved you 3 hours. But you are still so busy!”

Clients will find other stuff to do. The stuff that they are now doing is cleverer. They’ve gone up a notch. What their attention normally turns to is content. They spend their time creating personalised content that is highly relevant to segments of their database. That is where their return on investment increases significantly.

That’s how to transform your business.

One client wanted to call people who had registered. 54% of the data returned a telephone number. Instant call list. That client was using a business in Thailand to do this work, so saved a lot of money by using Contact Enhance.

Clients are realising value from Contact Enhance by segmenting and communicating to those segments.

Others are downloading their list of twitter followers into a spreadsheet. They upload the Twitter IDs and the bot has found out what companies they are. Then which ones are in the UK and then given them a telephone number. So, they have generated a telesales list for their guys. A pleasant ice-breaker – Thanks for following us on Twitter. An interesting way of using the tool.

The tool is at an early stage development

One of the original people that used the service bought distressed property. He had a team of people that researched the companies that owned such properties. As he walked down the high street, he’d spot a property, he’d send his team the address, they would look it up and send him the telephone number and he would call them to make an offer on the property. Then he’d change planning permission, develop it or sell it. He had Onedition. Because Contact Enhance works with Wunderlist as well, we are looking for any new record on that list. What he would normally do is look around the building to see if there was a company name or information like a telephone number something like that. With Contact Enhance, within 30 seconds he would have all the information he needed, what their annual revenue was, what the company that owned the building was called, what their telephone number was…so he would make the call from outside the building rather than being now on his way home in his car before he got the information back from his team.

How do you find out more?

Contact Enhance at Finely Fettled

Register through Finely Fettled because that code will get you MORE than the standard package.

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The Next 100 Days Podcast is brought to you by Graham Arrowsmith and Kevin Appleby