As part of SpecialChem’s Lead Generation Product Listing, a materials suppliers product data and related documents are available to any logged in registered member by default — and this membership is free.
In a few cases, some suppliers are worried that their competitors can access their documents and they are asking if a blacklisting (blocking them) is possible and if we recommended it.
Let’s not beat around the bush. If you are reading this post, you are certainly considering a competitor blacklisting too. Even though SpecialChem offers a blacklisting option with our product listings, we do not recommend blacklisting to prevent competitors to download your documents.
Why is blacklisting NOT recommended on SpecialChem
When you subscribe to a Lead Generation product listing, your primary objective is to attract, and influence the technical buyers who are actively searching for a solution, then convert them into real business opportunities. A key step in their journey is the self-education they receive through document downloads.
Blacklisting your products will have direct downsides on your visitors’ journey and also affect your performance. Here are the downsides to help you think through the pros and cons.
- Reduce your number of leads
Your documents will only be accessible after you approved the lead’s request on SpecialChem. But some of your leads may not be willing to send a request to access your documents, which reduces your number of leads.
- Cannot benefit from an accurate lead scoring
Since your leads can’t download your documents, we can’t use these events to quality score their intent in order to better predict their potential.
- Discourage leads to access your documents and drive them to competition
As they can’t access your document right away, your leads may turn to alternative solutions to get that information. Or in worst case, even remove your product from their prospective list and continue with competitive solutions where the information and documents are easily accessible.
- Miss business with companies that you consider competitors
In some cases, a competitor could be a development partner or even a customer. For example, you could connect with a non-competing business unit which has a need for your product. Some suppliers are also involved at different levels in the value chain.
- Complicate your lead follow-up process
To access your blacklisted documents, the visitors need to request it. You need to manually check every request to grant the access or not. And if you don’t do it quickly — in the same day, and within 1 hour for the best results — then you may lose the momentum.
- Focus on the wrong agenda
Don’t hinder the journey of thousands of buyers just to slow down a few competitors. It rarely pays off. On the contrary, ease the journey of your prospective leads to maximize their conversion into customers.
- Fight a losing battle
On the internet, no system can fully guarantee that your information won’t be found. External partners, distributors or customers can also leak the information. Some other “leaks” include trade shows, conferences, and social media. And your competitors can even use their friends to create fake leads, former employees, partners or customers to access your information.
Blacklisting Case study: Only 1% of leads were from blacklisted companies
To give you an example, I analyzed the leads generated by one of my client’s product listings. Among their 2,766 leads — all deduplicated — I only found 38 leads from 14 blacklisted companies. This represents 1% of the leads.
With a blacklisting, 2,728 viable leads would have faced difficult hurdles to access documents and self-educate on my client’s products, PLUS those leads couldn’t have been accurately scored by our lead scoring system.
Is it worth it to hinder the journey of 99% of your visitors just to slow down the 1% competitors? Especially when they will most likely find other ways to access your documents?
This is also why we do not recommend you blacklisting.
How can you blacklist leads on SpecialChem product listing?
If you subscribe to a Lead Generation listing with unlimited leads, you can add a “Hidden Datasheet” option to your subscription. And again, we do not recommend that option for all the reasons stated above.
So, how does blacklisting work?
- Your products datasheets, formulations and documents are not displayed nor downloadable on your product pages.
- A button “Request Datasheet” or “Request Formulation” is displayed.
- You receive all the requests and take care of the follow-up.
- You can decide to send the datasheet and documents if the lead is not a competitor.
If you decide to Blacklist anyway – here is our final recommendation
After reading this far, do you still want to blacklist leads from potential competitors? Then, please take our final suggestion.
Instead of blocking the entire datasheet, consider instead to “limit” what you feel is truly confidential information on the technical datasheet.
Then, you can have the best of both worlds – still allowing some of the information to be used to engage the technical buyer, and reserve sharing the full dataset in your personal followup meetings.
We hope our explanation helps accelerate being “discoverable” and “accessible” to the world of potential buyers!