December 26th, 2018 | by

2018, you’ve been good to us. In spite of GDPR, in the face of market turmoil, and despite an increasingly complicated tech stack, this year has shown us that high tides really do lift all boats.

As we try to fill in the blanks for our customers and prospects, and offer up our own hard-won lessons learned to our community – a few gems stood out.

Here are our most popular blogs of 2018.

1. GDPR for Sales and Marketing

how to comply with gdpr sales marketing

You might have heard about a little thing called GDPR that happened in May.


Or maybe you trekked to an icy cave in the Arctic wilderness during the first half of 2018 in order to avoid hearing about GDPR, and we wouldn’t blame you.

GDPR was the topic in 2018, and folks really liked what we highlighted: Namely, that direct marketing is a legitimate business interest and – if you have a few key parts in place – it doesn’t necessarily prevent companies from doing email marketing in Europe.

Our more specific follow-up blog was a hit, too: Keep Calm and GDPR on: How Marketers Can Comply with GDPR.

2. 8 Ways to Use BASHO Emails in Cold Email Outreach

We’ll say it: You pretty much have to use cold email as part of your outbound strategy.


And the BASHO email remains one of the most effective email prospecting methods. In this blog, our sales development rep with the 60% response rate (!!) is here to show you how he does efficient research and uses personal highlights in emails that get tons of responses.

Here’s how to do the quick research, the right level of personalization, and a few more sweet tips – plus tons of examples.

3. Is Cold Email SPAM?

Are cold email campaigns spam?

Check it out – the name of the relevant statute says it all: It’s the you CAN-SPAM Act.


Yep, it’s perfectly legal to send cold, unsolicited email to a commercial recipient in the United States. People are often surprised by this.

However, sales campaigns must abide by the CAN-SPAM Act, which includes some specific opt-out requirements and a certain level of truthiness. This popular blog was written by our SVP of Data & Research and SME Derek Smith.

Don’t miss Smith’s follow-up post: How to Avoid the SPAM Trap!

4. How to Sell to the CMO

They delete your emails. They decline your invitations. They cut your calls short. What does it TAKE to sell to the Chief Marketing Officer??


This popular blog explores the real pain points of the CMO and the marketing department, where they research products, and how they actually want to be sold to. To find out, we worked with sales author and trainer Jill Konrath, and Engagio CMO Heidi Bullock … and they don’t hold back.

5. What is Intent Data?

If you didn’t hear much about Intent data in 2018, listen up: It’s a hot topic that’s about to get hotter. It’s been an area of special focus for DiscoverOrg this year.


Intent Data refers to company-specific search trends indicating a high level of interest in particular pain points and solutions.

Our blog explains what to look for, how to use it, and how Intent Data compares to other data offerings.

6. Breaking into the IT-Staffing Approved Vendor List

Recruiters should take a page from the sales development playbook for this one: Even companies with in-house recruiting departments need help sourcing the right candidates before competitors grab them – especially in the tech scene where passive recruiting makes hiring even more competitive.


Getting on the preferred-vendor list will cure about half of your headaches. This post shows you how. (Oh, and grab our super-shareable infographic.)

7. How to Calculate Total Addressable Market

how to calculate total available marketEven if you’re the kind of person who grocery shops hungry and without a list – actually, ESPECIALLY IF you are that kind of person – this blog is for you.


Total Addressable Market (TAM) represents the overall revenue opportunity for a given product or service. It provides “guardrails” for go-to-market strategy, and for investors. Because you can’t buy everything in the store – and your target market is not “everyone” – be sure to consume this blog before you wander down the cookie aisle.

8. How to Use Intent Data (Without Creeping Out Your Prospect)

TOPO recently shared their 2019 sales predictions; the use of Intent data topped the list, but they also pointed to a major skills gap, as many sales professionals don’t know how to use this information.


If “HOW THE %$#@ DID YOU GET THIS NUMBER? Take me off your call list!” isn’t the response you’re looking for to your cold call – read this blog.

Do NOT say:

  • “I see you’re looking into …”
  • “I know you’re working on …”
  • “I’ve heard that you have a new project …”

DO try this approach instead. Please. For all our sakes’.

9. Best Email Subject Lines

b2b email marketing subject linesWhat’s HOT? Seasonality, FOMO, puns (always in style), and “power words.”


What’s NOT? Excessive detail, SPAM triggers, WeIRd CApiTaLiZAtioN, and making it all about you (sorry not sorry).

“Think about seasonal or time-based terms that your prospect will be attuned to. For our prospects, an example might be ‘summer slump.’ The budgeting process is top of mind for our target market during October-November (and we want to get in during budget planning!).”

Our internal SMEs with the best email open rates are sharing their examples here, and they let us in on what’s in, what’s out, and what works best for them.

10. How to Overcome Sales Objections

how to overcoming objectionsIt’s not anyone’s favorite part of the job, but “We should relish objections,” says DiscoverOrg’s VP of Sales.


“You might think that positive signs and positive language are good things, but they’re not. So often, feel-good conversations are with lower-level tire-kickers who don’t want to give you negative news. It can drag on forever.”

Readers loved this post, which offers 5 easy techniques to lean in to the objection and turn it around.

Like what you read? Subscribe to our blog for cutting-edge techniques and good, useful tips to polish your sales, marketing, or recruiting game.

Read more from our partner ZoomInfo: 25 Must-Read Sales Blogs


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Charity Heller
About the author

Charity Heller

Content Strategist, DiscoverOrg

Charity Heller, DiscoverOrg's content strategy manager, has been developing, composing, and editing content since age 2. Before her dive into content marketing, she founded and operated a book-editing company for 10 years. Charity has a B.A. in English literature, Professional Editing Certification from U.C. Berkeley, and she's a certified Project Manager.