B2B Database Small business Strategy

Nine steps to take to increase the effectiveness of your direct marketing

Hopefully you downloaded my segmenting charts for your customers and prospects from the last blog, “A tried and true method for direct marketing success.” If not, here is the first and second links. They are very important to the following nine bullet points.

1).  Match your products or services to customers’ and prospective customer’s wants/needs. Your database should give you a picture of your customers’ buying patterns. This allows you to customize offers for any marketing channel such as direct mail, email or other. The result is usually an increase of responses, leading to better revenue.

2).  Select new list sources that fit the profiles of existing customers. Search for new customers armed with the profiles of your current best customers. Use your Website and create unique landing pages to grow your customer and prospect data. Always ask for data. Make sure there is a privacy statement on your site.

3).  Maximize personalization of communication and offers. This is a proven method that increases response. Address your customer by name and add additional data such as their last purchase date when offering them a discount or another product that will pique their interest.

4).  Provide ongoing interaction with your customers. Out of sight is out of mind. Keep in touch with your customers using their preferred communication channels. If there is no preferred communication channel, start with direct mail, driving them to a Web site and collect some additional data, such as an email address. By doing so, you are creating an awareness that triggers consideration and start to build brand awareness and customer loyalty.

5)  Pinpoint timing and frequency of promotions. See who responds such as what time of the year or from the last purchase. Use the results to spread offers to your customers and your prospective customers. Some larger companies with a diverse customer base use an event once or twice a year to help fill the sales pipeline.

6).  Measure response and be responsible for results. Direct marketing is measurable. More than any other medium, it can be evaluated for its impact on a specific goal. When results aren’t satisfactory, go back and distinguish what went wrong.

7).  Create offers based on customer feedback. Enter customer requests and feedback into your company data fields. As you test different offers and promotions, compare the responses of each to see if some produce better results than others. Most important: Listen to customer suggestions for future offers!

8).  Demonstrate that your customers are valuable assets. Use your data to create a workshop, personal presentations of new products, or a customer rewards/sales incentive program. These programs have a history of building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

9).  Show customers you care about their opinions. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey through direct mail or email (or both). If you hear back from inactive customers, you can tailor an event or promotion to bring them back to active status.

Always remember that a clean customer database is a quality database. And a quality customer database results in a valuable business tool that in turn is a quality asset for your business. Then, when you communicate using the correct tactical channels, you are now following a blueprint for success.

© 2013 by the Marketing Communications Group, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to digital copying and printing without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Photographs are purchased from such companies as I-Stock, Windows Clip Art or John Deuerling.

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