Building a Quality Mailing List
Educational Series Part 1
If you are just getting started on marketing your business with direct mail and email marketing, building a quality list should be your top priority. It doesn't do any good to have useful content or valuable offers if you don't have any way to promote them or anyone to promote them to.
Assembling Your List
When it comes to building an email or direct mail list, it's important to put quality ahead of quantity. The first step is to take a look at your existing customers. Do you have physical addresses for them? How about email addresses? Maybe your customer contact information lives in an existing 'rolodex' like Outlook, ACT, Goldmine, Salesforce.com, or in a drawer in the form of business cards with a rubber band around them. Whatever the case, you have a list in the making.
Segmenting Your List
Next, take a look at your list and see if there are any logical segments. In what ways can you slice and dice your list to send your customers more relevant content through email or direct mail? These segments could include gender, past purchase history, industry, order frequency, etc. If you are able to segment your list up front it may help you target your customers with specific content, making your communications more meaningful and driving greater impact.
Growing Your List
Lastly, just because you have a list of current customers doesn't mean you're done. You should strive to continually grow your list. Evaluate every customer touch point whether in person or online and put in place a plan to offer your customers the opportunity to join your list at each touch. For example, your website should include an online "Join My Mailing List" button. Give your prospect an opportunity to provide their physical mailing address by offering a free catalog or sample kit. Research has shown that 60% of your customers will provide their contact information to you if you ask. If you aren't asking, you are letting a valuable asset walk right out the door.
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to access Constant Contact's Step-by-Step Guide to Building an Email Contact List
A Dynamic Duo: Using Direct Mail & Email in Harmony
Now, let's say you have physical addresses but no email address for your customers. This is where incorporating both email and direct mail can really make an impact. Try sending out a postcard campaign to your list with a special, limited time offer. Then require your customers or prospects to provide their email addresses in order to redeem the offer. You'll promote your business and grow your list at the same time!
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