Is your new marketing plan stuck at go?

By Anne Johnson • January 17th, 2017

Was building a marketing plan one of your New Year’s resolutions but you just can’t seem to get started? Setting up a marketing plan or even a single campaign is not something to be taken lightly. There are many moving parts that need to be addressed. But let’s talk about a few basics that should help you keep it as simple as possible and get you started.  

You know you receive messages that have nothing remotely to do with you or your interests. Don’t you often wonder how and why your name is on the sender’s list? A marketing campaign that targets anyone and everyone in a list is taking a shotgun approach. This means the target is very wide and not very focused. The results of such a campaign are usually not very successful, if at all. Here are three tips to make sure your marketing approach successful out of the gate. You need:

  • A good message with a call to action
  • A clean database with valid information
  • A way of segmenting recipients to be targeted with appropriate messages

So let’s take each of these three items individually to explain how they will help you put together a successful campaign/plan. Your marketing medium does not matter, all three of these strategies will apply.

  • Make sure your message is clear and appropriate for your purpose. For example, the purpose of a regular newsletter is more informational and to stay on top of mind. However, you still want to make sure you provide multiple ways and reasons for the recipients to contact you. Always be sure to include some kind of call to action that is appropriate to the message. If you don’t tell them what you want them to do after reading, they won’t do anything and you might have wasted your chances with them.
  • Make sure that the contact information you have in your database is as clean and accurate as possible. I know that cleaning up a database can be a daunting task, but using a clean database is important. Make sure you remove as many duplicates as possible. Keep in mind though, any database that is more than 6 months old can already be out of date. Do not get discouraged if you receive a lot of returns. Simply use the first send or so as a means for further cleaning your data.

To make sure your message has its best chance of being received, here are a couple of simple steps to follow:

When sending physical mail, make sure you look up only those contacts that have complete addresses. This may involve doing 3 different lookups (address, city, and state) to eliminate incomplete addresses and a wasted stamp. If you don’t have an address, the message is certainly not going to be delivered.

When sending email campaigns, make sure you look up only those contacts that have a valid email address so you have a better chance of deliverability. If you are not sure how to determine valid email format, you do a lookup using the criteria contains @. Remember, all valid email addresses will contain an @.

  • Segment your contacts appropriately for your business goals. Think about the types of messages you want to send and identify those contacts who should receive specific types of messages. Segmenting your contacts is a great way of making sure that you are sending the correct message to the people who should receive it. By targeting your message appropriately, you make sure that you focus the attention on those people who are more inclined to purchase from you.

How do you segment your database you ask? Well you could segment on whether the contact is a customer or prospect. Although informational or educational messages like newsletters might be targeted to anyone in your database, you would probably want to target special offers or customer discounts at only your customers, not prospects. In fact, if your database allows you to identify product type or interests, you could send messages that target those people specifically.

Whether you send messages via email or physical mail, you want to be sure to create the right message and properly clean and segment your database to achieve the best results. When you do, you have a better chance of getting your message to the correct people thereby receiving more exposure and ultimately, more sales.

If you need help to get your marketing off the ground or more information about planning and sending messages, please contact us at 423.875.2652. We have many years of experience helping businesses clean up their databases and create plans that build sales.

 

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