There’s a big difference between rented postal lists and email lists. Last month I wrote about managing your postal mailing lists including both house and rented lists. I noted that this month we would look at why rented email lists are not a good idea at this time.
Because email is such a cost-effective method for sending out marketing messages, it makes sense to consider renting email addresses to expand your prospecting options. Unfortunately, purchased email lists most often contain bad data and out of date information. While postal mailing lists can be highly accurate based on a variety of criteria including geographic location, age, income, home ownership and more, email lists cannot provide the same level of quality.
Caring for Your Contacts Knowing who you are communicating with is an essential component of any marketing/advertising activity. So your mailing lists (both postal and electronic) play a critical role in your marketing plan and should be well managed and regularly updated. Your customer, prospect, and vendor contact data is a valuable asset of your business.
Your House Lists Let’s start with your house lists. Most businesses have a record of their clients in some type of digital format. It may be in the accounting department, a CRM software system, or simple Excel spreadsheet. There are several common scenarios that affect the quality of a company’s mailing list.
I recently wrote about direct mail and the effectiveness of this traditional marketing channel for both communicating with customers and prospecting for new ones. Direct mail alone can be successful and it can be even more powerful when combined with digital marketing channels. Let’s look at these digital options, some you are using currently, and others that are up and coming.
Website Landing Pages If you plan a direct mail campaign that leads the recipient online, you will most likely need to use landing pages. They are called landing pages because these are pages that a web visitor will arrive at, or land on, from a web address in your promotion.
Direct Mail is Effective in Your Marketing Mix I often write about digital marketing technologies, but it is a great time for your business to take a fresh look at the direct mail marketing channel. I often hear people dismiss mail as “old school” and many seem to consider it ineffective. Two points on that. First, have you noticed how little mail you now receive in your mailbox? You may interpret that to mean “everyone knows mail doesn’t work.” But research shows that mail does work when used intelligently as a component of your marketing plan. And that uncluttered mailbox means there is a bigger chance that your mail piece will be noticed. Second, data shows that direct mail generates a higher response rate than email.
We recently reviewed using radio to promote your business, and took a look at developing a radio ad campaign for your local business. Like radio, TV advertising may be more affordable than you think and it could make a significant impact on your sales if you plan and execute it correctly. It helps to understand the television advertising process and use it to your advantage.
Like all advertising, for TV you will need to specify your customer profile and identify demographic information. Essentially, you want to know who you are talking to and what common traits they share. What are the demographic and psychographic traits of your audience that make them a likely fit for your product or service? This information will identify the benefits and drive the messaging you should include in your commercial, as well as target the TV stations, shows, and air times that you choose for your campaign.
Tina Stevens has joined Greenfield Community College as an adjunct faculty member for the academic year. She will be teaching Principles of Marketing, an in-depth course which covers the fundamental concepts of marketing and includes the hands-on preparation of a marketing plan for a local business.
Stevens 470 Marketing + Creative has transitioned to a marketing consultancy specializing in marketing strategy, education, and online content development. Along with this transition, Tina has expanded the Execute for Success program offerings. All programs are designed to provide multichannel marketing services that can be immediately used in today’s competitive marketplace. The programs and services are customized specifically for business owners, entrepreneurs, and key marketing staff.
With over 20 years of experience working with clients in the areas of marketing and design, Tina Stevens developed Execute for Success to solve several business challenges. The first challenge is developing, and then consistently executing a marketing plan.
In my last article “Google’s Hummingbird Aims to Think Like You” I gave an overview of the new search engine named Hummingbird now in use by Google. There are two important points to keep in mind about the new search algorithm. First, Google’s search is now looking at the meaning of your search words and is not as focused on finding a match for the individual words. Second, Google has now become your competitor in the world of search engine optimization (SEO) as it now displays information on the search page. Given these two points, every business needs to evaluate their SEO plans and take stock of the content on their website and other online media.
According to Google, their new search algorithm "Hummingbird" was named for the speed and accuracy of the tiny bird. This new search technology requires a fresh look at our approach to search engine optimization (SEO).
New Search Habits We have learned to approach search by typing a word, several words, or a question into the search engine. Then, the search engine will find and serve us links that contain the specific words we typed. We have also found that search can be a matter of trial and error. If the search results don’t offer answers to our question, we can improve the results by fine tuning our search words.
The search sees the words within our query as separate things and has not previously focused on the context of the words or the meaning of the questions. Google Hummingbird was developed to look at the combination of words in the search entry and provide results based on the meaning of the words or questions, not just matching the individual words.
I realize that many of us do not like change, or have much time to implement change, and that may be why it’s taking such a long time for many small businesses to catch up with the permanent changes that digital technology has brought to marketing. We won’t be going back to a simpler time, when there were three major TV networks, newspapers flourished, and the customer’s only way to access product information was to visit a store and ask questions. Today, our choice of marketing channels continues to grow and fragment while our customers embrace user-friendly technology that allows them to search, compare, and purchase at anytime from anywhere. While marketing may have been easier to manage prior to the internet, there is now a wealth of opportunities to successfully market in news ways, reach more people, and grow your business.