The Basics of Database Marketing
Database marketing can be simple or sophisticated. The
key is that instead of just having a mailing list of prospective
customers or a single list of current customers, you can
use a computer to evaluate and manage the information
more precisely. For example, you may want to send a reminder
mailing to every customer once a year; a monthly mailing
to more active customers; and place a phone call from
time to time to your very best customers.
Use A Mix Of Marketing Vehicles
Historically, database marketing relied most of all
on direct mail. Then increasingly telemarketing has been
used. And now there are many different alternatives to
consider, including e-mail, fax, and the World Wide Web.
Be cautious of legal restrictions that in the U.S. prohibit
companies from sending unsolicited faxes to people or
companies with whom they don't have a business relationship.
Particularly for closing sales for higher-ticket goods
or services, a combination of several different contact
methods may work best. For example, you may first send
a direct-mail piece to "warm up" a prospect
and then phone to get an appointment where you try to
close the sale in person. Or in a direct-mail piece you
may refer the prospect to a World Wide Web site, a fax-back
number, or an e-mail address where the prospect can get
more information without hesitating because they don't
want to talk to a salesperson yet.
Fancy And Expensive Doesn't Always Sell
In direct-mail campaigns, fancy and expensive doesn't
always mean better results. Also, once you get into four-color
printing the start-up costs are high, so it is very expensive
to test even small quantities.
Make your mailing pieces professional and clean--but
don't go overboard. Generally a one-page letter, a two-to-four
page flyer with two colors at the most, and a business
reply card are all you need for an effective mailing.
Avoid using mailing labels--address the envelopes yourself
or have a mailing house do it by computer.
Make sure you have a "call to action" in your
letter--like a free evaluation, a free gift, or a limited-time
Test all the variables in small quantity mailings, giving
extra emphasis to testing different mailing lists and
Test, Test and Test
In database marketing, changing a small variable can
change your results to a great extent. So once a mailing
works for you in test quantities, do the exact same mailing
to the exact same mailing list in larger quantities. When
you do tests, isolate one variable at a time. For example,
in a direct-mail test, send exactly the same brochures
By Streetwise Business Tips