The list includes decision makers who have a budget, have the authority, and are ready to buy your products and services. All you need to do is buy the list and email them. Then wait for the phone to ring.
If I told you that such a list existed – you’d have every right to call me a charlatan. You’d have every right to question my integrity and honesty.
However, when I have discussions with business owners, sometimes I get the sense that’s what they want to hear from me. There is a desire to be one or two email blasts away from meeting revenue goals.
Based on the number of television ads I see, there is no shortage of people willing to buy pills or shakes that melt the pounds off with no change in exercise or diet required. Maybe, just maybe, science has finally made a break through and I can indulge on cheeseburgers and cheesecake and, just by taking this pill, look like a model.
Maybe, just maybe technology has found a way to collect a list of people who are ready to buy… It’s magical thinking. There is no such list.
It takes hard work to develop a database of leads, nurture them, and be top of mind when they are ready to buy. It means valuable, memorable, and frequent marketing. It means research. It means developing relationships.
If you are selling products and services that start at a five-digit price tag, casual marketing simply won’t result in much interest. By casual marketing, I mean campaigns that are written for the lowest common denominator and do little more than list what you sell and ask if the recipient is ready to buy.
First, identify your ideal customer. What are the characters the ideal customer would have? What challenges do they face that your products and services solve? Once those problems are solved, what kind of benefits do they enjoy?
Would your ideal customer have a great experience on your website? Is there information on your website that answers the questions they typically have? Are there case studies on customers who faced the same problems or served the same market that they can read about? If they explored your website, would they find a regularly updated news section and frequent posting on the blog? Or would they find dated materials that suggest nothing has changed on the site in years?
Try to commit to writing one new blog post a week. Think of your ideal customer as you write. If you can’t keep up with the writing commitment, assign or hire someone to help you. Nothing is more crucial than a strong online presence.
Next, begin to build your prospect list. It doesn’t have to be a large list. In fact, I prefer to work with smaller lists. The reason I prefer to work with smaller lists is that by keeping long shots off the list, I can spend more per campaign on the truly ideal prospect. Having a little bit more money for each contact allows for a more valuable, memorable and frequent deployment. While your list may start small, set a goal for adding to the list each month. It might be 5 names a month or 20 names a month; what’s important is that you commit to growing the list and methodically attend to it.
Plan out your marketing calendar. Don’t go too heavy on email. It’s good to have a variety of different vehicles for your marketing messages. Statistics show that your email has a much better chance of being opened if the recipient knows you or recognizes your name or brand. A good way to increase the likelihood of success with your email campaigns is to first launch a direct mail to your contacts (send a lumpy or 3-dimensional mailing to the contact). That lumpy could be a promotional item with your logo on it.
Your email campaign should have a strong subject line (compelling but written to avoid junk mail filters) and multiple, valuable calls to action. A call to action could be: fill out this form in order to download a white paper; click here to register for a webcast; or sign up for our newsletter.
Most importantly, have fun and take pride in what you send out. It will help you keep with the program; remember, you’re in this for the long haul.