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How Long Should You Keep Marketing Prospects In The Data Base?

Jun 6, 2008
So, how long should a smart marketer keep their contacts in the data base? Many marketers remove people and records from the data base too soon, especially when considering the overall potential lifetime value of both the prospect and the company they represent.

Consider this: even if a single customer only buys one single item in a lifetime, you should strongly consider keeping him or her in your data base for a long period of time, or at least until they make a purchase from either you or your competitor. But, if this same contact continues to make purchases of the types of services and products that your company provides, on a repeated basis, you really ought to consider leaving the person and the company they represent in the data base for an unlimited duration. Or, you can just leave this contact and the company they represent in the data base for as long are you are sure you will be able to market to them cost effectively, whether this message is sent to the person by e-mail, by fax, or by phone. When providing a direct marketing solution for clients, one often hears about marketers who are beginning to close first sales from prospects who have been sitting idle in the data base for two, three, four years, or at times even! longer periods of time.

One good method of determining whether or not you should keep certain customers and prospect records in your data base for a long time cost effectively is to compare the cost of data base marketing to one prospect or customer for one year, as opposed to the cost of locating another new prospect to market to. As an example, if the company you represent tends to spend an average of two hundred and fifty dollars to generate a single inquiry, and only twenty five dollars a year in order to keep in contact with each person or record using data base marketing, you can afford to maintain the prospect or customer in the data base for up to around ten years for around the same cost.

If, however, you are going to keep people and the companies they represent in your data base list for a long duration, it is a good idea to periodically ask these contacts if they are indeed still interested in receiving information from you and the company you represent. You can simply opt to tell these people that if they do not respond to your inquiry, you will simply remove them from your data base list. Then, just keep those respondents who indicate that they would like to continue to receive your message and updates. Then, remove those who do not respond after a reasonable amount of time has passed after your inquiry. An even better idea is to maintain the records of those who do not respond for purposes of statistical evaluation, but add a code which will suppress these records when generating lists for active mailing, faxing, emailing or calling of prospects in future campaigns.
About the Author
M. H. "Mac" McIntosh is described by many a! s one of America's leading B2B sales and marketing consultants and an expert on sales. See: http://www.sales-lead-experts.com for more info.
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