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Clean Up The Marketing Database To Hone In On Sales

Nov 23, 2007
Don't squander time and money trying to sell to people who aren't there to get the message! It's high time to clean up that database and make the most of the marketing budget, as sending mail and making calls to those who aren't interested in your goods & services can really be wasteful.

In this day in age, we're able to transmit a message to a possible lead with only an email or fax number. We don't even need a name, although this is preferred as it's impossible to personalize the message if we don't have one. Really, what is the minimum information we need to market to someone? Consider ways to get your customers to 'opt-in' by giving their email address for some kind of free service, like product updates, webinars, or a free consultation. An email address is a great personal link to your customers, and this form of communication is relatively inexpensive, in comparison to print campaigns.

Do you have direct mail campaigns using the US Post as part of your marketing programs? If this list is to date and meets postal standards, this could qualify you for critical discounts on postage.

Go to the USPS site at: usps.gov to find out more about cleaning up your database records.

Search for keywords on the Internet, including US Post acronyms such as 'NCOA' and 'CASS.'

Ask for fax and phone numbers, email address, and other contact info from the same organizations discovered during the search on the Internet.

Some magazines publish direct marketing lists, and often these lists are made available for purchase. Others are available for free at the back of a publication or at the publisher's web site.

Are your marketing programs in need of additional demographic info?

Dun & Bradstreet could be a worthwhile source to check out: dnb.com.

Another is InfoUSA: infousa.com.

Also speak with staff at trade publications you place ads with; in most cases advertisers are entitled to some type of database service.

Another great way to get the info - ask directly! Use the telephone, fax machine and email to inquire about updates to your records. However, if you expect a good amount of response, your query should present a good answer to the question 'what's in it for me?' People value their contact info and will not simply give it out for free. But, by gathering this info with the person's consent, you could be initiating a profitable business relationship with them.

Ultimately, the best way to keep up a clean and up-to-date marketing list is through frequent use. Every time communication is made with your contacts, in any method, you gain the opportunity to ask a new question, gather updated addresses, and get the news from those who have gone on to a new role or moved to another company.

When sending mail, ask the audience to get in contact with you if there are any informational updates needed. Every phone call is a chance to confirm info in the file. By using these methods in your direct marketing efforts, you should be able to hone in on your customers and convert more leads into sales.
About the Author
Mac McIntosh is described by many as one of America's leading business-to-business sales and marketing consultants and an expert on the subject of sales leads. Visit: http://www.sales-lead-experts.com for more info.
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