If you’ve been in business a number of years, you should have a database of your customers. In fact, you should have software that’s tracked all their purchases, contacts, and requests. Now, they may not be all your best customers, but it’s a list that can be used with other communication tools none-the-less.
If you don’t have a list, you can purchase one or more. However, make sure you’ve done your homework or marketing plan first. When you do, you should have a full demographic and economic profile of your ideal target client. Then, you can go “happy hunting” or purchase a list. (To make sure you purchase from a credible list provider, check and see if they are a part o the Direct Marketing Association, or even Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association.)
Now that you’ve got your list, how are you going to use it?
Databases and the information contained therein (like email addresses) is a precious commodity – equal in value to the actual product or service you make. If you abuse it, you won’t have a client base with which to sell to. So be mindful of HOW and with WHAT tools you are marketing to it with.
A popular tactic to market with presently is an electronic newsletter or promotion known as an “eBlast.” There’s a whole host of rules you must follow when designing and distributing these, so don’t ignore them. (Refer to How to structure your Electronic Promotion.) A more traditional approach is direct mail. Either one, depending on your target customer, should always communicate these things:
1. What your product/service is? (Features)
2. How it can help them? (Benefits)
3. And most important, tell them how they can get it (Action)