3 Ways To Make Money From Your Prospect & Customer List!
Most businesses keep some kind of prospect list or customer database – often a spreadsheet – consisting of the names and contact details of existing customers, past sales enquiries, email list subscribers, lapsed customers, suppliers and ‘not sures’. This grows over the years and is what businesses use whenever they send out a marketing ‘e-shot’ or decide to make some phone calls. In the early days, marketing to the list often brings good results, but unless given continuous attention, these diminish over time and the list quickly becomes outdated and disorganised.
Is there a better way of actually making money from your prospect and customer database? Yes, there is, and in this article we introduce three ways you can go about doing so.
1) Organise and segment your customer list
Organising and categorising your customer list is a matter of understanding where you are today – i.e. the types of people who are currently on your list – and keeping an eye on the people you would like to be on your list in the future.
Start by dividing your contacts into four basic categories based on your current relationship with them:
1) Existing customers
2) Lapsed or former customers
3) Leads or prospects (at any stage of the buyer journey for now)
4) People who shouldn’t be on the list at all – e.g. very old or out of date contacts, non-opted in contacts, people who are highly unlikely to become customers
Delete category four altogether – you don’t need them. Categories one and two require special treatment, so cordon them off in their own segments and come back to them later.
For category three, your non-converted leads, be guided by your buyer personas in creating segments and sub-categories for your list. Buyer personas are fictitious but illustrative profiles of the ideal type of human being you do business with – e.g. Finance Director at an IT services company. It’s not the business that you target, even if you are B2B focused, because companies themselves don’t make decisions, the people who run them do. Create one segment for each buyer persona. You can have as many as you need, but most companies find there are 2 to 3 main types of people they do business with.
You might find that a core buyer persona segment has very few existing contacts on your list or isn’t represented at all. That’s fine, you can start to build an ideal list through targeted content and digital marketing.
2) Create relevant content for each buyer type or on your list
Now, to transform your list into a lead generation and moneymaking tool, you have to attract the right people to subscribe to your list and persuade the people already on your list to purchase your products and services. You do this by creating content that positions your offering as the answer to whatever problems these people face in their daily work. You’ll need different content for different segments (refer to your buyer personas again), and for each stage of the buyer journey. The goal is to drip feed content to your prospects to build a progressive business case for becoming a customer, addressing whatever stage of the process they are currently at.
3) Set up a strategy for delivering the content
How do you deliver all this content to your prospects? The old-fashioned way was to simply send a bulk email to each segment, but this is no longer the most efficient way of doing things. The best way is to implement a marketing automation platform with email marketing capabilities, such as HubSpot or MailChimp. You can set your content campaigns up to automatically deliver when a certain behaviour is detected – e.g. a new prospect automatically gets a thank you email when they sign up for your newsletter, and certain materials or incentives are delivered if a lead visits a particular page on your website, or click an email link. By utilising automation, you can establish a regular and behaviourally-based dialogue with your prospects without having to physically send each email, and it guarantees that all enquiries and actions are responded to promptly.
While having a prospect/customer list is an essential first step to making more sales online, it is next to useless as a tool if it isn’t organised properly, is non-GDPR compliant, or is full of lukewarm or out of date leads. At JDR, one of the first things we do with our clients is to help them develop a targeted, high quality prospect database, which forms the basis of all subsequent inbound marketing tactics. This focus on quality and relevance keeps your lead generation costs down, improves your sales win rate, and ultimately lowers your sales acquisition costs, giving you better margins from each new customer. To find out more, please give one of our inbound marketing specialists a call today.
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