Several areas could include opt-in notices on your website where you give away free information such as newsletters, reports or bulletins in return for their key contact details. The Yellow Pages directory contains contact details for businesses whilst the target’s own website may also list senior company executives and email addresses. Some industry associations have directory listings of their membership base and sometimes publish this information on the web.
We have already talked about sponsored parties including sporting groups and their databases of consumers and business prospects. You may not be able to gain direct access to these databases but you may be able to provide copy to the sponsored party so that you can reach them.
Your business should prioritise the building of a prospect database and it should be continually worked on to improve your chances of success at below-the-line activities. You can dust this database off with each new campaign that you intend to run. The database can be a valuable source of reference when you have new products to launch or you need to target a specific audience for the launch of a new product or an invitation to your latest workshop or seminar.
Staying in contact with existing customers is important because these can be a valuable source of referrals and leads and they may wish to use your services again in the future.
One of the pitfalls of direct marketing can be in maintaining the database itself. People and businesses tend to be on the move and before you know it, a portion of your database of contacts can become out of date. You may also find the need to remove duplicated entries or avoid contacting people under the age of 18 if they are not an appropriate market
Once you have your database, it is simply a matter of doing a mail merge to run off a series of direct mail letters. This can be done in either Microsoft Word or Excel and is a relatively easy task to complete.
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