When it comes to direct marketing, the data or lists your business uses is one of the most important part of the equation for marketing success. Other important factors for marketing success are the timing and the offer used in your promotions. So before you send out that email blast, direct mailer or throw $500 into that Google Adwords campaign, there are a few important things you should consider before you make the investment in the marketing campaign and especially before you buy the data that is driving the effort.
Know your Customer
Before you do any marketing or advertising of any kind- especially before you buy your customer leads list, you have to know who they are. A simple survey of existing customers, even a sample size of 3-5% will go a long way to finding out who your ideal leads are. Important questions like gender, age, location (by zip code), consumer interests, how much they spend on your products or services and how your ideal customer wants to be contacted are key pieces of information to know before you ever pick up the phone and order the data from your data broker.
Know how you will market your business
Before you order your leads data, you’re going to need to know the mediums in which you’ll deliver your message. Are you going to send a mailer or email and then make follow-up cold calls? Maybe you’re going door to door or you’re going to target that data with online advertising and geo-target? Knowing how you’re going to market to the leads and having a plan is the first step in determining which data you buy and if you’ll need updated contact information for the leads.
Get your offer ready
Your offer is extremely important piece of marketing next to the data. Make sure your offer has a clear call to action- maybe direct them to a landing page on a website or a dedicated phone number to call. The second most important process of the offer is to identify and track who is responding to your offer so you can identify which data source is working for your marketing campaign. See Test, Test and Test Again.
Buy from the Best
Once you know what type of data you want to buy, call up some data companies and get quotes. Don’t rush and go with the first data company who responds to your inquiry. Also, ask for a free sample so you can see what you get. Good data companies will provide all contact information, consumer interest data and demographic data as a part of the sale. So if you receive a sample with just the contact data, ask for it all.
Test, Test, and Test Again
If you have a sizeable budget or you just need to make very dollar count, test different sources of data by testing universes and tracking response rates. For example, if you are going to send out a mailer or email for a test, we recommend always testing at least 1,000 records or a smaller segment of that. You should mix up various list sources in that test to see which data source performs the best.
Follow these five steps and your data purchasing for your marketing campaign should be successful. If it’s not, find out what went wrong by testing until you get it right you will be glad you did!
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Posted by John Connors
John Connors is a Co-Founder of DMD and also owns Campaign Now, a political advocacy marketing firm based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He specializes in data and technology.