The Most Important Part of Your Mailing (Part 2): Knowing Your Customers
In the first part of this 3-part article, I went over the importance of maintaining your database of past customers, and getting the most out of using that as a mailing list. There is another brilliant use of your in-house list: demographic analysis, or figuring out who is buying from you and what they all have in common.
By analyzing the commonalities of your customers you can learn who your best customers are and really start targeting with precision.
So far, you should have collected at least a mailing address and a phone number from your past customers. That data is easy to get, because it's not too personal – but some other, more personal information is very useful in helping you determine what your customers have in common. You wouldn't even think of asking a customer how much money they make in a year, how many kids they have, or what age they are, but you need to know this information! It seems like a tedious and futile task to get all of this information, and for a long time it was. Only the biggest corporations could pull off the amount of work and expense associated with matching customers with their personal data.
Fortunately, that is no longer the case! There is a program that has taken the entire US population and segmented into very specific categories, including discretionary spending, what credit cards are used, where they travel, what they drive, what magazines they read, their home value, household income, number of children in household, and much more! My VP Marketing, Joe Niewierski, found out what segment he fell into and was bowled over by how accurate the description of him was! It was perfect, except that he doesn't read car magazines!
We can take your current customer base and run it through this program to determine which of the 70 segments most of your clients fall into. At this point, you'll be ready to start generating even more leads that match the same criteria as your best customers! Plus, once you know about specifically who you're targeting, you can craft your message to really push the right buttons.
You simply purchase only those segments from the areas that the bulk of your customers fall. It narrows the list down to those most likely to buy. So rather than blanket a zip code where you have anybody and everybody, just target the folks most likely to respond to your offer, product, or service.
If you sell a business-to-business product or service, there is a way of narrowing down your best market as well. You can take your list and match up the business description code or SIC code to each business, and also append their gross volume and number of employees. Then, purchase a targeted list of businesses that are similar to those that have already purchased. We do this regularly here at PostcardMania.