How to find your prospects

by MarketingFile 12. January 2015 10:00

You’ve planned your strategy, defined your end goal and when you want to achieve it by, you may have even decided which marketing channels you want to use. Next on your “to do list” is decide on how to find the perfect prospects for your campaign. When we say perfect prospects we mean the people/businesses most likely to respond to your marketing communications and take action in becoming a customer.

Expanding your reach to new customers is not an easy task, especially if you’re a new brand entering the market. You need to establish who your target market is and how to segment them, for example you may target businesses – which industry, a particular size, is your product or service limited to location or do you need to target specific job roles like IT or HR?

Depending on how you segment your products and services will then determine how to select prospect data. This will most likely be purchased from a data company, such as MarketingFile, as collecting data yourself can take a lot time, money and resources. Our recommend is to concentrate on both, purchase a prospect list (that best suits your needs) and at the same time work on those prospects and others, from natural traffic, becoming part of your customer database.

Knowing who your audience is

You know your products and services better than anyone, that’s why they’re yours! Analyse who your product or service is meant for, start off with whether its consumer or business – this will help determine which marketing list or company you should contact.

Whether you are targeting consumers or businesses, are you specifically looking for a particular family member or a contact within a business? If it’s a contact within a business consider contacting as many people as possible within the company to increase your chance of a high ROI. Only use this if your product or service is relevant to those people. Leading us on to our second point….

Is your message relevant?

Sending your message to 1million people is not cost effective (at all), segmenting and targeting your marketing messages to the right people will save you thousands of pounds, time and resources, therefore making your business more money!

When selecting your prospects ensure the message you’re sending them is not too specific that it only becomes relevant to a handful of them. You want to find a balance that will entice them to find out more but not alienate them if it’s not relevant to their needs or preferences.

Look into the past

If you are an established business with previous customer shopping habits then use this to your advantage. Analyse your internal data to determine how your current customers shop, when they purchase, what they are buying and how much are they spending. Don’t forget to look at the shoppers themselves, are they congregated to a location, of a certain age or gender, earn above or below a certain salary, have children or drive a certain make and model of vehicle.

By investigating your current shopper activity and profile you can use this when selecting a prospect marketing list, unless you are entering a new market or relatively new business (with none or little customer information) then make the most of the data you hold and base your prospect customers on what you know currently works for your products and services.

Choose the right list

You are now armed with sufficient information and data on the prospect data you would like to purchase, you now need to make a decision on where to buy this data from. We’ve previously written a few blogs on buying a prospect marketing list, but here the main points:

1. Speak to a range of data companies to find the right prospect data for your campaigns, you might end up going with the first one you spoke to, but whether you’re shopping for data or a new TV it’s always best to shop around.

2. Ask how the data has been collected, this will determine the accuracy and responsiveness, if the company uses competition surveys the accuracy can be vague, your messages will need to be prepared for this!

3. Find out how often it is verified and refreshed, most lists are done on a monthly basis, giving you the opportunity to contact new prospects every month!

4. Buy the data on the licence that suits your needs, if it is a one off campaign then single use is for you. However, if you plan on running a multi-channel/multi-contact campaign (as we recommend) then buy your data on a multiple use licence.

What do you expect?

Last but not least you need to make your expectations realistic, this relates back to your strategy setting and objectives for your campaign. Measuring the success of your campaign to prospect customers will depend on the goals you have set for yourself. Do not expect a majority of your prospect customers to respond to your communication, there is no “one size fits all” response rate so just remember to be realistic with your projections.


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