Category Archives: Lead Generation

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List Selection

list selectionList Selection is one of the most under-utilised and undervalued skills in marketing today.

If you are not selective with the lists that you curate, build or buy then not only is your CPA expensive but more importantly, so is the amount of lost revenue your hotel, business or company loses each year.

The apparent cost of using mailing lists forces some businesses to stop using them altogether and look for “cheaper” ways to find customers.

Let’s first look at the different types of Lists available just to get a complete understanding and see the merits of each.

  • Buying a List

If you know who you ideal customer is then you can narrow down the type of list to buy. Sometimes it’s easy if you are looking for a particular industry, such as restaurants for example, as this will be readily available and comparatively inexpensive to buy. However, this is what’s known as a “cold list.”

If you need something a little more specialised, for example people who like to take winter breaks or golfing weekends you can go to a list-broker where you can rent a compatible list for usually a cost per thousand names. This requires considerable skill and and ability to identify where your ideal customer is amongst the available lists.

  • Building a List

List building is a popular method you will see very often on the Internet. Many websites offer Newsletters or Free Reports in exchange for names and email addresses. The cost of this depends upon how fast you wish to build the list. For example, a PPC Campaign such as Google Adwords can help you build a list fast depending on your budget. Similarly using social media marketing paid advertising can drive prospects to sign up on your website.

The most recent form of list building is followers, fans and connections on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Linked In. There are several methods here of delivering your message: Organically by daily postings, paid advertising to a social media page or a paid campaign to drive prospects from social media to your website. Social media now gives businesses the capability to quickly find a targeted audience.

  • In-House Customer List

Some businesses build a list of customers, and sometimes even prospects, unwittingly which is then grossly under utilized as a method of marketing further products and services. This is a hot list and any company that has one of these can increase revenue in a number of ways with either more products and services of their own or even a related product from a company in the same industry by agreement or by renting out the list.

When using lists for marketing the one basic piece of information that’s crucial to know beforehand is your ideal customer’s profile, without it most of your efforts will be costly and will produce mediocre results at best.

If you would like further information on the exact criteria for selecting lists for your hotel, business or company please email me at: paul.f@how-to-digitals.com

Also, please download our Free Report:

Bespoke Social Media for Busy Hoteliers

Direct Mail Marketing

DMMDirect Mail is the Oldest Yet Most Profitable Marketing Media Available to Any Business Today!

In terms of ROI, you can still get big bangs for your buck with direct mail marketing. Large companies spend millions of pounds annually on what is commonly called ‘junk mail’.

Why do they spend so much? Simply because it works and has done since the early days of the printing press, and the only thing likely to stop it from working is closure of mailing delivery companies such as Royal Mail; currently gearing up for privatisation.

The Secret to Success?

However, small fortunes can also be lost using direct mail marketing, as most of us can easily identify ‘our version of junk mail’ which goes straight into the bin, unopened. Why? Because we are not even remotely interested in that company, period. So in reality the sender strayed from the guiding principles of right message to right market via right media. In fact, probably the first two.

Direct Mail Principles

Small businesses do not have the luxury of a large marketing budget to make this kind of mistake too often; if at all. Many have found the smarter method of firstly finding who their ideal customer is then build a profile of traits, habits and demographics which are then used to seek out similar prospects. For example, the ideal customer profile for guests who stay at a top star luxury hotel in London may include ‘golf’ and ‘high-end property investment’. The hotelier can easily rent lists of golfers and those who invest in high-end property. There will be other information on the data card from the lists that he can segment further if required.

Crafting Your Message

Since the right market/customer has now been found, a message needs to be crafted that will appeal to them. Here, one should be skilled in copy-writing and it’s techniques. Otherwise, it’s far better to outsource to someone who is. Ideally, the campaign would be a series of three congruent letters which follow from one to the next, allowing three opportunities to elicit a response from the recipient.

This is just a broad outline of the work and research that goes into direct mail marketing. Other skills include; how to make sure your letter gets opened, getting it read and eliciting the desired response. When becoming adept, this whole process can then be automated and thereby reducing costs considerably.

If you would like to find out how direct mail marketing can help your business, email: paul.f@how-to-digitals.com

 

Email Marketing

Done Correctly,EM Email Marketing Can Be Your Most Powerful Income Generating Machine.

Due to the “black hat” practices of the few, email marketing has become a dirty word with some businesses who have chosen to avoid it altogether, except for personal emailing.

However, when one follows the well cut path that avoids the SPAM filters and has recipients opening, reading and responding to your emails it then becomes a profitable and reliable media for attracting and maintaining guests, customers and clients.

The art of email marketing is surprisingly simple, but what you will need is an email management software to keep track on your campaign. Here is a very brief overview of the steps necessary to keep your emails out of the spam filters and into the minds of your recipients.

Lists

The importance your list cannot be over-stated. You cannot simply send emails to any old list and expect to get results. The subject of Lists is covered in more detail here on our webpage: List Selection.

Personalisation

Personalisation of your emails, no matter how large your list, is crucial in showing legitimacy of your email, and establishes the fact you do have some kind of a relationship with the person receiving it. For example, if you have collected the email addresses of your customers by default, for perhaps ordering products or customer service communications, but have never used email marketing to that list before then beware. Your first email to them should state clearly:

  • The business they have had with your company, i.e. how they got on the list
  • Something of a pre apology, “I hope you don’t mind our emailing you.”
  • A very special offer that will benefit them that’s related to their previous dealings with you
  • The opportunity to opt out of receiving further emails.

Subject Line

Making your subject line stand out from the crowd is the Holy Grail of email marketing. Subject lines can be peculiar to service, industry or type of customer. There are generic types also. For example, a successful Internet Marketer said that the largest opening rate for his emails had as the subject line, “Bad News.” I’ve used this in at least 3 different sectors and it increased opening rates substantially each time.

Offer

If you don’t have an offer of some kind then, not only will you get poor results from your current campaign, but with any future emailing due to lack of interest and a high unsubscribe rate.

3 Step Campaign

Any email campaign you devise should be part of a three step process. This allows you to monitor the opening and click through rates of each email. The hidden power of this system is that you can analyse the effectiveness of each email and tweak the next one accordingly, giving you three opportunities to achieve the desired result.

Analytics

A good email software will allow you to monitor the opening and click through rates of each email. Furthermore, it should tell you specifically ‘who’ from your list opened and clicked through. Thus providing invaluable data about your list which enables better and more effective email marketing campaigns.

If you would like to know how to structure an effective email marketing campaign for your business email: paul.f@how-to-digitals.com

Lead Generation

LGLead Generation: Once You Find Your Ideal Customer!

Finding your ideal market allows you market your message to the right prospect. The next job is to identify from that market exactly who your potential clients are. This we call Lead Generation here is how it’s done.

The Lead Generation Magnet

The message you send, be it email, direct mail or banner ad, should contain some sort of valuable free gift (free report, video or mp3 download) which they will receive in exchange for their contact details; email and/or postal address. The valuable free gift is what’s know as a lead generation magnet which when exchanged for contact details tells you right away that this person is interested in your message and thereby becomes a highly qualified prospect.

The Follow-up Campaign

This can be either by email or direct mail. For an overview of these methods click Email Marketing or Direct Mail Marketing, it’s better to try both initially.

Social Media

Social media is a highly effective platform from which to generate leads with deadly accuracy due to the tightly defined demographics, interests, job titles, occupations, industry, age gender etc. A well crafted ad can cost as little as 17 pence CTR to your website.For an overview on ways to use social media, click Social Media.

For more information on how to implement a lead generation strategy for your hotel, restaurant or business, email paul.f@how-to-digitals.com