A couple of years ago, I sold my old house and bought a new one. The same realtor handled both transactions; her commissions made her a happy woman. Ironically, the first piece of US mail I received in my new home was a postcard addressed to “Current Resident” asking me if I’d like to sell my home.
In your business, what loyal customer wants to find out that new customers are eligible for hefty discounts or that the item they paid full price for yesterday is now on sale? With your ACT! database you can easily and effectively send the right message to the right people.
Although targeting portions of your database can be done in most any CRM product, I use ACT! and rely on one of its best features – dynamic groups – to get the job done. Here’s how you can use ACT to create an effective ACT E-Marketing plan:
- Decide what segments you want to target. Maybe you want to reach just your customers, or just the folks who are in the hospitality industry. Or maybe you want to be really specific and reach out to the customers in the hospitality industry who are located in New York State. Remember, the more specific your target, the better the results.
- Build those fields into your ACT! database. For the best results create several small fields rather than one large one. For example, if you want to classify your prospects and customers as Gold, Silver and Bronze you’ll want to add a new field called “Rating” with those choices in the drop-down list rather than trying to squeeze that information into the existing ID/Status field.
- Create dynamic groups based on the contents of those fields. The dynamic groups can be based on very specific queries of several fields and will pinpoint your desired segments. As an example, one of my groups consists of contacts with an e-mail address who have opted into my mailings, are located in Florida and use an outdated version of ACT!.
- Send your ACT! E-marketing piece to one of your groups.
Segmenting is the most important and probably the hardest part of your e-marketing campaign. Unfortunately a lot of new database users dive in head first and start entering a lot of contact information without giving much thought as to the various segments of your business. This may result in the need to give your database a bit of cleaning down the road if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your e-marketing campaigns. I do have a number of ways to help you organize the chaos of your database; if you need some help getting started drop me a line.
Note: My two previous blog articles discussed the templates you need to include in your arsenal and a few tips for writing your actual message.