Growing business, lessons from gardeners. Lesson 3.

Great gardeners know that they get the most impact when they sow in drifts. If one seed doesn’t germinate there will be others to take its place so the effect is not lost. However sow in small patches and when a seed doesn’t germinate our gardener is left with a bare patch of soil. In business we limit the potential for marketing success if our target is too small so we need to have enough people in our sites to make an impact.

List building

Gardeners plant in drifts for maximum effect. Marketers need to reach enough prospects to generate sales

Is your list big enough?

Now let’s assume that you want to make £1000 from your marketing campaign and your customers’ average spend is £25 so you would need to make 40 sales to achieve your target. If you got a 2% conversion rate from your marketing you would be doing very well. You will therefore need to reach 2000 people to achieve your goal. Now in reality you are unlikely to make a 2% return on a cold list so you need many more names on the list or to work hard at warming the prospects on your list before you make an offer. If you don’t sow enough ‘seeds’ your mailing will not have the impact you need to reach your sales target.

I talked about the importance of list building in my last post, if you haven’t already read that you can see it here.  But building a list can take time so today we’re going to consider some other ways to reach more prospects in your potential target market.

Buy a list

One way to add multiple names to your marketing campaigns is to buy a mailing list.   This will allow you to purchase a number of names that meet your target customer’s profile. You should be able to find lots of potential list suppliers with an Internet search but always check that the data is collected in a legal manner and is kept up to date. Ask how the list is compiled and both how and how often the data is cleaned.

When you buy a list buy it for multiple use. As we discussed in the last post a one off mailing is unlikely to yield results and if you mail to a list you have purchased for single use only the list holder is likely to come after you! Consider what information to buy. For a small additional charge you should be able to get phone numbers for the people on the list. A follow up phone call can dramatically increase your conversion rates.

Leaflet distribution

Distributing fliers or postcards to your target market is a relatively inexpensive way of raising your profile to a defined target market.

Door drops can work if you are selling to the consumer market but don’t expect a massive response. Making a special offer on production of the flier or via a special code will allow you to measure response. Make sure you print on both sides of the document. It doesn’t cost much more to print double sided and it will increase your chances of success. Fliers are like toast! Drop a slice of toast and nine times out of 10 it will drop butter side down. Print one side of a flier and when that lands print side down your prospect will not see your message before the flier gets deposited in the recycling bin.

Consider inserting your fliers with publications your target market is likely to read. Most magazines and many newspapers offer a mailing distribution service and you can usually select which areas you want to target. Inserts get a better response than advertising in the publication itself.

A selection of other ideas

  • use a telemarketing company to generate warm leads for you
  • find people with high traffic to your target market and offer to pay an affiliate fee to for sales made via their affiliate code
  • offer to speak at events where your target market hangs out
  • use internet advertising via Google adwords or Facebook

I would love to hear any other ideas you have or how these suggestions have worked for you.

So don’t have any bare patches in your garden, make sure you sow enough marketing seeds for your leads to germinate enough sales. If you need any help developing these ideas comment here or email me at glenda dot shawley at thetrainingpack dot co dot UK.

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