SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Oakland, California
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    What are you doing to build a targeted email contact database?

    I took a look at this thread and it made me think about my plans for developing my own marketing list once my new site is ready.

    I know that there are a few ways to build your own mailing list. One way is to have a "Contact" form on your website that allows individuals to select an option to receive your newsletter. Another way is to have an option for people to explicitly sign up for your newsletter.

    Are there any other methods that I'm overlooking? I'm curious to hear what other people are doing.

    Thanks!
    Jeff
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
    Resume: http://www.jeffreyhunt.org/resume/

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sussex, UK
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    - Make sure all touch points have an opt-in for marketing (contact form, feedback form etc)
    - Specific newsletter sign-up
    - Run competitions; great way to build a database

    That's all we've ever used. We don't buy lists.
    ------------------------------
    http://23musings.blogspot.com

  3. #3
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Oakland, California
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks to 23Musings for the ideas. Buying email lists seems like a waste of money when compared to building lists. The people that voluntarily subscribe to a mailing list are already "warmed up" to listen to you and perhaps purchase your services.

    I'm speaking specifically about using an email database of existing and potential consulting clients. The newsletter I'm thinking of will be informational and interesting to read, and won't sell anything in particular. It's really just to inform people about developing trends in the Web industry and why they are important to every business owner. Nothing "tangible" is being sold.
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
    Resume: http://www.jeffreyhunt.org/resume/

  4. #4
    Not now, I'm kinda busy. pdxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Oakland, California
    Posts
    784
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's another thought: I've considered sending letters to a purchased (postal) mailing list to advertise a survey. This could bring a good number of people to the site that might be interested in the newsletter. The reaction would be measurable, too - you can count the number of completed surveys AND newsletter sign-ups.

    Although I have never administered a survey, I hear that they can be an effective means of marketing and getting your name known. There's a whole mess of articles written about this, and I think it's discussed at length in the Web Design Business Kit.
    Jeffrey Hunt, freelance PHP & MySQL developer
    Resume: http://www.jeffreyhunt.org/resume/

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Just outside Boston, MA
    Posts
    527
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You could e-mail a guide/whitepaper that would be of interest to subscribers.

    example:

    If the site is for a restaurant, offer a 'recipe of the month' subscription. I've done this with one of my restaurant clients and it's hugely successful.

    If you're a web developer, offer a whitepaper - something like: "Top 10 Ways To Avoid Being Ripped Off By A Web Company'. (I've done this as well.)

    Or maybe create a PDF of your price structure and e-mail it to people when they subscribe.

    ... of course, make it clear that they are subscribing to related mailings and not just that one.

    Just some ideas!

    -Costas
    In order to understand recursion
    one must first understand recursion

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member Boss_Numbat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi All

    Good advice 23Musings (btw glad you liked the resources in my last post - thanks m8)

    "pdxi" - if you can afford to purchase some of the material available on MarketingSherpa.com, then do so - as the more 'best practice or tested channel results' you have on hand at your finger tips will help to assist you to in creating your own targeted 'contact list'.

    Some of the reports, guides and formulas I have found personally to offer great insight (the whole lot ), are these related to your immediate querry:

    Best Practices in Marketing with Email Newsletters
    http://www.sherpastore.com/Best-Prac...wsletters.html

    Direct Marketing Quantified: The Knowledge is in the Numbers
    http://www.sherpastore.com/direct-ma...is-models.html

    Email Marketing Benchmark Guide 2006
    http://www.sherpastore.com/Email-Mar...Data-2006.html

    There are a number of great free public resources out there too, such as eMailLabs, ComScore and the like.

    The Ten Most-Ignored Best Practices
    http://www.emaillabs.com/articles/em...ces_audit.html

    On the topic of Marketing Lists, well... We tend to call them Contact List (Database), and use a fairly simple concept within our Business process. The idea is that everyone who visits you (us), regardless whether you are a sole freelance operator or consulatant to firm with a reception and staff - is a prospective client... a contact in fact.

    There are several ways at building a 'Contact List', passive or pro-active (no, not the margine spread advertsied on T.V. ), with a series of common sense procedures, checks and measurements in place.

    A while ago I assisted in developing and creating an operation manual for a Real Estate group based on best practices, in effect documenting every possible business or relationship senario and creating a set of rules and procedures to be used - I am going to use this as one example, hope you do not mind.

    Real Estate like any 'selling or buying' industry is based on relationships with their contacts, the prospective buyer, seller, landlord or tenant... with in each field of transaction i.e. Resedential, Commercial, Industerial, Rural etc.

    Good procedures in place for finding contacts, processing, catergorising and then 'staying-in-touch' to further build the relationship are crucial to the industry and often the Top Performers prove this by the business they receive from their individual contact lists - it about the relationship.

    The process involves documenting all entry points for enquiry whether it be online (web site, forms, email, chat, voip etc) or via traditional means such as print media advertising, telephone and physical (face-to-face) enquiry.

    Creating practical procedures for easy management and classification of there respective requirements and needs, often creating reference points for each independant channel.

    Forward planning the contact types and diarising in a contact management system, we created live diaries (five years worth of pre-filled automatic meterails - newsletters, emails, tibbets ect) that autopupulated contact (prospective clients) dates and contact sumamry cards - each with their own unique reference code.

    Small transcript snippet from an IT Prospecting training course:

    Contact System

    The need for a contact system is derived from all the prospecting “looking for work” you have been doing; you need something to help manage the contacts, categories to which they belong to (Class A, B and C.). And the contact regime that the “prospective client” is allocated:

    A good “Contact List” is the ‘benchmark’ source in a Good Prospecting System.

    Until you can do TWO things: become a consummate expert on the other sources and ‘keep’ detailed contact records, you will not enjoy the rewards associated with building a Contact List. A good “Contact List” should provide you with a MINIMUM of FIFTY - (50) great Projects and Clients a year.

    You can BUILD your entire career around your ‘Contact List’.

    A ‘Prospecting System’ is "what" we are doing when we have found a result similar to the one we got from TimeClassified's in India - the medical business looking for channel partner- they had a "dirty web site" and we had the owners (directors name), the managers name, business ID, street address, telephone contact details, and email ID plus web site - SO we have the details for a prospect - yes?

    As soon as we prospect that person - what happens?

    They either say "Yes or No" to our request or enquiry... Correct?

    If they say "yes" or are interested. They are then what?

    A CONTACT

    So we need to manage them how...in a contact management system – A manual contact system consists of a ‘3 x 5’ White card, a dairy and A4 or A5 ‘physical’ sheet template format (for notes in the field).

    We need to work out "when" they the ‘prospective contact’ are doing something (TIME)

    So - we class them - A is a NOW contact - NOW, wants to do it ASAP – they are looking for a solution today – this week – as soon as possible.

    "B" - is a contact that cannot make the decision now - they have a reason - they can do something within 120 days.

    "C" is a contact that is unable to act because this is new to them; they are just beginning "their" research. We "win" the C’s over by staying in contact with them over the time it takes to educate and assist them. We regularly "contact" them

    How can we collect those details?

    Which details - the "A, B, C's"

    You do not collect the IT consultant’s who "Prospect for Work" - determine from the questions they ask a prospective "client".

    Let us pretend for a second...

    You decided to "ring" the Medical Co in India looking for the "channel partner" that we have located in the ‘prospecting system sources – newspapers’.

    You ask for the director first, and then the manger if the first is unavailable. Something like this:

    Hi, my name is NOOB, I noticed your advertisement for a channel partner in "paper name" on the "date"

    I am contacting you because I am looking for work and when I read your ad…
    I decided to look at your web site - I hope you do not mind….
    I notice that your web site is not listed in google, msn, etc…
    I noticed that you do not have a "newsletter" or "enquiry form"...
    I noticed that you web site appear - sorry to say appears a little bit tired....

    You can even use and say my favorite - which is:

    "When are you folks going to be upgrading your web site face? You know it's your 24-hour doorway to your business…”

    When you consider that most people ‘seldom’ get out of their ‘comfort’ zone and look for work; that when people ‘DO’ begin honestly contacting ‘prospective clients’ looking for work. The ‘prospect’ will begin to open up and tell - reason, give details, let you in on plans - and even there and then book on occasion set an appointment for later on that week...

    If you ask: “Do you mind if I stay in touch?”

    Most people reply that you can, this means that not only have you just prospected someone and made a ‘contact’, but also what you are getting is their requirements, timeframe and hopes... MORE importantly you are building a relationship with a "contact"

    By writing the details on a 3 x 5 card and in your diary, you record the contacts name, surname, business details, role, contact points - AND then below the date you spoke or contacted, what was discussed, comments etc...

    You do this each time you contact that ‘prospective client’

    What have you got and what have you built?

    A "Contact List" of prospective clients who are looking for services that you cater for Now we move onto the hard part of ‘managing a contact list’; we do that by creating a good “Contact Management System”.
    Good quality contacts are the lifeblood of most industires, IT is no exception.

    Find them, Pamper them, Win them.

    Regards

    Boss Numbat - Web Mumbler
    Last edited by Boss_Numbat; Jul 27, 2006 at 22:23.
    In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes

    W3C Sites - http://www.w3csites.com/

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    3,019
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd have to agree with everything that Costas said here, and just add that it's also a good idea to find out what kinds of topics people would be interested in hearing more about from you. While you may think certain developing web trends should be of interest to the people on your list, they might care less, so it's important to find out jut what people want and then provide it to them.

    On the technical side of things, I think the more you can automate the signup process the better, so I'd think it best to have a signup form just for your newsletter on your site. If you use a service like Aweber or Constant Contact they all have tools to make it easy to create your own signup boxes, or if you're running a script on your own server you should be able to easily create one of your own.

    Steve

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tauranga, New Zealand
    Posts
    357
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,

    I speak on local client related events and offer a pizza voucher, if people sign up for the newsletter. I get the pizza voucher for free from a local supplier.

    HTH,

    Jochen
    http://www.automatem.co.nz
    Websites, On-line Software and everything Internet
    Follow on Twitter | Connect on LinkedIn | Read on Posterous


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •