I have learned a few first hand lessons about the importance of direct marketing mailing lists when I once worked as a freelance copywriter for an online jewelry retailer.
Kevin is the marketing manager of a startup company engaged in selling jewelry on the Internet. He once hired me to write an email newsletter highlighting the different products his company was selling. We sat down one day in his office to discuss all the necessary information that I should put in the email newsletter. Right at the beginning of the interview, I knew we would have a problem with the kind of direct marketing approach that he wanted to pursue.
"First of all, Kevin, I have to know who will be the recipients of this email newsletter. I need to know so I can tailor fit the words that I would write so the copy can best appeal to them," I asked as I got myself ready to jot down notes on my handy notebook.
"Oh, that is not important. We just bought these great direct marketing mailing lists from an agency that specializes in online direct marketing as well as in gathering the necessary leads and contact details from people," Kevin said.
Now, I have been a marketing and advertising copywriter for almost a decade and I knew that the first and most important thing that any copywriter or marketer for that matter should know is who are his target customers. This is vital because he needs this basic information so he can write his message more on topic and narrowed down to fit the needs and wants of the right customers.
"I think, Kevin, we need to know who we are going to send these newsletters first and foremost so all our marketing efforts will hit right on target and not just go to waste," I said hoping he didn't really mean what he said earlier and that he did knew who will be our recipients.
I was wrong. He brought out on his computer monitor this spreadsheet of mailing lists he mentioned earlier. The name count ran to I guess almost a hundred thousand! That's a very big number considering that their business is just starting and they don't have that much of a share in the market. Plus, I honestly believe that they couldn't handle that great number of potential customers.
"Hit and miss, my friend. Hit and miss. We will send our email newsletter to all of these people. While I don't expect that everyone of them will respond favorably, I do expect however, that a few will do. And that's where we will get our business," Kevin said smiling. I could tell he was confident about this strategy and that he was convinced it would actually work.
To make the long story short, the campaign failed. For two reasons: one is that the mailing list didn't target the right customers and two, the emails which the company sent out were considered as spam by most of the people in the list.
Don't be like Kevin. Plan your email marketing strategy better.
Tags: direct marketing mailing lists, marketing