Databases for direct marketing

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    I am not a big fan of buying databases. I like to reach into my network and partner with people who do not compete with me but serve the same customers then I do a partnership and they market my stuff to their customer base. This way we all make money.

    Is it cost effective? As I said, if the database IS my target market then you could have agood ROI. But if you are selling boats and the people are in Gauteng, then I do not think it will work well.

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    Avoid buying databases, customers do no like being spammed. It is important to earn the right to email customers, it is equally important, to ensure you do not mail more than twice a month. You can desensitize your audience quickly if you do send them mails too often.
    Always make sure your mails answer the following from the client perspective: "Whats in it for me" and "Why should I care".

    For bulk email MailChimp is excellent. It also allows you to understand who is opening mails, who is converting as well as allows for segmentation.

    Industry response rates to great emails are around 17% open rate as gold standard, conversion rate to an offer will depend on the offer.

    There are 3 layers to converting emails clients.

    1) Getting it delivered (does it end up in spam)
    2) Is the subject compelling your biggest battle is to get customers to open an email. 
    3) Once they have opened that email getting them to click through is the net obstacle.

    Remember that customers can also become disengaged, so effort can also be spent trying to earn back the right to re-engage.

    Try to have regular cadence of emails and try to make sure there is value in the mails, mail for mails sake tends to do badly.




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    We don't use bulk databases. Instead, we build a following from people who visit our website through gamification. Visitors play a quick game and tick a box allowing us to contact them. We have built our mailing list to over 1,000 people in 6 months using this method. You can take a look at the game ( It appears after someone has been on our site for 30 seconds or more. The good thing about this is that people who give you their emails are likely to be interested in your product.

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