Picking Out the Decision Makers from the Influencers
Question: How do I ensure that my email campaign is not just going to the right target audience, but to the individual who makes the buying decisions?
First of all, your email campaign should be targeted at two groups: your Agency Access list of prospects and your “in-house” list, which includes all past and present clients and prospects, colleagues, peers, vendors – essentially anyone who’s ever hired you, inquired about working with you or who might be in a position to pass your name along. All of those people are, obviously, the right target audience for your email campaign.
Plus, you should be growing and adding to your in-house list every single day. It takes effort but there are many ways to do that, such as adding new networking contacts, favorite connections through LinkedIn and a call-to-action on every page of your web site to sign up to receive your email campaigns.
Make Your Email Campaign Work for You
When it comes to your Agency Access list, identify those you think would be your best prospects – all of whom who are relevant to your style. Then use your email campaign as one step in the process toward further qualifying those people to determine whether they are either influencers or decision makers. You can do this in a couple of different ways:
- Engage them. Every email message you send should have a call-to-action and/or a relevant question they can respond to. This is a great way to “weed in” your best prospects. Those who respond are clearly closer to their moment of need for your services than those who don’t.
- Suggest to them. Suggest that they forward the message and ask, “Who else should be receiving this?”
- Call them. Choose the top 25, 50 or even 100 ideal prospects and call them directly, or have Agency Access make the calls for you - details about that here. Whether you do it or someone else does, it’s important to make that actual human contact in real time to ask the questions about their needs. Even if you don’t reach someone, they will hear your voice and that will make a stronger impression than email alone.
The more narrowly you target your prospects, the better you will understand their needs and, the easier it will be to determine whether they are the right people to be in touch with. Email is more than just getting your name out there; it’s about starting a dialogue. So if you’re just using it to broadcast, rather than to engage, you’re missing part of the opportunity.
Ilise Benun is an author, consultant and national speaker, the founder of Marketing Mentor.com and the co-producer of the Creative Freelancer Conference. Her books include "The Designer’s Guide to Marketing and Pricing (HOW Books), “Stop Pushing Me Around: A Workplace Guide for the Timid, Shy and Less Assertive” (Career Press), and her latest, The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money (HOW Books 2011). Marketing Mentor
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