A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing – Step 3: List Building

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The money is in the list

Not everyone is an ideal customer. It is better to talk to one person who is likely to buy rather than 100 who have no need of your service. In Stage 2 we looked at how you can identify your ideal customer. Now we want to make a list of more of the same.

Your first list should be your existing customers and the lapsed ones you want to win back.  It is easy to overlook these as potential customers, but you have already invested time and money into acquiring them. They have already bought from you so you don’t want to neglect them. Keep in touch. They may upgrade, renew, repeat and refer. Cross Selling is an important art.

The next list will be for prospective customers. In Stage 2 we looked at how you can identify your ideal customer. Now we want to make a list of more of the same. You can categorise your potential customer list by market, market sector, size, location, product or service etc. There is a benefit in being as specific as possible with your marketing messages.

Before using your list, you must make sure it is ‘clean’. You want to make sure you are targeting the right person. If you have bought a list or sourced data from Yell.com or other data streams it will probably contain old data. A clean list prevents you wasting effort on people who have moved on.

As a minimum, the information you should have includes

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Company or Business Activity
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email

If you create the information in an Excel spreadsheet, it can easily be imported into your management system and email marketing programme.

List in hand, you are ready to think about Step 4: Your Marketing Strategy.