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Database Marketing – A Review of Lori Feldman’s System Seminar 2007 Presentation
Lori started by telling us that her talk was aimed at small businesses and made us feel like we could do the material she covered on our own without having to hire a company to do it.
Lori introduced herself as a “Database Diva” who helps clients squeeze profits out of existing clients before they spend money going out and finding new prospects.
Next, Lori presented two case studies. The first was a 2-day follow-up marketing seminar that he offered to his list of 3,000 clients in the same geographic area. He started 10 weeks after his event date. Lori emailed these 3,000 people for 8 weeks. The emails were mostly informative and also mentioned his workshop.
During these 8 weeks, Lori tracked open courses from her emails. He also tracked his clicks. And using his e-marketing software, he understood who was just interested and who was a “hot” prospect. Lori then showed us an impressive report on open and click-through rates. The product he used is SwiftPage, which integrates with ACT! Database. SwiftPage generated a report based on all opens, clicks and referrals to show Lori her “hot hot” prospects.
His goal was to have 20 people attend his workshop. He got about 240 people who were the hottest. He then took those 240 names and sent them physical mail. Lori also used a telemarketing company to follow up on the phone. The telemarketers informed people about his seminar, reminded them that they had received a letter from him, and asked if the seminar was of interest to them. Very low key. If they said yes, the information went back into the database.
Lori showed her final results. About 3,000 names have a 28% open rate, they generated 248 clicks, and so he sent 248 letters to those people and followed up with TV marketing. As a result, he got his 20 participants for about $1,000 in marketing costs. And now that he’s done it once, he’ll do it again in a few months. He now knows the formula to make it happen.
People asked a few questions, and after the recap, Lori told us that these techniques work in almost any market.
He then presented another case study.
Walter Knoll Florist is a 118-year-old business in St. Louis area. They noticed that the secretary’s week had been pretty flat in recent years and so they were just trying to increase sales.
There were 60,000 people in the owner’s database. So he first filtered out only b2b customers (about 30,000). It then matched those remaining names against a database of 14 million other businesses to obtain SIC codes and other information. It told him that this florist was very strong among healthcare companies who wanted to buy flowers and gifts for their assistants. Lori was then able to filter her list and she also bought new leads that matched the right profile.
In the end, Lori reduced her postage costs by only sending mail to the right people and increased her sales by 22%.
Next, Lori defined database marketing as anything you can do to track and measure your results. He then pointed out that database marketing is very much about direct marketing and using a database to do it. He summed it up and said that you only want to spend your time and money on people who are ready to buy.
He then told us that database marketing gives us a plan with real numbers to use in marketing. It is important to find out what drives the customer to buy. What is his motivation?
He warned us that if we don’t understand how to market our database, we’re just building a commodity business that will allow our competitors to reach our current level. It is a secret weapon that you can use to defeat all your competitors.
Lori then shared some “ah ha” principles:
1) All customers are not equal. Some are more important than others.
2) Customers are more important than prospects.
3) Past purchasing behavior indicates future purchasing behavior.
4) Customers share demographics and psychographics.
5) Your best prospects look like your best customers.
Next, Lori shared her reasons for creating a marketing database.
1) Find our best customers
2) Strengthen our relationship with customers
3) Find niche markets
4) Find opportunities to upsell and crosssell
5) Find out how much it costs to acquire a new customer
He then shared that about 1/3 of the people he spoke to at the seminar had a list with only names and email addresses or none at all. Lori noted that a perfect database would have complete contact information. Not just first name and email. And the Holy Grail is the marriage of an online shopping cart, transaction information, and contact information.
Lori continued that the perfect database should also include transaction information, including purchase date, amount and purchase history.
Lori then gave us some great resources. He mentioned that you can collect or add demographic and psychographic data yourself. Lori shared a company called Acxiom that can add customer data to your list.
He also mentioned InfoUSA, which has a free 500-name profile that they do for you once. They return the SIC code, employee information, and more. Next, he pointed out that you can go to the library and use ReferenceUSA for even more information. Lori mentioned SRDS but showed us a free option for very similar information. The URL is lists.nextmark.com and you can type in a keyword and pull up all the listings for sale and also see what your competition is like.
Lori then asked for a volunteer and demonstrated how to use the Nextmark site to do competitive research. The audience was very impressed when Lori researched RC Car Magazine and obtained the magazine’s subscriber information.
The next topic Lori discussed was database segmentation. He showed how to code suspects, inquirers, prospects, customers (active customers based on the sales cycle), advocates, and referral partners.
He then went on to talk about how widely used this ACT! The database is, and if you don’t have a solution for database marketing, ACT! is great to start with.
Next he told us we were ready for the analysis. Let’s start by acknowledging the 80/20 rule. You want to list and sort all of your customers by the percentage of revenue they have generated for you over the past X months.
20% of these customers are labeled “A”. Then “B”, “C”, “D” and “E”. You want to market your “Ad”. He gave some good advice that when you write copy; write it as you would one of your “A’s”.
Lori explained RFM in simple terms. If you don’t know who to spend your marketing money on, you should use RFM. R is recent – who bought from me last? F is frequency – who bought from me most often? Who are loyal customers? M is financial. They are either elephants that buy everything you have and you never hear from them again, or they make up a huge percentage of your sales last year.
You take a spreadsheet and sort your customers by recency and code the top 20% as 1. Then the next 20% as “2” and the remaining customers as “3”, “4” and “5”. You do the same for frequency and money, dividing everyone into quintiles and giving the best a “1” and the worst a “5.”
Each customer then has a value of 1-5 for all three categories. Then you multiply these three numbers together and you get the RFM number 1-125. 1s are the best people. The lower the number, the more you can spend on marketing to them.
He then listed the action items or next steps:
1) Create a customer database with complete contact information.
2) Add missing contact information. You can send a customer survey to get information.
3) Add lifestyle or corporate graphics with a service like Acxiom.
4) Start tracking the source codes. For example, keywords or anything you can track about how customers came to you.
5) Start grouping or segmenting your contacts.
6) Perform RFM analysis every 6 months.
7) Ask your customers lifestyle questions, get recommendations and get testimonials.
8) Buy prospect lists. Remember to buy people who look and act like your best customers.
9) Really research your advocates – set up a focus group to understand what motivates them and build future products for them.
10) Sell your list as a profit center to non-competing direct marketers.
11) Backup your database daily or weekly.
Lori then answered questions. The first question was related to reports. Lori said the canned reports that come with the software are never good enough and you have to create your own.
The next question was about what to do with the letters “C”, “D” and “E”. Lori suggested not spending money on them, but adding them to your newsletter is fine. Also try to get them into the “B” or “A” category without spending money on them.
The last question addressed using the ACT! as a primary tool in database marketing. Lori reminded us that SwiftPage is a plugin for ACT! which makes up for the shortcomings of database marketing in ACT! Database program.
Lori did a great job educating us on database marketing. He is just one of 25 people who spoke at the 2007 Systems Seminar.
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