Targeting your Market is the only way that is cost effective in creating customers.
If you can’t afford, or don’t want to purchase your own SRDS list directory, and then spend the time doing the research, you’ll probably want to use a list broker. These are individuals who make their living finding just the right list for you and buying it from the list manager.
Usually list brokers do not charge you for their services. They make their money from a commission paid by the list manager.
While I have used list brokers in the past, I usually find it is to our advantage to research the market yourselves when it comes to finding just the right list. That’s because I have more to gain or lose from the process than the list broker does.
The average list broker is in business to rent lists. The more names he rents, the more he profits. And regardless of whether you make a profit from the list he recommends to you, he still gets his commission from the list manager.
Most list brokers are honest and will do a good job for you. But you should realize that they depend on large list rentals for most of their profits and dealing with you may not be worth their time. You probably won’t rent enough names for them to make more than thirty or forty dollars.
It is for that reason; I recommend you do your own list research in the SRDS.
After you are familiar with the SRDS and have found a list broker you can trust, using that list broker can save you a lot of time. But just starting out, it is worthwhile to get a copy of the SRDS book and do the research yourself. It will pay off in the long run.
Here’s an Alternative to the SRDS
Another good way to find a ripe market is to get a copy of the Oxbridge Directory of Publications. This reference book contains demographic information on over 20,000 magazines and newsletters that reach the consumers in this country.
With a little time spent researching the entries in this book, you’ll be able to find publications that reach specific markets which have the characteristics you want.
For example, you might discover a magazine like Physician’s Lifestyle, a bi-monthly publication that reaches every single Medical Doctor in the country. (That market has potential!)
The Oxbridge Directory includes the following information about different publications:
Category of publication – e.g., travel
Name of publication
Annual subscription price
Number of pages
Circulation – subscribers, free and newsstand
Having access to this kind of information on over 20,000 publications makes you realize how easy it is to find and target all those ripe markets out there.
Chances are you’ll quickly find several publications you’ll be interested in finding out more about.
To get more information about any publication, just call the publication and ask for their Media Kit.
This is a package full of information about the magazine’s ad rates, and demographic profiles of its readers. Media kits also usually include a sample of the magazine.
Once you get the media kit, look through the sample magazine to get a good idea of the type of products being advertised in it. These products should give you a glimpse at what readers of the magazine are buying and how much they are paying for it.
Now that you’ve narrowed down your market, what do you do now?
Regardless of which method you use to choose your ‘ripe’ market, once you have selected the market, you’ll want to do further research into that market.
This research will be very valuable when it comes to developing the product, and writing the ad or direct mail letter to let your customers know about the product. The more you know about your market, the greater the chance you’ll develop a successful and profitable project.
These are the kinds of things you’ll want to know about your target market:
Predominate education level
Typical hobby or hobbies
Most likely occupation
Predominate religious affiliation
Financial or economic condition
Major fears, worries, concerns
Political affiliation – liberal, moderate, or conservative
Personal aspirations, goals, objective, desires
Hot buttons – special interests that get their attention
Seasonal buying habits
Product most recently purchased via direct mail
Price paid for most recent mail order purchase
Who opens their mail?
If you can find any of the above, you should be able to tune into your market, and give them exactly what they want, in the same way they want it, at a price they are happy to pay.
Here’s a checklist – Selecting a Target Market.
The first step to successful and profitable direct mail project development is to define the market of people you want to sell a product to.
Failure to first define a market, usually ends up with you asking yourself, “I’ve got this product. Who can I sell it to?” That’s a disastrous approach because it removes project control from you.
By defining your market before you develop a product, you stack the deck in your favor because you’ll be able to give your market what it wants, rather than what you want to sell it.
The three main characteristics you want your direct mail target market to have are:
People with money to spend (without money to spend, they can’t possibly be your customers)
People already in the habit of spending money on products offered via direct mail (you don’t want to have to instill new behavior pattern)
People in the age group most likely to have money, and most likely to buy via direct mail. (It’s a waste of time and money to target any other markets.)
Once you have found a market that meets the above criteria, you’ll want to narrow that market down into a group of potential customers with a specific and definable interest.
The two easiest methods to find ripe direct mail markets with defined interests are:
Looking into the SRDS direct mail list directory
Looking into the Oxbridge Directory of Publications
The more you research your market, the easier it will be to develop a successful product and offer.
But what if you don’t do the research?
Suppose you decide your project is so great “Everyone Will Want One”.
Not defining or researching your market means you have no idea who you will be selling to, you have no idea what they want, what they can afford or what their ‘hot’ buttons are. So you’ll just have to guess.
If you guess wrong on even one variable you loose it all. All the money you spend on lists, printing, and postage is all gone. But most important, you will loose momentum.
So consciously choose not to get involved in losing projects. Do the research up front and it will always pay off.
Well, I know this weeks tip was longer than usual, but in order to complete this topic, it was necessary.
Well that’s it for this Issue. Next time I’ll write about another solution to problems you might be having and how to reverse them. If you need step by step instructions on how to implement this and other ideas I give on Creating Customers. Please go to www.buildyourbusinessfast.com and sign up for my one on one Coaching program. You can’t lose by investing just $20/month in the growth of your business. You probably Tip more than your investment each month. Invest in the growth of your business.