Before you start creating mailing lists you should keep on issue in mind. These are not simply lists of names and addresses; they are fundamental marketing tools that will help you pinpoint who your best customers will be.
This is why your mailing lists should include a comprehensive customer profile, which is precious data base providing detailed information on each person. With this information you can have a clear idea who your potential customers really are.
When building a customer profile should investigate two main areas of interest: a demographic based research and a behavioral one.
With a demographically based profile you will be inserting certain characteristics about people, which may include their age, marital status, income, area they live in etc. While a behavioral profile will be more centered on what products or services people have purchased in the past and how much they are prepared to spend, or how long ago did they spend money on a certain product. Both profiles are very important and should be analyzed side by side for best results.
You may start by creating your mailing list with all the demographic information under each name, with the assistance of mail list providers. When you create a customer file it is matched with a nationwide database and you may gather demographic information for each of your clients records. There are computer programs that use this key data to compare your clients file with all the other files in the database.
Next you can create the behavioral profile of each client, either internally or externally. You can base your profile on the time lapse of a clients last purchase, the amount he or she spends and how many times they purchase from your company.
Why is this type of analysis so important? Because a customer who has purchased a product or service from you recently is more likely to do so again in the short term as opposed to one that has purchased a while back. Again the same applies for those customers who spend the most money; these too are more likely to buy again. Hence these two types of customers are those you should be hanging on to and offering special products or discounts coupons and special service.
With this type of analysis your customers are given ranking numbers from 1 to 5, five being the highest. Following the recent purchase parameter, that is to say, those customers who have purchased most recently, you should classify them based on the time they last purchased a product, for these will be customers who are most likely to purchase again in the near future. Divide these in five groups ranking them from 1 to 5 starting from the least recent purchases to the most recent ones.
Next sort your customers by the frequency of their purchases and classify them as you did for the former, assigning number 1 to those customers who have purchased the least products to 5 for those who have bought the most.
Your final step will be to sort them out according to the total amount your customers have spent on your products, using yet again the same classification, 1 for those who have spent the least and 5 for those who have spent the most.
With this system your mailing lists and customer profile will allow you to estimate your clients potential at one glance and decide how to apply your marketing strategy for each customer.