Is it worth buying a list of potential users to get a new product exposure?
I invented a product that can be used by basketball coaches. I can buy a directory of the 10,000 college basketball coaches in the U.S. We will get the mailing addresses and email addresses of all coaches. This is from the college coaches directory so I know the listings are correct. My question is how I can use this list in a cost-effective way to get information about my product seen by all these coaches? I'm not concerned with selling the item because at this point I just want them to know it exists, as its a product many of them would be interested in having. I just want to get the product name and what it does in front of them so they know it exists.
Bulk mail would be pricey so I don't want to spend that kind of money. Is there a way to use the email addresses in a way that they will get the email in their inbox guaranteed? This will be a one time deal I do and not something that I will resend out over and over to them... I just need them to see the product. Buying the list is only worth it if I can get them to see the product, thoughts?
Everyone is talking about emails, but why not send them a snail mail letter invitation back to your website to access a video presentation or webinar? The medium is less important than the message.
However, you first need to make sure you can get through to the coaches with your letter and then once they open it, will they perceive it as valuable and ideally compelling enough to act on your call to action? The key here is a simple, relevant, compelling, and time limited offer - that you already said was free. Just info.
Consider packaging up an info kit that explains why they need it, what they are missing without it and what they need to do to get it.
Then you can worry about how to get the message out to them affordably.
As well, think about testing small batches of creative first to establish response rates before you invest in a large direct mail campaign.
I think the question to first ask is if the directory offers this list for sale, presumably the details of coaches on it have opted to be, and opted to receive third party communications. Otherwise, what is the directory doing selling it? (I don't know of or about the directory in question)
Assuming if you bought the list you, therefore, inherit the permission to contact the coaches, email would be the most cost-effective method i.e. free/cheap.
Any email you send should be personalized, not sales-y, or overloading. Keep it short and written from you to them individually. State that you've emailed them as a member of the directory and you believe they'd have a genuine interest in a product that solves X that they may not even know exists. The [Product Name] is a new invention and as such has limited availability but as a coach, you thought they'd have a high level of need and interest.
Invite them to learn more.
Be sure to include a proper email signature with a link to your website as well as your email and phone number.
By having a plain and simple email it is more likely to get through spam and junk filters and as it looks like an email from a person they're more likely to read it.
From my experience, even a one-time-deal e-mail often leads to negative reaction. You know that you're offering a good deal, but it's spam even in this case, as they didn't give you their contacts.
The usual way to overcome it with no additional money spend is getting to their online communities and talk community leaders into putting information about your product into groups/websites/mailing lists. It is usually possible to get it free, and you'll have the contacts that will be useful later in your business.
I would 100% NOT advise this. Humans have too many options to pay attention to email campaigns they're not expecting or didn't sign up for. Plus those lists aren't cheap and maybe if you're lucky you'll get a 3% open rate and .5% click throughs.
A better plan... build out a content based strategy. Create helpful, relevant and FREE content online that your target audience could easily find in the regular online research behaviors. Here's a good resource to help give more color to content strategy http://offers.hubspot.com/a-practical-guide-to-building-a-killer-content-strategy
If you send an unsolicited e-mail promotion, you run the risk of violating the CAN-SPAM Act, and you could get into trouble with the FTC, with fines of up to $16,000 for each separate e-mail. I would not recommend it. Here's a link to the FTC's rules about e-mail promotions:
Check that out first, to make sure anything you plan to do is in compliance with their rules, so you don't run into problems later. I hope this helps.
In my opinion, the answer is pretty simple. If the list demo fits the product demo, then yes it makes sense. Do the review of the list and make sure that the people have at least a 50% chance of using the product. If the list fits and the special offer is attractive then the promo should be effective.
No its not recommended. Besides rather work harder at getting quality followers etc by commenting on posts of quality articles and blogs from reputable names
Do you use google mail? I don't mean like a gmail account, but is your company email hosted by google? If so, I would a email merge using google mail. I send out about 3000 emails that way. It is free!
aweber is a pretty cheap ESP.
Assuming you have a website, you can lease a dedicated server and send as many emails as you like from the server. (not from your PC).
As to getting it to their inbox there is no guarantee. The structure/content of the email content has to get by the individuals ISPs SPAM settings for one. But even if it gets there does not mean they open it. Don't you want to know if they open it? If so you need to use an ESP. One that lets you load a list from a spreadsheet.
You will have to resend. I think the advertising rule of thumb is people have to see an ad three times before they respond. So sending out the offer email once won't be effective.
I vote for using an ESP. Not point buying a list then not getting max. return on it.
It is only worth it if you have a dynamic marketing approach and / or a product they absolutely can't live without. I would address the branding process before doing anything unless, like I say, it is the no brainer of the century.
That is one way of increasing your exposure, but you are still thinking in one dimension, A single catalog may or may not give you a complete picture of your intended customer base. An email campaign maybe what you are looking for. With this in place you can send to every coach in every school world wide. A program of emailing schools has existed since the advent of modern PCs. With an email service you can not only send but, receive back their comments, gain them as long term customers, and build a list that you will used to market to them. Track there opening the emails, capture their email addresses for future use. Contact an Email service, hundreds are available, see what they can offer you toward your goals. There are even some services that will sell you leads, targeted directly to your niche.
It's always easy for someone to point out how you shouldn't do something. CAN-SPAM was created to shield CONSUMERS from unwanted email. We all know how effective it is. I get about 200/day. Coaches aren't businesses, but they aren't really consumer/residents, either. I see them as under-paid businesses, so I would have no qualms about sending them something that could help them.
I might be able to help you and your budget. 415 233-7015 Pacific time 9:00 - 4:00
As it turns out the coaches, during the time they sign their team/staff up for the directory, agree to opt-in as part of the terms of service with the company ..... does this change anyones advice? Thanks all - its been a great learning process and helpful!
If you're just looking to let this market know you exist, then emails and phone numbers are your best and one of the cheapest to get that job done. You might send out emails and follow up with a phone call to a) be sure it was received and b) gauge any interest. Even leaving voicemails can be effective like this, but no more than two or three. There are demographics that need repetitive calls/no voicemails and others that will be angered by that.
If this was more of a sales campaign, I'd suggest it depends on the cost of the list vs. the purchase price to determine ROI.
As long as the list comes from a reputable resource I do not see why not. However, you could always go to the schools website and get the emails that way. Of course it's time consuming. If you purchase a list, one thing to keep in mind is dead email addresses. Or you can do some research on e-mail blasts that you could utilize where it will import the addresses and send them out. They also allow you to check the metrics on who's actually reading them.
There are TWO critical factors: One is having a good list that is current, not old. The second factor, equally critical, is having a strong, audience-relevant offer/message that is well conveyed and professionally implemented.
If you don't have BOTH factors, nothing is going to happen.
Sounds like you are contracting for an email blast to 10,000 coaches. At best you get 3% open (300 coaches). 299 will forget you exist within 60 seconds.
Better to spend your money getting your story posted on a 50 forums or repeatly displayed on a banner ad at sites frequented by your coaches. Give your product away to 3 well know coaches and tell about their experiences on sites visited by coaches.
Just do not do a one time email blast.
You'll need a long term branding plan of execution to be brand present in those categories and markets that 'search buyers' and users, such that they will find your products/services, and engage with your campaigns, both ad campaigns, and social campaigns. We enable much in this regard.