How to reach your target market

Getting your mailshot to the right customers, new and lapsed, will substantially increase your chances of it proving effective. There are many ways to find and target the right audience for your business’s individual needs and circumstances.

The more people who know about your business, the better, but your marketing campaigns will be even more effective if you can target them specifically at customers who are naturally more likely to be receptive to your message. That requires you to undertake two different tasks: first, think carefully about who those customers might be; second, work out how to identify where they are so you can get your marketing to them.

Create targeted campaigns online, Try MailshotMaker for Free

Before you start targeting new customers though, reach out to people who have already done business with you. Previous customers should be a prime target for your marketing, since you know who they are and also that they’ve liked what you offer in the past. Check the address details you have for them – Royal Mail’s database is updated daily – and then get in touch, focusing first on those that have done most business with you; consider some sort of special offer to tempt them back.

Get your market research right

You may think you already have a good idea of what your customers look like, but in order to grow your business, think hard about everyone who might be interested in buying your products and services. Some basic market research will help you do that.

That might take several forms. For example, look at the groups of people who buy similar products and services to yours; investigate who is buying from your competitors; and identify broad target markets – are you aiming at businesses or consumers, say, older or younger people, men or women? Also consider the lifestyles and changing needs of customers you might target – for example, is there a particular time of year when they are more likely to buy from you?

Consider conducting quantitative and qualitative research. The former might be a questionnaire you send to a large group of people to establish precisely who is interested in what you have to offer; the latter could take the form of interviews with small groups of people who give you individual feedback on what they think about your business.

Your aim with all of this market research should be to identify the customer groups who are most likely to buy from you in the future. Depending on the nature of your business, the answers may be more or less specific. Some businesses may be targeting almost everyone within a given area; others will have a much more precise target market.

Reach your audience

With a clear view of who you most want your marketing materials to reach, you need detailed data on where to find them. Search online and you’ll find a variety of companies that specialise in selling mailing lists, with names and addresses for you to reach out to with your marketing material. Some literally just sell large lists, while others can provide you with more tailored data. Either way, ask searching questions about the quality of the list – many companies will provide you with sample data so you get a better idea of what they have to offer.

One option is “Audience Provision”, which helps businesses target new customers by profiling their existing customers and then using the Royal Mail database to find potential prospects. The service takes into account factors such as people’s age, genders, lifestyle and attitudes, but there are more sophisticated options too – you could target customers experiencing a particular life event, for example, such as moving home or having a baby.

Bringing it all together

If you identify your market in advance and then deliver information about your business specifically to that market, you’ll be a long way down the road to good success rates. But you will still need to think hard about what your marketing material actually says .