Branding 201: Defining Your Ideal Customer

We’ve talked about finding your why to better connect with your customers and prospects, but what does that ideal customer look like? Are they top-tier decision makers or gatekeepers? Are they local or global? Are they at the beginning or towards the end of their buyer’s journey?

The truth is that it’s much harder to sell to the wrong person. That’s why knowing who your ideal customer is can help you direct your messaging and reduce the hustle of the sales process.

Let’s define your ideal customer:

Who Do You Want to Work With?

Demographics: Do you want to talk to high-level executives? IT decision makers? Think about the departments and titles of the people you want to work with. CEOs are busy; do you have a backup plan if you can’t get in contact with that person? Are you targeting small businesses, large enterprises or both? While large corporations have more gatekeepers, small businesses have tighter budgets. By targeting decision makers and gatekeepers, you can ensure you’ll be connected with the most influential people.

Geographics: Where your desired customers live also plays a factor in creating the ideal customer profile. Is community a large selling point in your why? If so, you might target more local companies and small businesses to allow you to build a community within your customer base. If your why is to create a global impact, you might look to larger companies across the nation or even internationally. Keep in mind that businesses in other countries may have different processes, business practices and communication styles and you may need to adjust your ideal customer profile to accommodate those needs.

Industry: Do you come from the manufacturing industry and aim to provide a better IT experience for manufacturing companies? If industry plays a pivotal role in your why, your customer profile may include industry-specific companies. It’s important to note that if you choose an industry-specific route, it doesn’t prevent you from serving other industries (after all, business is business), but it does mean you should more heavily target the industry you’d prefer to work with.

How Do You Reach Them?

Once you know who your ideal customer is, there are many ways you can reach them through marketing collateral and sales efforts.

Appointment Setting: Appointment setters call prospects that fit your ideal customer profile. If you outsource appointment setters, this list may come from your own sales department or can be a list purchased by your partner. Appointment setters are great for getting warm leads in your door.

Email Campaigns: You can create custom email campaigns to target your prospects and existing customers. Whether you want to send timely security emails or remind customers about other services they need to meet compliances, custom campaigns are the perfect chance to reach your ideal customer with opportunities you know they need.

Website & SEO Optimization: Your website is the first thing most prospects see when they want to learn about your services and business. By optimizing your website to appear on the first page of search engine results, you can ensure people see you over your competition. By developing a user-friendly website, you can entice visitors to fill out forms and contact you directly.

Social Media & SEM Campaigns: Almost everyone is on social media, making it a great place to remind people about your services. Regularly scheduled posts (organic and paid) show prospects and customers that you’re still relevant, your business is open and you’re willing to connect with your customers. By investing in SEM (search engine marketing), you can use paid advertising to direct customers back to your website or social media pages.

Conferences, Trade Shows & Events: Often an overlooked outlet, conferences, trade shows and events are a great place to find prospects. Find out which conferences your ideal customer is attending and set aside a budget to allow your top sales reps to attend and get your company’s name in front of new prospects. These events are also good opportunities to let your existing, happy customers do part of the work for you by bringing their friends to your booth.

How Marketopia Can Help

As your partner, Marketopia provides the marketing collateral and training needed to define and reach your ideal customer. Our company focuses on providing opportunities to help you generate more sales, more leads and more profit. For additional tips on how to create your ideal customer profile and how Marketopia can help, contact us today.

Why You Need an Opt-In Email List

Quick, true or false:

  • Everyone wants to receive your promotional emails
  • People will never mistake your emails for spam
  • Purchased email addresses are the best way to build an email list
  • There are no federal laws governing email marketing

If you answered false to all of the above, congratulations – you’re ahead of the game. For everyone else, let’s talk about why crafting an opt-in email list is both the safest route and best investment of time and resources for your business.

While email marketing might seem like a no-risk way to get your message out to everyone – regardless of their level of interest in your services – the truth is that a targeted, opt-in email list protects you from threats and ensures a higher open and response rate. Here’s why your email list needs to be opt-in:

Avoid the Dreaded Spam Folder

You know your email campaign isn’t “spam” – but that doesn’t mean a recipient will. In fact, 20 percent of email users say they report emails that they already know aren’t actually spam. Why? Because they didn’t ask to receive it. While a purchased list of thousands of email addresses might seem like a good investment, it skyrockets the chances of your campaigns being reported as spam. Internet service providers (ISPs) track the number of people marking emails from any given domain as spam, and often share those findings with other ISPs and anti-spam services. If enough of your emails are reported as suspicious, the ISP – and any other ISPs it communicates with – can “blacklist” or block all of your future emails. It’s easy to get on a blacklist and difficult to get off – meaning just a few complaints can render that shiny email list virtually unusable and divert your emails from valuable potential leads.

Comply with Federal Law

While the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t forbid businesses from sending emails to a cold list, it does put restrictions on all commercial and promotional email. This includes disclosing that the content is an advertisement, using accurate header information and subject lines and making the opt-out process clear and simple. Having an opt-in list of subscribers who consented to receive specific communications from you keeps you well within the boundaries of the law. And, since the FTC can subject you to penalties up to $41,484 for each separate violation, why risk it?

Customize Lists for More Conversions

An opt-in form gives you a prime opportunity to learn more about your subscribers. Where do they live? What are they interested in? What do they want to see from you? Knowing that information upfront helps you customize your emails to catch their attention and boost their engagement. While your opt-in list may be smaller than a purchased list, you’ll ultimately get warmer leads and a better response rate – and develop a reputation for conscientious, trustworthy marketing practices.

Encouraging subscribers to opt-in to receive your emails requires time and effort, but if you want to keep your campaigns out of the spam folder (and away from steep fines), an opt-in list is crucial. Not sure how to get the most from your email marketing? Marketopia’s digital marketing experts know how to get you the leads you need and the dynamic email marketing campaigns you dream about. Contact us today to see how we can help your business grow.