I know I’m dating myself, but I was in college during the high energy days of disco. Ah the evenings of getting my hair to crazy heights and polishing my dancing shoes. (If you think a photo is forthcoming, forget it!) I also remember those tough to get into dance locations like Studio 54 in Manhattan. The entrance was blocked by a velvet rope and the surly bouncers would evaluate those attempting to get in, to decide whether or not they were “worthy”. Getting in was quite an accomplishment – it basically meant that you met their high qualifications. Did I get in? We won’t be discussing that here either (cough).
The days of Studio 54 came into mind when I was chatting with a Constant Contact customer named John Lyden. He was building his new account and was inquiring as to the best approach to determine a high quality list. You see, while some companies focus on QUANTITY and want to collect as many names and emails as possible, John had his eye on QUALITY. He wanted to be sure that his campaigns were going to reach people worthy of opening the velvet rope.
I counseled John to look through his email address book, his networking contacts and his LinkedIn connections and make careful selections. If a contact was a past or current client, they should go on one excel sheet. If a contact was a true prospect, someone who had expressed interest in John’s accounting services, they would go on a 2nd excel sheet. And if they were someone who was simply a great connector – who often gave referrals and had connected him with others in the past – they would go on the 3rd list.
Now each of those 3 spreadsheets could be uploaded to Constant Contact into 3 distinct lists. What impressed me about John’s execution of this plan, was that he brought down his total number of contacts from over 1,000 to less than 250. Picture 1,000 hopeful disco dancers waiting in line, and John waving in only 250 to get into his Studio 54.
Some may believe that you have to reach “the most people” to get your message out to the right number of customers, but our conversation today was about getting your message out in a more efficient and productive manner. Just because you know 3,000 people, doesn’t mean they all get into the disco. You want your list to be of the highest quality so that your marketing efforts really hit the mark. Thanks John, for initiating a great topic for my blog post today!