This is synchronicity. Today's MarketingSherpa features a case study about how HP created an online and offline campaign to build relationships with customers in a niche market. The summary recaps the goals:
"Your current offerings might not be enough to attract a new group of prospects. Highly valuable niche communities might prefer a tailored experience and targeted content that you don't have -- but that you can deliver via email.
"See how Hewlett-Packard created an email database, website and content to connect with a niche audience. The effort increased sales to the subscribers by 2,050%. Learn how the marketers built the list, nurtured subscribers, and focused on driving sales."
My next steps are to prioritize the market by category, create a database with email and postal addresses, and develop more interactive content.
- Create segmented (audience-specific) content and update monthly
- Provide diverse resources that help visitors achieve business goals
- Enable visitors to register for an email newsletter subscription
- Partner with industry publications to access subscriber lists
- Advertise in magazines that reach the niche market
- Offer incentives to visit microsite and register
- Email a monthly newsletter to the microsite registrants
- Entice readers to click to the microsite with 1-2 article excerpts
- Mix general content with product-specific information
This 18-month campaign garnered 4,000 subscribers, an open rate of 21% and a clickthrough rate of 4%. It's helpful to note that 84% of subscribers came from direct mail, and only 5% came from the print ad.
With work, I can execute a modified (i.e., downsized) version of this model -- and pass along the technique to the small- to mid-size companies I hope to serve. Stay tuned.