Directly Advertising To Your Existing Contacts: Cul-De-Sac Approach

Julia Blyumkin, Digital Dynamo

Breaking Down the Doors of Digital Marketing

How to Target Ads To Your Existing Contact List

You’re either a B2B or B2C business owner or marketing manager charged with growing your contact database with leads and customers. You’re likely paying a premium to house these contacts in a top CRM with so many bells and whistles, you don’t know which to sound first. But before we ring the doorbell and step inside, are you rolling out only one welcome mat to your visitors before closing the door behind them?

In addressing the question of how can we leverage a database of existing contacts in paid advertising efforts, you first need to understand the why and how those contacts entered your database in the first place.

The CRM: A Home Is Only As Good As Its Foundation

Your lead generation strategy is your CRM’s foundation. You developed and optimized website content that wound up being relevant to a person’s search query on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. Maybe it was organic or maybe you boosted it through some pay-per-click advertising. Regardless, you piqued this stranger’s interest in search where they took action by visiting your website’s landing page. Think of it like the new neighbor walking up to your welcome mat and letting you know they just moved into the neighborhood.

Then you developed sound marketing messaging on your landing page and an irresistible incentive, like a case study or free quote that the visitor could obtain by filling out a form with their contact information. By claiming the offer, that visitor became a qualified lead. It’s like inviting the new neighbor to dinner and they RSVP Yes.

This is the most fragile point in the marketing funnel. You moved contacts from lead to customer through marketing automation campaigns complete with nurturing email workflows. It’s the kickass dinner party with hors d’oeuvres and drinks where you realized your neighbors are actually friends and could very well become the best friends that anyone could have.

But then what? They completed your funnel. Did you drip them into another funnel to upsell or cross-sell your products and services? Basically, we’ll equate this to dinner ending, your BFFs shuffling out, and you closing the door behind them.

Sure, you still run into them at the mailbox (inbox) rummaging through yet another day of junk mail and bills, but when’s the next dinner party, game night, or BBQ with lawn games? With targeted advertising, you could let your existing contacts know directly.

Multi-Funnel Marketing: A Home Is Only As Good As The Community It’s Built In

How is that relevant? Well, we’ve all heard the expression that a relationship isn’t a one-way street. As a business, the community you’ve fostered with your customers needs to be nurtured to sustain that BFF-level friendship. By running targeted advertising campaigns to your existing contacts through digital marketing channels like Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram you can be at the forefront.

You’re thinking, but I already have their contact info, email included. Why not just keep the organic email marketing door open to upsell or cross-sell my products and services? Because remember, you want to do more than exchange pleasantries at the mailbox (inbox). We’re not suggesting you need to close that door, but you always want to keep the front door open.

In Facebook Ads Manager for example, you can upload a list of existing contacts (first name, last name, email address) that Facebook and Instagram will match to your contact’s accounts. Then, you can tailor your ad messaging, creative, and offers based on where those contacts are in your marketing funnel.

You can develop list segments for leads likely to become customers and position an incentive proven to entice them to buy. Ask yourself, is this the neighbor on the verge of becoming a BFF? It’s time to breakout the friendship bracelet.

Or maybe you’re segmenting your existing list by customers who haven’t engaged with your brand in sometime. Position an upsell or cross-sell offer they would be likely to checkout knowing their earlier purchase patterns. If this segment is clicking the ads, initiating checkout, and successfully completing your funnel time-and-time again across your product or service line, you have a customer or friend for life.

Poor Customer Engagement: A Home Is Only As Good As The Love In It

But, what about the opportunists? You know, the contacts that keep dodging your incentives. The “I’ve bought one thing from you, open all your emails, and even sometimes click to your website, but I never commit and buy again” types. Annoying!

Consider this a blessing in disguise. It’s an opportunity for you to A/B test the value of your contacts through the different digital marketing doorways. Their behavior through organic email marketing may be ridonkulous, but for whatever reason the impulse of seeing an ad targeted to them in the moment they’re searching on Google or browsing videos on YouTube could be the right moment for them to just say ‘Yes!’ and take action.

Customer Churn: The Elephant In the Room

Customer churn is normal. While it may be indicative of poor customer experience, more often than not, the contact either is no longer interested, or found a similar offer from a competitor. This is much the same way friendships run their course and can even come to an abrupt end. Neighbors move away. New kids on the block move in. When these things happen, it’s time to clean house.

Cleaning your contact list can be an involved, but necessary process in determining who you should and should not be marketing. Because at the end of the day, a home is only as good as the love in it. If you’re nurturing contacts who aren’t reciprocating action, trust that there are higher quality prospects out there.

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