When business owners develop a service or product that is designed for a highly targeted audience, they often struggle to find enough prospects gathered in one place to design a marketing strategy for the group.
Typically the marketer turns to pay-per-click ads on the Internet because he can use his keyword lists and target his message to the surfers that are looking for web sites or products that are in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Another popular approach is to identify targeted ezines or newsletters that offer advertising.
The readers of these publications will have some common desires, passions, or tastes that the advertiser can appeal to.
Of course, there are always list brokers and “rentable” aggregations of opt-in names that have been gathered because of some common preferences that can become the basis of a targeted sales campaign.
Here’s a source of targeted customers that most marketers won’t consider.
Have you ever thought of asking local or regional clubs for a list of their members? There are clubs that deal in every niche you can think of.
You may not be able to find huge member lists, but these will be very passionate, targeted prospects, and hungrier than most.
These are the people who carry their interests, passions, and hobbies to the extreme. They have gone out of their way to find and socialize with others in their niche.
You will find such groups sometimes with club web sites online, sometimes they will maintain a local phone number, sometimes they will advertise at stores, shops, and events related to their niche in hopes of recruiting new members.
If your community has an ombudsman or community hotline, that may be a good place to start looking for these groups.
Look in local newspapers for leads, check magazines for “pride” ads or small display ads for associations and chapters. The Chamber of Commerce may be of help as well.
Ask a lot of questions of those who are knowledgeable about the community.
You don’t have to find a club name necessarily. All you need to do is find a contact person that is in the club or knows someone who is.
Once you find a contact person, it is usually easy to branch out from there and identify surrounding area clubs, state chapters, and even national associations.
Why would clubs want to give out lists of their members?
Some do it for greater exposure. Most will see the distribution of the list as a positive thing if you can convince them that what you have to offer is something that will definitely benefit the group members individually.
That’s your job – to make sure you offer a great value to the individual member.
Discounts, special introductory offers, first time specials, etc, are always a good starting point for your sales job.
If you publish a niche newsletter or have a niche blog, these prospects should be interested in hearing what you have to say.
A word of caution: don’t hammer these people with nothing but ads! They will see right through your thinly disguised “value” in the niche and probably won’t give you the time of day!
Prove that you are an authority on the subject and share your knowledge and experience. It’s really the best way to sell.
If you can’t find groups or clubs of these niche participants, find the local or regional stores that might cater to these groups with their products. Stores will often advertise for club meetings … and some may even offer paid classes or seminars in your same niche which you can attend and meet potential prospects for your own products and services.
Give this strategy some thought and see if you can identify some potential clubs or groups that would be natural prospects for your marketing! This could open the door to greater exposure, branding, and sales for your small business.
To your online business success!