2000 Clearwater Drive
Oak Brook, IL
P: 800-323-4958

Margie Hulsman
Business Development Manager

"Email is an important marketing vehicle for our customers to drive traffic to their Web sites and to build brand awareness," says Margie Hulsman, business development manager DM2-DecisionMaker. "As a real-time application, you can’t beat email for convenience and for the ease of rolling it out and making changes. So it’s always going to be relevant."

Hulsman does note inherent problems with email list universe size and increasing problems with spam filters. So while email is important, it’s only one way to communicate to an audience. "A multi-channel approach, integrating email with postal mail and telemarketing will continue to be important for our b-to-b customers in 2007 and beyond," she says. "We’re seeing modest growth in email, but also predict a resurgence in both postal mail and telemarketing for 2007."

Using its DecisionMakerᆴ database files, DM2 creates customized, industry-specific lists that customers use for email, postal mail and telemarketing purposes. The resulting lists are verticals (e.g., a particular industry) or horizontals (e.g., job titles or interests) comprised of all of the company’s various source-managed and third-party lists. "We offer 40 different direct mail files, 20 postal and 20 email databases," says Hulsman. "We grow and enrich the databases by adding new industries and bringing in new partners so that mailers can continue to reach their target market by accessing deeper levels of data."

In 2006, DM2-DecisionMaker has undertaken three new initiatives to deliver added value and revenue to clients:

  1. An "online expert panel" allows a customer to survey industry experts for market or product information. "We’ve created a partnership with Harris Interactive to give our customers access to pre-qualified experts rather than simply sending a survey to a mailing list and hoping people respond," explains Hulsman. "This type of effort has been done on the consumer side for years, but there was no b-to-b solution available. Weムve generated a lot of interest in the panel since it launched in October."
  2. A "data enhancement solution" assists customers with holes in their data so they can better mine their house files or use their database in smarter ways ; whether for customer acquisition or retention purposes. "Besides normal hygiene, we’re able to add more contacts within a company," says Hulsman. "We can add titles, buying authority and other targeted data to make the database more robust and their marketing more successful;via email or postal mail."
  3. A "high-end lead-generation product" is a custom consultation for mailers in order to determine the types of leads they should develop to fulfill their sales goals. "These are sales-ready leads," says Hulsman, "pre-qualified contacts that have indicated they are ready to buy a specific product or service within three to six months or a pre-defined time frame. The service is provided on a subscription basis to customers interested in a solution beyond traditional list rental."

Targeting the message is a key element of the strategy. You might think people receiving an online version of a publication would be receptive to email offers. Hulsman reports that they’re also a somewhat tough crowd to please. If the message is not relevant, then you’ll lose that person. "The days of sending mass emails to 100,000 people and getting 50-60 percent click-through rates are long gone," she adds. "We’d like to see more demographics collected, so mailers have more options in terms of target marketing."

Most of all, DM2-DecisionMaker is advising their clients to not put all their eggs in one basket. "Multi-channel is the stronger approach," says Hulsman.

DM2-DecisionMaker’s clients include Microsoft, DoveBid, Adobe, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett Packard.

Social Media Marketing for Small and Mid-Sized Brands
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