Bugger SEO – Try database marketing instead

Your website is about as invisible as it gets. Maybe competition in your sector is particularly fierce, either locally, nationally, internationally or all three. Perhaps you don’t have the time, energy, expertise or inclination to chase the natural search dragon. It could be you can’t afford PPC because the cost per click is too high, even on less popular, less competitive, longer tail terms.

Whatever the reason for your website’s invisibility, it’s a bugger being stuck on page whatever of Google’s search engine results when you know a page one position is the only real way to drive enough traffic to your business.
Or is it? Is there an alternative to SEO? Luckily yes, there is… SEO is not the only fruit.

Bye bye SEO – Do database marketing instead

What if you consigned natural SEO and paid search to the dustbin? Would your business die a fast and horrid death?
Not necessarily. If people can’t find your website online through the search results naturally, it isn’t the end of the world. You can tell them where you are and how to find you… you can resort to traditional database marketing.

Creating a prospect database

Your first step is to build a database of hot prospects. If that sounds complicated, it isn’t. You can use an ordinary Excel spreadsheet. After all, a ‘database’ is only a glorified list.

The ins and outs of opted-in data

It’s much easier if you operate B2B, since you can collect and use B2B prospect data ’til the cows come home without an opt-in. B2C is different since you must, by law, get people’s express permission, via an opt-in, before you’re allowed to market your wares to them.

DIY database building versus bought lists

You can trawl through the internet yourself and collect the contact names and details of the right contacts in every company that might have a vested interest in your products and services. Or you can buy data. If so make sure you buy lists from a reputable data provider, that it’s opted in, that it’s current and clean. Bear in mind if a list is dirt cheap, it’s probably rubbish.

What prospect data do you collect?

You can collect complex and detailed data, and lots of it, or just gather the basics. It depends whether or not the information is available in the first place. But the bare basics are:

  • title – Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr etc
  • first name
  • surname
  • email address
  • telephone number

What do you do with all that lovely prospect data?

Your first stop is obvious – it’s email. You can use email marketing to tell people you exist, show prospects where you are, what you do, when, how, why and how much you charge for it. Because you’ve given them your web address, they know where to find you. Get it right and you can circumvent the entire SEO process and still attract a growing pot of hot prospects.

What else can you do to tell prospects you exist?

There are plenty more non-SEO ways to tell people where your website is:

  • local door-to-door leafleting
  • radio adverts, which are cheap and targetable
  • off the page ads in the papers and trade magazines
  • telesales
  • direct mail
  • exhibitions and trade fairs
  • postcards left in suitable places, for example business enterprise centres and business networks
  • local online directories and printed directories
  • posters

Crucial direct marketing skills

The key to making the best job of all this is… direct marketing. Find a business writer who knows how to write to sell, and you’re half way there.

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