At the moment we are cold-calling, which is working wonders, but its very slow and time consuming. Requires calling, getting to the right person, then maybe a couple calls, then bingo! Then an email in response. Looking at cost-effective options. How can we be more targeted. Email marketing is an option, but I don't want to just send a bulk of unsolicited emails (done it before, mail chimp etc..., need to add some form of value, understand our different segments). Trying to avoid to just send newsletters... what options could we try?
You can reach this audience by uploading the email list to various ad platforms, too.
For example, you can create a lookalike audience on Facebook or Twitter by uploading your 200k list. Some percentage of those 200k will "match" a FB or Twitter user, and the platform(s) will look for users with similar demographics to target via advertising. We've seen this be very effective for certain clients, if you have some ad budget to play with.
Otherwise, cold email outreach may be effective for appointment setting, but you don't want to use MailChimp. We love MailChimp -- but for this type of project you really need to simulate the sending of one-off emails in order to get deliverability to a good place. Look into Yesware, Tout and similar tools. Write a *really* compelling message. Be humble and genuine. You might lock in a demo rate / reply rate of 1-5% if you do well.
Your outreach is highly dependent upon your type(s) of clients; B2B, B2C, and what type of products.
Large segments of your clientele and prospects likely have a common type of psycho / demographics and behaviors. If you've identified those traits (sets of traits), there are oodles of resources to get your message in front of them through Social Media Marketing (SMM - influencers, bloggers, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), Search Engine Marketing (SEM - Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.), and EFFECTIVE direct mail (funnels) with lead magnet and call-to-action.
Once you define your goal, you can zero in on the right multi-pronged approach. Start with a small (inexpensive test) batch. Measure results. Tweak. Repeat in an endless loop until you achieve an acceptable conversion rate.
Your autoresponder should let you tag leads. Also, you can autosubscribe members to a new list while unsubscribing them from the first list.
What I'm getting at here is that you could benefit from segmenting your list. Survey them for interests and segment accordingly. Then you can build campaigns that address the specific interests of each segmented list.
This is common struggle I face with our growing email list at my current employer. I'll start by saying that email is still the best way to reach customers in my opinion.
I would first recommend that you segment your list in 3 areas.
1. Recent subscribers (within 60 days - does not matter yet if they've opened an email or not)
2. Engaged subscribers (on your list for more than 60 days and have opened/clicked on your campaigns)
3. Lapsing subscribers - On your list for more than 60 days without opening an email.
What this does is allow you to tailor your message depending on the list. In some cases you can even decide to send less to the Lapsing subscribers (for example) since they need more nurturing (a more aggressive subject line, more enticing offer).
Facebook is another way to get your message across. This was mentioned in another answer and it is 100% true. You can easily build an audience and use the same segments you created above to match your budgets to your segments. This way you spend smart.
Happy to hop on a call with you. I'm offering it for free as I am new on Clarity but have over 10 years experience in email marketing.
Names and contact details are great assets, and cold-calling as you say can be effective.
Now diversify your efforts. Cold-calling is about sales, it is a direct fairly yes/no conversation.
At the same time use other channels to educate your audience. What is happening in your industry that can impact your clients? What are alternatives to their problems they may not have considered? What news should they be aware of?
Use content to engage in a different way and start on-going conversations, in addition to the yes/no ones.
You Will Get Nowhere By Doing What Everybody Else Is Doing.
Here is a simple and quick answer, but value is not determined by the number of words.
What you need is a segment your list. Do tests with links, keywords, and offers when you send out emails. In say, 5,000 emails you use a link that will make an offer for more info, newsletter, product, services, etc. Anybody who opts into this new list are then further segmented and can be marketed to in a certain way. They never know that they are segmented, but you do.
It allows you to have a powerful way of marketing. One size doe not fit all.
Michael Von Irvin
You have an enormous list. But no matter how segmented it is, which medium you use, or how good your email content or call script, you'll be wasting a lot of time if you don't have enough information about the people you're selling to.
So let's back up a step and develop a customer persona with as much detail as possible. Look at the people you've just sold to in order to fill in the characteristics of the people most likely to buy from you.
You may have more than one persona. People with different backgrounds, resources, and needs require different communication tactics.
Compare these personas to your list. Research and compile data about each person to match them to a persona.
Further segment your list to decide who's likely to buy from you now and who's likely to buy from you in the future. You can figure this out by looking at the people who have already bought from you. What circumstances do they share?
Now you can decide who would be best to contact how.
I can help you build a sketch of a main customer persona you sell to, and get you a you list of the questions to ask in order to build any other personas you want to sell to in about an hour on the phone.