How to interrupt my potential customers with marketing campaign?


I have a list of potential customers who I must 'interrupt' in order to get their attention. I have a website where they can join a mailing list, but for one reason or another my potential customers don't or won't search for my software. I expect to finish the software around Aug 2010, but I would like to start a marketing campaign before the product is at v1.0.

I have a rough plan of what is needed, but not sure if this is right or not.

Step 1: Break the current list of potential customers I have down into geographical areas so that I can target an area at a time. The reason for this is that my software is likely to need a demo in person and it makes sense to set up demo's in the same area, instead of spread around the country.

Step 2: Email the list of people in the geographical area I've selected with information telling them about my software. I won't supply too much information here just enough to see if they are interested and maybe a screenshot. The idea would be to generate some interest and get them to join my mailing list.

Step 3: Collate the list of people who have responded and send them regular updates of progress and try to entice them in offering suggestions and features as a way of building a relationship.

Step 4: Once a relationship is built then I can suggest a demo.

My questions are

  • Is this a good approach?
  • What do I do about people who didn't respond? Maybe the email went to the wrong person.
  • Do I follow up the people who didn't respond with a phone call or another email, or a mailshot?

How does this sound as a strategy?

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asked Feb 11 '10 at 16:25
Smart Company Software
1,190 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

2 Answers


I'm glad you asked, because nowadays all anyone talks about is online, permission marketing, and while I do agree that's the best kind, it's not true that 100% of software or services can be sold that way.

Unfortunately, the other way is harder. :-)

Some thoughts:

  1. You're right to start geographically. I'd go further and say: Can you start with just the city/area you live in? It's easier to get the meeting when you say you're a native.
  2. A cold email without much information doesn't sound interesting does it? How about a cold email WITH information? I don't mean long, but how about informal but tell them one amazing thing that will really get their attention?
  3. The main problem with cold emails is deliverability -- how will you not hit the spam filter? This is a career by itself but you need to be thinking about it.
  4. A/B test your emails. You'll find massive differences with even simple things like subject line.
  5. Send emails more than once, but with plenty of time in between. Sometimes it takes a few hits.
  6. If you send a newsletter with real info rather than just an email, that's more valuable and thus more likely to be read and not be spam.
  7. Suggest a demo immediately. You're making this into too many steps.
  8. Make a 5-minute Flash demo you can push right away. If they like that, do the in-person demo. If you can't boil down the interesting parts into 5 minutes you have another problem. Remember the goal isn't to show EVERYTHING it's to get them excited.
answered Feb 12 '10 at 01:55
16,231 points
  • Some very interesting points. Breaking area down even more is definitely possible. Upon reflection, I agree that I'm making it too complicated. The flash demo suggestion I really like. I'll revise my plan based on your suggestions. Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, I know your time is valuable, so it's much appreciated. – Smart Company Software 14 years ago


I don't recommend interupting potential customers, you are most likely to get your message discarded.

I have had success and been successfully marketed to with a phone call, first. Early morning, or late afternoon are typically the easiest times to get through. If you segment your list by geography, you can call people from 9 to 10 AM or 4 to 5PM in their time across multiple time zones.

If I'm interested, I will give you my email. Send an email thanking me for my time, providing your contact info, and an overview of your service offerings. Follow up with me again in a week or two. If I have a pressing need for your product or service, I will probably call you back after I read your email. Otherwise, I'll bookmark it or archive it for later when the need arises.

It's hard work but your hustle is rewarded.

answered Feb 12 '10 at 02:24
Kc Enhance A Colour
121 points
  • You say don't interrupt, but then you say cold call them by phone. To me that sounds like interrupting ;-) Maybe I misunderstood the first part of your response. Your advice about times to call is useful. – Smart Company Software 14 years ago

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