View Full Version : Microsoft Dynamics
08-24-2009, 10:25 AM
So after reading 'the book', I decided to get my business to up a gear and get more active in the market place.
For many reasons, such as studying with the Institute of Directors in London, I have gone down the path of direct marketing with a list provided by CACI. I've got Dynamics installed on a server and am ready to buy the list and put it to work.
Thing is that Dynamics is a bit of a beast and although my request is a simple one, getting this CRM software to do it is proving to be difficult.
So the question is, does anyone know of either somone who can teach me how so that I can either do it myself or understand how someone should be doing it
does anyone know of a good (and cheap!) company/person that I can outsource this task to?
I don't mind who or where or how many heads they've got, I just want the job doing right.
Many thanks y'all
08-24-2009, 02:17 PM
I have never used dynamics, but what exactly are your goals. It is easy to talk about the huge things like CRM and direct marketing, but different to put into practice unless you have specifics.
Given, I could have googled it, but I will assume there as well that you were smart enough to do that before coming here with the question.
I ran direct mail database marketing for over 20 years. The whole time we sent out post cards, dividing POS data into different categories; New customers, 30-59 day no orders, 60-89 no orders, and 90-120 no orders. I was using my own databases of customer addresses they gave to me combined with my delivery order data. You might be asking how this relates to you? The while field is based on direct mail.
It was an easy step to move into email marketing. I now had the data, and knew the returns. Asking for an email is not too much of a step from there. I didn't use anything fancy either. Basically a well maintained file of email addresses and google aps.
Back to the point though, give me some more details and I can cater my answer a bit better.
08-24-2009, 03:21 PM
The goal is to buy in the information (basically buying time) or about 100,000 potential customers and then approaching them directly by either good old snailmail or by email.
What I want to use Dynamics for is the management of the database. Look it up to see what it can do with regard to campaign and customer management.
There are many out there such as ACT or Goldmine but this one I have.
Any ideas as to how I can find someone to do it for me?
08-24-2009, 11:48 PM
Ok, I broke down and googled it. Total waste of time. I can see why you would be thinking about it. You have a shiny new tool from M$, but the reasons not to use it far out weigh the reasons to. You really haven't grown out of something else, so why complicate things?
A free copy of open office will get you 100 times more functionality. Compiare (http://sourceforge.net/projects/compiere/)is an option, but it is just a better working clone of dynamics. The problem is not CRM, it is tracking. Without an automatic way to track your customers it will do you no good to have those tools.
Another idea I want to stick in your head is that if it was as was as buying a list and mailing the people on it, every one would be doing more of it. Anyone who is an outsourcer for stuff like this is looking for guys like you they can fleece. People without the knowledge in CRM who want to get involved because it looks easy from the outside, and they don't know enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
The bottom line here though, is that all of the points I brought up are very small and minor. Buying a list is almost always a bad idea. With new anti spam and opt out laws in place, you could face a huge daunting process of hand picking through your entire database checking for people who have opted out at the best, to criminal charges at the worst. You aren't buying time at all with that strategy, you are buying someone else's junk.
I say, if you can get snail mail adresses, try that first. Doing it slow is, well, slow and costs a lot more money but if you do it well you will probably get much more attention. and people are more used to actually doing something with it.
Email, even if you can get around the spam part, is very cheap and in general very ineffective.
As with all direct marketing, testing is king. Do not go with 100000 adresses at once, you'll be pooring money down the drain. Instead send it to me and I'll buy myself something nice ;-)
I started direct mail with a course on how to write DM sales letters and started testing with 30 adresses at a time for two target groups. one group gave 10% responce the other 15%. By continuously honing the concepts I got it up to over 17% averige. The secret behind these incredible numbers:
Presenting in a way the target finds REMARKABLE
making it easy to respond
08-25-2009, 08:57 AM
Sven is right on there about testing. 30 Is a bit low for a test group though. I started at 500 pieces. Of course the big difference there is that I had a database that I put together myself from customers who had already ordered from me.
The same basics apply to split testing ad words. Take 200 addresses, divide them randomly and send one offer to one set and another offer to the second set. It also depends on the market. Some hucksters will try to sell you an all encompassing plan, but the data proves otherwise. In pizza, for example, some delivery areas will respond better to a $off coupon while other areas use a free item coupon far more frequently. If there are more than 1.3 people per address you are looking at an area with more families than single people, and they will respond better to large sets. It is all in data analysis, and you aren't going to get any of that from Dynamics.
You have to establish what criteria you want to measure and cater that to the database. You need to figure out what you plan to do first, then look for a database, and finally look for a program to do it.
Kam is right about the numbers, 30 is usually too low to be significant. I started with 30 and got 5 responses in one group and 2 in another so I carried on in the promising group. The 5 responses turned out to be around the average.
I also wanted to test this low a volume to be sure I could handle the response and spread the work as I did everything myself. Over time I sent out about 3x 2500 dm packs, 1 in one go, the rest in small batches.
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