There are few things that seperate the good marketers from the bad. In our opinion contact strategy is one of those things that few organizations understand and all should consider. When you are trying to decide who you should contact, through what channels and how many times, here are a couple of things to think about.
1. Not all customers are created equal - Nor do they have the same appetite for your marketing efforts. We recommend you spend time looking at your customers and how many times you contacted them in the past. A good cluster analysis will begin to help you understand that some groups prefer 10 'sale' messages and 2 'partner' messages before opting out. Put this cluster with other customer breakouts and you have the basis for your contact strategy.
2. Not all messages are created equal - As we eluded to above, you can not simply look at the recency and frequency of your messages to determine how much is too much. You need to understand the message types or objectives. Customers have varying appetites for your credit card solicitations and that appetite is much different from your best customer sales messages.
3. Implementing your strategy may be harder than developing it - So now you know what you want to implement. Customer segment X gets Y transactional messages a month and Z surveys a month. But how do you insure that they only get what you've prescribed? There are a variety of ways to accomplish this with either process changes and / or technology solutions (One of our favorites is Unica's Optimize.).
If you are considering a contact strategy for your organization, we would love to help you understand your customers and improve your communications.