Why Your Marketing Database Is Worth Its Weight In Gold

August 25, 2011 by  Filed under: Marketing 

An up to date database is critical to the future of your business. You will often hear other businessmen claim that having one is worth it weight in gold – and they are absolutely right. We will talk another time about what you can do when you have such a contact list but for now, take my word for it, you need a customer database, full of as much information about each customer or potential customer as you can get. Information is paramount!

A word from the wise. Do read up on the laws regarding databases, ignorance is no excuse. Critically, you need the permission of the person to add them to your database and you have to continually give them the option to ‘opt out’ at any time. Neither can you ‘pass on’ or ‘send them information on third parties’ if they have not agreed to this.

Building a database can be viewed in the same way as managers in the construction industry think about building a house.

  1. Have a plan (as to how you are going to acquire names, contact information and more).
  2. Lay the foundations
  3. Build steadily on those foundations

THE PLAN

Make a list of all the ways in which you can secure the names, address, phone number and most importantly e-mail address of customers as they purchase from you. A few suggestions as to how you can do this follow:

THE FOUNDATIONS

You can simply ask them for this information but if this isn’t possible then try using:

  • Receipt pads or computer printed receipt that require the specific information to be filled in
  • Customer Care/ Satisfaction form (again with name and contact information required)

If you have a website get people to

  • ‘Sign In’. Promise (and deliver) access to extra ‘membership content’ – make this free to do, generally referred to as a squeeze page
  • Set up a newsletter or ‘e-zine’ that people can subscribe to for updates, latest information, new product(s), special offers, etc

Promote free offers that people have to register for.

Introduce a friend – reward existing customers for giving you the names and contact information of their friends, neighbours, relations and work colleagues.

BUILDING ON THE FOUNDATIONS

Look at other ways in which you can add to your expanding database.

  • Database Acquisition. A quick search on Google or a similar search engine will provide a list of companies that specialise in providing names, addresses and e-mails of people who meet your criteria.
  • Joint Ventures. This is where you can exchange information to mutual benefit (but not to either parties detriment). This often works along the lines of an ‘introduction’. One company introduces the product or services of another company on a reciprocal basis. You will be amazed how keen businesses with similar customer profiles as you (but obviously not competitors) will be to do this.

Note here though that none of these options for building on your foundations is a substitute for the working on compiling a database as per the foundation above.

Paul Yates runs a business providing effective internet marketing UK which includes a marketing plan production service.

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Paul_Yates

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