Your contact database is one of the most valuable tools you can use to connect to your existing and prospective customers. Aim to make meaningful connections so you can convert new leads to new business and ensure repeat business from your customers. Here are some tips on how to build a contact database that will help you build your business.
Make the most of what you already have
Most businesses, irrespective of their size, already know a lot about their customers before they begin to build their contact database. Start by collecting the customer information your team already has.
- Distribute a template to your people so they can provide you with the customer information they already have in a standardised format. Make sure you ask them for more than just contact details. Seek insights on your customers by asking them to tell you about their current business needs and problems, their purchasing intentions in the next twelve months, and anything else about their business that can help you to understand them better.
- Encourage team members to collect prospective client business cards when they are at networking events so new leads can be added to your database.
- Ask existing customers for referrals. Each one of your customers probably has a network of business contacts, and most would probably be happy to refer you to at least one or two of them.
Give and you shall receive
Share valuable information for free with visitors to your website. By giving something of value, you are reinforcing your credibility and expertise, and you are showing people that you are responsive to their needs. All they need to do is enter their email address and you can either manually email them their gift, or if you get a lot of traffic, then have your web builder set up an auto-responder for you so that the information is sent to them automatically. The aim is to give your visitors the tools and opportunities they need in exchange for the information you want.
- Publish a lead capture page that promotes something you can do for readers such as a ‘how to’ guide, the answer to a problem they might face, or ways they can avoid certain pitfalls. Entice them with a compelling headline that explains what’s in it for them, and issue a call to action inviting them to leave their email address or other key information you need.
- Run a competition on your website that invites readers to tick a box to receive future offers.
- Give readers extra gifts if they refer friends (usually up to five is the most you will want to ask for).
Let your clients do the ‘talking’
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Satisfied customers can be your advocates, so why not give them tools and offer incentives so they can help you build your database?
- Promote a ‘sign up’ facility in your e-newsletter so that if someone ‘sends it to a friend’, the friend can subscribe easily.
- Set up a Facebook page and encourage your customers to click the “like” button on it. Then post specials and discounts for your existing customers and extend that offer to their contacts.
- Start a blog on your website and email your database with the updates. If you make the content valuable and compelling, they are more likely to forward the updates to their own contacts. Just make sure you have a “subscribe” link to increase your chances of picking up new subscribers.
Manage your data
Your investment in securing good customer data doesn’t end when the data hits your database. Data needs to be managed and you must ensure someone is accountable for this. Take the time to consider who will monitor and update your data, who will have access to it, and how key information will be shared among your team.
To find out more about how SmartINK can help with your business marketing, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07 3878 1448.