7 easy ways to maximise sales from your database
The purpose of collecting customer contact details isn’t simply to assemble an impressive list. Yes, it seems almost too obvious to point out, but it’s a lesson worth repeating. Many companies have set off with a rush of enthusiasm to collect customer data from every possible source, only to lose interest once the database becomes full of names.
If you’re not using your database for proactive marketing, you might as well not bother building one. Now it’s time to look at what you do with the data.
First, let’s be clear about what you DON’T do. You don’t become a spammer.
The value of a marketing database lies in the fact that customers have trusted you with their contact details. Don’t blow that trust by blitzing them with inane or irrelevant offers three times a week. Nothing is guaranteed to generate Unsubscribe messages faster than an onslaught of junk mail.
Tip 1: Use segmentation
You can deliver targeted offers to different groups segmented by their age, gender, location, purchasing history, or just about any information your customers have provided.
People love getting an offer that feels personalised. Imagine the possibilities of a timely Valentine’s Day suggestion for the blokes, or showcasing a product that appeals to your older (or younger) customers. You could target one geographic area or look to upsell by sending an offer to that part of your database which uses your basic product or service.
With simple segmentation tricks like these, you can demonstrate to customers that you value their business and are determined to treat them as individuals. That’s always a good thing.
Tip 2: Create an email template
Set up a standardised email template and then concentrate on filling it with good content. There are lots of email marketing tools available that make it easy to design your own branded email template and give you the ability to upload fresh offers or news whenever you like.
Beware of image heavy designs as many email programmes and mobile phone browsers won’t download the image files. Your pretty pictures and graphics will be replaced by blank spaces that do nothing to promote your business.
Tip 3: Don’t always be selling something
If you use your database to send out an email newsletter, make sure you include content that rewards the recipient just for taking an interest. Don’t fill each issue with wall-to-wall promotional content.
Share some insights into your industry, provide handy tips and offer the occasional giveaway. Your promotional offers will then stand out as special bonuses in the midst of this useful content. You will also be creating the expectation that your emails are always worth opening.
Tip 4: Steer clear of the spam filter
You don’t have to be a spammer to end up in the junk mail file. Even if your customers have given you permission to send emails, it’s still possible to fall foul of their spam filters.
Minimise the risk by avoiding the typical language and tricks used by spammers. Don’t put the words ‘free’ or dollar signs in the subject line. Steer clear of breathless language that talks of ‘breakthroughs’ or ‘exclusive offers’. Avoid using ALL CAPS text or other shouty devices, such as loads of exclamation marks!!!
Tip 5: Be yourself
Writing good content is about using a natural and down-to-earth tone. Customers appreciate someone who communicates clearly, gets to the point quickly and sounds like a human being. Whether you’re sending a regular email newsletter or firing out a quick offer via text message, use language that’s natural and sincere.
Tip 6: Deepen connections via social media
Do you have a company Facebook page? If not, you should set one up. It’s free and it only takes a few minutes. Twitter and YouTube are other low-cost ways to strengthen your links to customers. Encourage them to follow your business on social networking sites and include prominent links and reminders in your regular emails.
Are you ready to start emailing your customers, or do you need some reminders about building a good database? Check out Part One and Part Two in our series on building and growing your customer database.
By Philip Tetley-Jones, Logan Brooke Communications