Growing your database is the foundation for successful marketing campaigns.
You will often find that using your database to engage with your audiences will become one of the most cost-effective marketing activities you can undertake in a small business. The low price of delivery, and the potential interaction rates can be tremendous in comparison with other activities.
No Easy Way Out
However, there are specific proven methodologies available that will help you build a database, and there is no easy way out. Buying a list is a poor option. It is quite likely that you, as the sender would receive high bounce rates, and you most likely won’t be communicating to the right customer\audience groups. In addition, there are questions relating to the permission of people on the list to hear from you, and whether you are indeed spamming them!
As a starting point in building your customer database list, it is important to consider how you will entice them to come aboard as part of your list. Every addition to your list is taking a risk by providing their email address. They are often asking to themselves whether offers sent to them will be relevant, whether they will be ‘spammed’ (sent messages too often), and will their email be secure (receiving emails from third parties that they don’t want to hear from). They need to feel positive and secure as you bring them aboard on your customer list. They have shown a desire to be communicated to, and they most likely want to see some exclusivity by being part of your list. Provide this to them, and you’ll most likely have a subscriber for an extended period of time.
Some of the proven ways to build your customer database include:
- Existing materials – going through contact lists of people who have recently attended events and have interacted with your company recently are potential candidates for inclusions.
- Sign-up forms on your website are a strong vehicle to enhance your lisr size. Remember to sell the benefits of joining, and keep the registration form compact and short.
- Digital incentives are a low-cost way of building your list. These incentives can be items such as whitepapers, special guides, free applications or specific content that your audience will be of interest to your audience.
- Email signatures, if designed correctly, can lead to several additional new list sign-ups monthly.
- Social media – if you are comfortable with asking on social media, it is wise to ask your following to become part of your database.
- Point of sale – many organisations, both large and small, ask their customers following any sale to add their name to a handwritten list held at the front counter.
- Check boxes on any form that is outward facing can be a simple methodology of adding new list members.
- Business card bowls are a common feature in some industries; and a very effective way of collating details.
- Competitions can provide a strong boost to any customer list size.
Whilst you may need a small amount of capital to grow your list, and perhaps need an unsecured business loan to fund it, the upside is well worth it. For a small one-off cost of acquisition to your list, you will potentially have a customer that will make you thousands of dollars.