Building and maintaining a strong database of your customers provides your business with an ongoing, and cost effective, marketing channel. It also helps facilitate future purchase opportunities, and can encourage customers to share your business information with new customers.
PriceWaterhouse Coopers reports that finding a new customer costs from three to seven times more than keeping an existing one, and up to 95% of profits come from long-term customers.
Here are our top five tips for growing a great database:
- Keep it simple, but not stupid. You want to make it easy for people to join, so don’t discourage them by asking them to complete an extensive form. You also don’t want the data you collect so simple that it doesn’t provide you with any insights into your customer demographics. A good selection includes: First name, Surname, Email Address, Date of birth and postcode.
- Multi-channel approach. There are many channels and strategies you can try to encourage customers to provide you with their details; you need to find a mix that is right for your business. To ensure you don’t miss any opportunities, a multi-channel approach is needed including staff, online booking, web enquiry, social media and online subscriptions. Provide an onsite self service subscription option such as a tablet based kiosk, or a paper based sign up form.
- Be compliant. Make sure your activities and collection of information are compliant with the spam and privacy acts. At any point you collect contact details, make sure you inform people this is the case, and provide the opportunity to opt out. Make sure you use an email system that allows people to unsubscribe at any time.
- Reward and retention. Reward your customers for providing you with their details and to encourage them to continue to stay on as an active subscriber. An immediate welcome incentive offer is a quick and easy recognition of thanks. Exclusive offers, special discounts, or first access to popular events encourage retention.
- Relevance. It’s a privilege to be given someone’s direct contact information. To ensure you create emails that are welcomed in an inbox rather than just received, your content needs to be relevant to your audience. Track the responses to your articles and ensure you continue to send the type of information that your audience responds to.