One of the most important things for a business is to grow the database or contact list. It should comprise of information on visitors, customers and potential customers. This can then be used to improve client satisfaction and increase sales.
Creating your database
If you don’t already have a database,now is a good time to start one. Before you start your database, you need to decide how much information you want to include on each contact. Basic details such as address email and telephone numbers are the obvious starting point. For existing customers, including details about their buying habits will help you better understand them. This puts you in a better position to meet their needs. It’s great but not essential if you can also include lifestyle information such as gender, age and income. This will allow you to more closely target your mailshots.
Your contact list can be added to from many sources but your main focus should be on existing customers and connections. Next it’s worth trying to find new leads from your local area. If you are selling business to business, potential clients can be found in the industrial bodies directories. One of the best is from the local chambers of commerce.
Renting or buying a list of contacts can be a good way of finding new customers. Try to avoid lists that are too general. Try and narrow the focus to a demographic that closely follows the kind of contacts that you already have.
Keep updating your database
Building your database should be an ongoing project. Keeping it updated and tidy is an important job. Duplicates need to be weeded out and any mail being “returned to sender” should be removed from the list. Continually mailing or emailing people who don’t want your message is a waste of money and resources and will very quickly get people fed up or annoyed with you.
Keep in mind that if someone requests that you remove them from your list, you must comply within 28 days. Improving the accuracy of the addresses and therefore the deliverability of your direct mail list can be achieved by checking them against the Royal Mail’s Postcode address file (PAF)
It would also be considered to be important to regularly check for people wanting to opt out of your database against the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) list.
Your database is the key to success
If kept up to date your database will help you to see your customers’ buying habits and trends, allowing you to target more of your ideal potential customers or clients. An up to date database is your most valuable tool. Being able to make informed decisions about everything from developing new products or services through to decisions on pricing and finding new clients is very powerful.
Your database will make it easier to keep on top of customer support and allow you to be better able to supply the service that they require.
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