While a mundane area of business, being able to create and grow a strong database of contacts is vital to your business. Here’s how to do it.
If you are well organized, handling 50 to 60 business contacts by referring to a box of name cards may not be a problem initially. However, over time, people change jobs and retire, offices get relocated, mergers and acquisitions occur. Company names and emails could get updated as well.
Growing, nurturing and developing a good database are no easy feat. They’re hard work, time consuming or even boring. But they pay huge dividends. The benefits of maintaining a good customer database cannot be undermined – you ensure that none of your contacts will be left out or forgotten. A backup of client information also ensures that even when you lose your staff, you don’t lose your business.
Develop a Strategy for Growing Your Database
To develop a good customer database, you need to think about how you want to use the data. What is your plan for using it? Do you want to do direct marketing or target marketing? You will need to form good rules for establishing a good database. Small details in a good database are of great importance. For example, establishing rules such as having no spaces or commas in an email field, proper capitalization for names, separating the first name from last name – all these small things matter if you are serious about growing an effective database.
Now we all know the data business is time consuming, and time is money. Maximizing profits is crucial for survival. Finding the cheapest and most efficient process to keep the data updated is therefore vital for success.
Growing and maintaining a good database is a cycle. Because data will become outdated, you will need to think about strategies to expand the database while strengthening it. You could have a huge database, but if the individual records are filled with bad emails, empty names or wrong addresses, you will not get a good result from it. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your data remains clean and updated while identifying possible sources of client data.
Update New Contacts to Your Database Immediately
Begin by throwing away name cards, as the likelihood of leaving them on your desk or having your employees leave them around for a long time before deciding to use them or load them on a usable database is high. Be sure to promptly add them to your database after meeting these new contacts. Do also timestamp each record to track the age of your data.
One cost-effective way is to use a proper name card scanning service or business card management software that will pick up and organize the data accurately. One effective one is Sansan, which guarantees 99.9 percent accuracy and name cards can be scanned by any of your staff on the go using smartphones while the data gets shared with the rest of your team through a cloud-based service.
There is so much you can do with a good customer database. Apart from being connected, you can create conversations and track progression and conversion, setting yourself up for digital marketing success.