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Tips on building your database of contacts

Written on the 29 May 2007 by Tracey Voyce

The most successful business has always been the one with a very impressive database of contacts (clients, past clients, prospects etc) and who keeps it up to date and fully utilised.

Your contact list is your goldmine for your business. The number and variety of strategies you can utilise with it are limitless as are the results you can achieve from it.

For example, it can be used to:

  • Get people to buy more frequently from you
  • Refer you to others
  • Become customers in the first instance

For many of you, the following tips will allow you to begin building your contact list. For others, these suggestions will help you expand on your existing database of contacts.

Some useful tips are:

  • Get every new customer to complete a form (on your website or at your premises) that will automatically capture their details and populate your database of contacts
  • Send a postcard or letter to your clients giving them an incentive to sign up on your website. For example if it will be opened by the right person, include a request with your next invoice for their email address (if you have all other details but not the email address)
  • Gt everyone in your team to ask each new caller, visitor, or appointment for permission to be placed on your mailing list for your free e-newsletter and special offers that go to members only. Describe your content from a WIIFM perspective so they have an incentive to say yes
  • Run a competition on your website or through other mediums. Include a tick box, already ticked, for receiving future offers
  • Promote a 'sign up' form on the home page of your website (or better still on every page within your site) that automatically places their details into your contact database. This facility is available with the IntoResults System (the code for this feature can be obtained within the online Help File in IntoResults)
  • Promote the 'sign up' facility in your newsletter so that if someone 'sends it to a friend' they too can subscribe easily
  • Have a subscribe link in the signature file on all your team's outgoing emails (i.e. at the end of each email)
  • Look at every point of contact you have with people and utilize it to gather details. NB/To be compliant with the SPAM act you must ask them if they would mind being included on your mailing list for:
    • Seminars, workshops
    • Tade shows (get cards from fellow presenters and attendees in your target market)
    • Collect business cards at Networking functions 
    • (NB/If you don't have time to ask their permission, send them an email immediately stating how you got their details and ask permission to include their details within your mailing list)
  • Advertise on search engines
  • Advertise on other websites
  • Supply articles to other businesses and include a link to your website with a Sign Up page (make sure you supply articles into the IntoResults article library for clients)
  • Your online Sign Up form needs to be simple and fast for the user (briefly describe what they are signing up for and its frequency, keep your details requested under 7 points and where possible use drop down boxes for speed and efficiency. Use a form that automatically updates your contact list (Surprise surprise, IntoResults does all this!)
  • Incentives may include prizes, or product, or e-books, white papers, discounts to increase your conversions etc

Put all of these processes into consistent action and your database of contacts will be constantly growing. And so will your business.

This story was bought to you by IntoResults - whose suite of tools makes marketing simple and effective for small to medium sized businesses.

For more information on this topic and others, visit IntoResults.



Author: Tracey Voyce
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