The key to any successful business is a steady customer base. A typical business earns 80% of its revenue from 20% of its customers, yet it’s easy to neglect loyal patrons in pursuit of new business. Don’t make this mistake. By building a customer database you can stay in touch with your customers after they’d made a purchase. By keeping in touch with them, they are likely to shop more frequently.
What is a customer database?
A customer database is simply a list of your existing customers who have agreed to share with you their contact information.
Creating a database and using it to stay in touch with your customers serves two purposes:
- It reminds your most loyal customers why they like you.
- It gives less frequent visitors a reason to return. It might be the difference between a return visit and a lost customer.
Collect contact information to build your customer database
First, decide how you will reach out to the customers that share their contact information with you. If you want to send a newsletter, postcard or book of coupons to their home, then you should ask for the mailing address. If you plan to begin an email marketing campaign, then collecting their email address would be appropriate.
Once you decide how you will use their information, develop a simple process for collecting the information. Ask for it at checkout. Have a signup form on your website and on social media. (Not sure how to make that happen? We can help you set up and maintain your customer database.) As long as you have their permission and avoid overuse, e-mail can be a powerful and inexpensive marketing tool. For more information, read our article How to Start an Email List from Scratch.
Make good use of the data they willingly provide, but never share the information with anyone for any reason.
Use your customer database to reach out on a regular basis
People like to do business with people they trust. And more than that, they like to work with people they like. Don’t lose touch with your customers. Build a relationship with them.
By reaching out, you are keeping your business name, phone number, and service on their mind. Consider sending birthday cards, seasonal postcards announcing new products, or special holiday offers.
Why a list of your existing customers can be one of your most valuable assets
A customer database can be an exceptionally valuable tool. Once set up, it is relatively simple to maintain and can pay off with improved customer loyalty and increased sales. Learn how we can help you with your email marketing needs by visiting our Email Marketing Services page.