I often counsel business owners on the importance of making your customer lists work for you. Many business owners understand the value to keeping in touch with customers – current and past. But often they don’t know the “how to” transform a customer list in to a living, breathing database geared in increasing a customer’s lifetime value.
If you’ve made the right decision to move forward with this initiative – congratulation! You’ve decided to constantly stay in communication with your current customers and continue the dialog that led to your initial sale. But now the real question, are you maximizing your databases potential? How are you making your customer list work for you?
Here are a couple suggestions that will allow you to leverage your current database and lead to additional sales while saving money.
NCOA keeps addresses current
Every 6 months run your customer lists through the national change of address file.
• “Every year approximately forty million Americans move their place of residence and/or business, but their old addresses often remain in mailer’s databases. As a result, mailings continue to go to old addresses and not the new ones. It is estimated that at least 8% of all mail is undeliverable because of incorrect addresses. This means lost opportunities, lost sales, and wasted money” (USPS – Movers Guide)
• All you need to run a NCOA is Full Name, Mailing Address including City, State and ZIP
Update & Scrub all Telephone Numbers
If doing telemarketing and you already have a list that you own, then run the phone numbers through the National Do Not Call Registry.
• Go to telemarketing.donotcall.gov and register for your Subscription Account Number (SAN). You do not want to get fined $11,000.00 for violating the Do Not Call Act.
You can also append cell phone numbers to your list.
Append Email Addresses
Use a reliable source to review the email addresses in your customer list. Email addresses tend to change frequently. You will want to correct and update the ones you have. You will also want to add new ones into your database. This way you can communicate with your customers, current and old, on a continuous basis.
Enhance your Lists with outside Data
Append your Customer Lists with additional demographic, behavior and lifestyle information
• Find out who are your most profitable customers and anticipate likely future behaviors and buying tendencies.
• If rolling out a new product or service, you are now armed with the proper knowledge about who to market towards
The saying is “You must own your Database”, but what does it really mean? You need to have a complete understanding of who your customers are, not only demographics, but why they buy. All of the time you spend on your marketing will be a waste if you’re sending the wrong message to the wrong group.
With that being said, you’re wasting money and time reaching customers at the wrong mailing addresses and phone number. Many business owners do this multiple times a year.