So where do you start?
As mentioned in the introduction, the driving force behind the Small Business Growth Formula is going to be the customer information that you hold in your database.
To start with, pull together all the pieces of customer information that you already have.
Data sources to consider include:
- Accounts and invoicing systems
- Email marketing systems
- Customer lists
- Basic CRM records
It is important when looking at the data you have, ask yourself, how fresh in this data?
If you haven’t had contact with that individual for a long period of time, ask yourself honestly, will they even remember who we are? Do they really want to hear from us.
Collecting and using customer information is not about spamming your prospects and customers, use it wisely, use it to build engagement and lasting relationships.
Make sure you comply with all the rules around spam, make sure you never spam, only add people to your database who you have permission to contact.
Collect Information Online
One of the best strategies for building your database, is to leverage your website.
Instead of creating a brochure web site, why not use direct marketing best practice to make your site a lead capture machine.
There are many strategies to build your data using your website, we’ll going into these in more detail in the full downloadable guide.
The core function here is to use web forms attached to your sales and marketing system to feed qualified prospects into your database.
At Unreal Homes, they use multiple forms to segment their prospects and customers. They add them to groups depending on where they signed up and use custom fields to capture detailed preferences and interests about what products and services they are interested in.
It’s simple too, with a system like InTouch you can create as many forms as you want, using simple options add users to groups and create fields. Then just paste the form code into your website or use our new WordPress plugin (Coming Soon) and away you go.
In the full downloadable guide we will go into more detail about how to use context and data fields to segment your audience.
Collect Information Off Line
Whether you have a physical store or sit and speak to people face to face in their offices, there are some great ways to start building your data.
If you operate a B2B face to face sales operation, most of the data you need can be collected during your visit and immediately input into your database. You can create custom fields to capture the critical information, that will later help you segment your audience for targeted follow ups.
At events like trade shows, or in store, instead of manually collecting data or business cards, encourage prospects and customers to use their smart phones or tablets to complete a data capture form.
The nature of the promotion can vary greatly here, but things like competitions, truly useful downloads etc work really well.
Unreal Homes collect customer information in store and during face to face meetings in the customer’s homes.
In the store, they run promotions, using QR codes (look out for our bonus report on QR codes) and web forms and good old fashioned paper slips so that prospects can register an interest in engaging with Unreal Homes. This data is then segmented and put into automated sequences, which we shall look at shortly.
Once you have gathered together the data you already have and created new ways of collecting customer information, it’s now time to think about what happens next? What happens after a customer completes a form, or enters a competition?