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Your Contact Database is Gold

You collect contact information such as names, company, email address, phone number, etc.  all day long.  If not you should be.  You get business cards.  You get emails.  You read business journals.  You get phone calls.  You go to networking events.  You attend trade shows and conferences.  Put this information to good use.

Get it into your database whatever that is – either a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, Marketing Automation Solution (like HubSpot), Outlook, Constant Contact contacts, Quickbooks accounting system, spreadsheets (least preferred) or whatever.  These are the people you are going to market to.  The cleaner it goes in (no missing info) the better it will be in the long run.

Collecting is great, but use what you collect.  Email marketing is still important.  You need to communicate to your customers (clients) and prospects.  And don’t forget the media, your partners, your vendors and your employees.  You can’t communicate if you don’t have their information.  Again your contact database is gold.

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Your Email Database

In most cases, your email database contacts are different than your CRM database contacts or your customers in your accounting system.  You need to periodically (preferably after every email blast or email newsletter that you send out) clean up the database.  Most email systems such as Constant Contact have reports that will show you the bounced email addresses.  Make sure that you clean up the email database and the database that this information came from.  You need someone at your organization that is responsible for cleaning up and adding to the database.

Your Customer Database

Don’t forget to look at your database of customers (clients) periodically.  You need to retain your current customers.   Analyze your customers by size, market, location (such as state), money spent with you, product/service lines, etc.  Guaranteed you will discover something that will help your organization.  Update your customer entry immediately if you receive a change of address form or hear that someone has left their employment.

Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)

Your social media networks are databases.  You need to clean these databases as well.  Search for new people to follow or connect with.  Remove followers or connections that do not add any value to you such as someone on Twitter that does not follow you and has not Tweeted in over 30 days. If possible get the people that are following you in your social networks into your email database so that you can communicate with them in ways other than social media.

I Know It is Not Fun

Cleaning up your database is like weeding the garden.  Not enjoyable, but absolutely needs to be done periodically.

Develop a system for tracking all incoming leads

Once a lead comes in (over the phone, at an event or on your website), someone has to be tasked with keeping track of the lead status so leads do not fall through the cracks.  Get the lead into your CRM system or Marketing Automation system (like HubSpot) quickly.  Lost leads are lost opportunities.  Lost opportunities are lost money.  Quick response is often necessary or that lead will go somewhere else.  So often great marketing campaigns have no or little sales follow up.  That’s wasted money and effort.

Converting leads into customers is how you grow your organization.  And for you to followup on leads you need a good contact database that is accurate.  Your contact database is gold so take care of it.

Check out my other blog post on divide and conquering your contacts.

Let me your thoughts on controlling your contact database.

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