The Importance of Managing Your Client Database

By Linda Elming Freda

We’ve all done it.  I’m just as guilty as you are.  After a successful networking event I procrastinate updating my client database.  Other more pressing matters seem to push in front of this administrative task.  Before I know it, several days (or even weeks) have gone by and I still haven’t done it.  Now I’m looking at a big pile of business cards.  Yuck!

As a small business owner, it is easy to ignore this task for more important matters.  However, have you ever considered how this seemingly mundane chore is COSTING you money?   You read that right.  There are significant benefits to maintaining a current, up-to-date and accurate contact list.  Read on.

Benefits of Updated Contact Lists

Improved Productivity

A person who works with a “messy” or cluttered desk spends, on average, 1 1/2 hours per day looking for things or being distracted by things or approximately 7 1/2 hours per work week. (Dr. Donald E. Wetmore “Time management facts and figures”.

Timely Follow-Up

If you update your client database immediately, you are more likely to take advantage of the recommended 24 to 48-hour window for follow-up.  You just spent time building rapport with these contacts and they are interested to hear more about you and your company.  Don’t miss a potential sale!

Improved Company Reputation

This is a no brainer.  Remember that sage advice from Will Rogers, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”.  People want to buy from someone they know, like and trust.  Build that trust by keeping your records up-to-date so you can get back to people when you say you will.

Marketing Budget Used More Effectively with Targeted Email Campaigns

The reason you gather client information in the first place is pretty simple; to convert leads or prospects into customers, right?  An effective way to do that is through targeted email campaigns.

According to Javed Khan, owner of EMpression, a Marketing Services Company, general email blasts are passé.  Instead, sending targeted emails with relevant and beneficial content to specific clientele increases profits and is more economical.  SEGMENTING (i.e. categorizing) your customer database creates targeted email lists.

Why Segmented Email Lists are so powerful!

  • Targets your marketing information to those who are already interested.
  • You can tailor your specific offers or incentives to your most promising and profitable customers.
  • Targeted email campaigns get 50% more clicks than general email (according to com).
  • Repeat customers spend 67% more and are more profitable than new customers. (Bain & Company report)
  • Increasing your retention of existing customers by 5% can increase profits by 25% or more. (Bain & Company report)
  • Targeted email campaigns allow you to send the right content to the right client.
  • Eliminates SPAM.

Accurate client lists allow you to target your email campaigns effectively.

How to Manage and Segment Your Lists

Get a System

If you don’t have a system to capture and manage your client information, you can purchase software systems called Customer Relationship Management or CRM’s for short.  There are several good systems out there for managing your client data including:  SalesForce, Insightly and Zoho CRM.  Some systems offer a free option; most are fee based.

Alternatively, you can just use a spreadsheet.  I use a simple MS Excel spreadsheet and capture basic information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Job Title
  • Company Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Industry Category (used to segment the data)

Record Your Data and Add a Category

I record my contact information as soon as possible, then apply a standard category such as: Financial Planner.

Segmenting Lists for Targeted Email Campaigns

When I am ready to send my email campaigns out, I filter my Excel client database by Industry Category, save the information as a new .csv file, then export it to Constant Contact.  That’s it!  Bob’s your Uncle!

Segmentation is the key to strong customer lists which can turn leads into customers, and customers into repeat business.  Managing your client database wisely helps you do that.

Part of our digital marketing services is to help business owners, organizations and entrepreneurs create a database system that will help segment client lists for your digital marketing communications. If you’d like further details about this system and would like one customized for your business, please contact javed {at} empression(.)ca or call 416-889-6069.

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