What is database marketing? Solving small business marketing problems!

According to Wikipedia, database marketing is “a form of direct marketing using databases of customers or potential customers to generate personalized communications in order to promote a product or service for marketing purposes”.

Wow is that not helpful! My definition of database marketing is to have all your clients, potential clients, prospects, vendors, friends and family all in one place that you can use to send out direct mail, email marketing and generate call lists. Currently on my “marketing TV tray” I have a post-it note with a name of someone who I need to add to my database, two business cards and a sign in sheet from a class that I taught. If I do not add them to my database today I will

  • lose their name entirely
  • find them in three months and forget why I had their card
  • find them in six months and be too embarrassed to send anything because they won’t remember me (I KNOW I won’t remember them!)

So how do you use your database for marketing?

Send out emails to your database – This is FREE! You can start a bi-monthly newsletter and send your marketing message out WITH a nice piece of information that will be of value to your readers. For home service people that might be tips on how to winterize their home, ways to clean their grout or even a list of associated vendors they recommend. For real estate professionals it might be market stats, information about first time homebuyers or how to prepare their home for staging. Whatever you send, make sure that you think – “would I be interested in reading this”. If not – write something better! (if you are stuck on what to send, check out our Small Business Marketing Solution –  Thrive Client Contact System)

Make phone calls – Each month pick a couple of letters (A-C, S and T) and print out your database people whose last name starts with that letter. Carry your list around and when you have a couple of extra minutes call your people!

Send direct mail marketing pieces to your database – You can mail your clients a monthly piece of newsletter marketing, marketing postcards or even your personal brochure. Please note – if you are going to judge the effectiveness of your direct mail campaign by 1 sent message don’t bother. You need to send out your direct mail message for at least 3 months in order to be able to find out if will work! If you can’t afford to send out to your entire database, cut it in half and send half of your people a letter, newsletter or postcard each month, rotating the names so EVERYONE gets something at least every other month!

Some other things you can do with your database:

  • Collect Birthdays and send a nice card out a couple of days before (I am BAD at this – you WILL NOT get a card!)
  • Make notes about what you talked about – your people will think you are brilliant when they realize you remember all their personal info! Just pop in and take a peek at their notes BEFORE you call them!
  • Upload relevant documentation and attach it to their record. You can attach their invoice, sales receipts, contracts etc. by scanning them into a PDF and then uploading them to your database.

If you will commit to using your database, adding EVERYONE you meet the day you meet them, you WILL get more business and make more money!!!

Tara Jacobsen, Marketing Speaker, Consultant, AuthorTara Jacobsen is the owner of Marketing Artfully, a marketing services and consulting company focused on small businesses, entrepreneurs and Realtors. Find out more about her Small Business Marketing Services today!

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