What is Database Marketing – And Should Your Business Do It?

what is database marketing?
Database marketing might sound like a marketing strategy that is out of your reach as a smaller business. You may think that without a data scientist, you’re out of luck. However, database marketing is much simpler than you think, and you might be doing database marketing already! Simply put, database marketing is marketing where you reach out directly to customers or other contacts that you already have in your contact lists. You might say – I don’t have a database! That’s way too complicated for me! A database by the most basic definition is a structured set of data held in a computer. Do you have an excel sheet with the name and phone numbers of previous customers? You technically have a database! Almost every modern business has some way they are keeping track of prior purchases and contacts. Marketing to your database can take several forms – from creating flyers that you mail to customers to email marketing. Database marketing can also include enhancing your list with carefully selected contacts that have opted-in for additional marketing – so bought lists. Your current customers and bought lists can be combined to widen the reach of your marketing to get more people looking at your business.

How Do I Build Up My Database?

Now that we’ve established that having a database isn’t complicated – how do you build up your existing contacts and take advantage of new and old client information? First, going through and auditing what you have and cleaning up your database will give you a good idea of how many active contacts you have. The primary information you should be looking for is the name, phone number, address, email address, sales notes.

Now that you know what you have, you can begin to grow your database. Some of the best ways to do this are:

  • Make sure to include an opt-in form when a customer purchases something from your business so that you can contact them again.
  • Acquire relevant marketing data from a trusted provider like Lead Lists
  • Create thought leadership articles in your industry. Writing a blog with helpful information about your industry gives customers another reason to visit your site. Don't forget the email signup form!
  • Have a free trial, offer, or promotion for new customers for your products.

How Do I Execute Database Marketing?

Now that you have organized your list of contacts, you can begin sending out relevant marketing materials. There are many mediums you can use, such as emails, flyers, cold-calling, and more. If you’re in doubt about what strategies you want to execute, Leadlists.com.au is here to help you from start to finish.

Step 1: Create targeting out of your current database.
Targeting can be as simple as collecting a subset of your current list that you think are most likely to purchase from you again soon. Your sales and data team can help you highlight who these people are.

Step 2: Content is king!
Create messaging and offers that will work best for the targeted list. A discount coupon could be a good option for a customer that were near-misses and signed up but didn’t purchase your product. Or a friendly informational email may be an excellent way to rekindle older contacts that haven’t been active for a while. Brainstorm with your marketing team and find ideas that you’d like to test out.

Step 3: Schedule and send.
Once you’ve created the content, find the optimal time to send out your direct marketing and be ready to monitor the results.

Step 4: Evaluate and optimise.
As soon as you start to see the results of your database marketing, you can evaluate if it was a success. Did you get the attention of the customers? Did they purchase? No matter the answer, you can take the learnings and apply them to future campaigns.

The Benefits of Database Marketing

Good database marketing is customer-centric. By knowing your customers, you can serve them better and learn more about what they want and need out of your business. Aside from being personal, database marketing takes advantage of the contacts you already have, which means less marketing dollars spent trying to acquire new customers.

A good email campaign has higher returns than paid advertising – you’ve already acquired the customers, and they’re familiar with your brand. You’re reaching them in their homes and their inboxes with messaging that’s personal. Especially when marketing budgets are tight, creating a personal email will be easier on your budget than bigger marketing efforts.

What About the Cons?

Every type of marketing has its pros and cons. Database marketing can be considered “spammy” or annoying to customers if done poorly. It’s important to follow legal regulations and take customer’s privacy seriously during any database marketing efforts. That’s why working with an established company like Lead Lists can benefit you. We know the ins-and-outs of database marketing and can help you create campaigns that will be a hit with your customers instead of having them hit ‘unsubscribe.’

Final Thoughts

A customer-first business will always come out on top – even when the competition is fierce or financial times are difficult. Including database marketing in your overall business strategy is essential for both small and big businesses.

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