Good contact management is important to many of your marketing and sales processes and strategies, including email marketing. It helps provide the context you need to enable you to send the right email to the right person at the right time. And if you can’t do that, not only are you less able to compete with the best marketers in your space, but you also run the risk of damaging your relationship with members of your audience, potentially causing them to disengage from your brand.
Email continues to be one of the best ways to reach an audience. So, if you’re spearheading any growth initiatives, chances are it should involve email marketing as a strategy, and chances are that you want to have solid contact management so that you can do email marketing well.
Even if you’re starting from scratch with a new business, it’s essential to build good contact management practices. For new businesses, your contact database may be the most valuable currency you have (if not the only currency you have). Neglecting building a good contact database could be the end of your fledgling business. Contact management will likely be a major factor in the success of your business.
What is good contact management? What separates the good from the bad, and what are the core capabilities that your business should have when it comes to contact management?
Collecting Contact Info
You should be able to collect contact info for people who are interested in your brand. This may sound like a no-brainer for a lot of established businesses; few of us are strangers to a subscription box or lead form. Even if you’re familiar with common methods, you also want to make sure that you’re doing it right.
At a minimum, make sure to collect a full name and email for your brand’s contacts. It may be tempting to just collect an email address, but requiring a name on your subscription requests won’t deter people who you’ve truly made a connection with, and including name information in the To field of your emails will help keep your emails out of the spam folders of your audience. You can’t help anyone if you’re sending emails into the void.
Make sure that you’re transparent about how you use your contacts’ information. Now more than ever, matters of privacy and information security are important to your contacts. Make sure to communicate what user information that you collect, and how you use that information, including any third parties that you use to collect or process that information.
Centralize Your Contact Info
You should have central storage for information about your brand’s contacts. Having centralized storage for your brand’s contact info better enables you to make the most of your relationship with your audience.
For instance, if someone subscribes to your email list from one of your blog posts, and then shows interest in multiple other content pieces on the same subject, then they may find your product that relates to that subject helpful. If you have centralized contact information, then you have the context to know how to help this person, and you can provide them with the right message at the right time.
Going without centralized contact info is a risk. Given the same person showing the same interest in your brand, if you are missing information about your brand’s relationship with them, you’re missing opportunities to connect with them and ultimately sell to them. Worse, you might send them something irrelevant to their needs and potentially lose them forever.
Customer relationship management systems, or CRM systems for short, can enable businesses to centralize their contact info, and help people interested in their brands as best as possible. If you have adopted a CRM for your business already, make sure that it’s working for you in enabling you to connect with your audience. If you haven’t already adopted a CRM, you should make it a priority to look for one that works for your business.
Organize Your Contact Info
It’s not enough to collect contact info. Once your contact database starts growing, you need to proactively organize it to keep it healthy and up to date.
At a minimum, make sure that you promptly separate defunct email addresses from the good ones. Sending to a bad email address can negatively affect your sending reputation, and your ability to deliver emails to the good email addresses in your contact database.
If you can, another good thing to do is to organize contacts by their last engagement. This can allow you to better engage your best customers and followers, and also allow you to maintain a relationship with loyal audience members who don’t engage as often.
The more that you do to keep your contacts organized, the more opportunities you’ll find to better connect with your audience. You can do some pretty sophisticated things with well-organized contact data to make happier customers and a better-performing business.
We hope you find these tips on contact management helpful! You can always contact us with questions or feedback about contact management.