how-do-i-build-an-email-database-for-my-small-business

How Do I Build An Email Database For My Small Business?

Why Do I Need An Email Database?

Having an email database has become an integral part of just about every single business there is. Whether you are in a B2B or B2C space, customers expect majority of communication to be done via email. You might be thinking, I only have 5-20 customers, I don’t need to keep track of that in a database…

Although you might be able to handle emailing those 5-20 on a regular basis now, are you confident you are getting the most out of said clients? What’s the breaking point of too many to remember? Have you missed out on any possible sales from prospects that you were delayed on?

This simple first step is meant to provide ease of mind. Knowing you have a location where you can enter both current clients or new prospects allows you to create somewhat of a set and forget system. In the world of small businesses, any efficiency is good efficiency.

When we have the conversation of email database we often chat about customer relationship management (CRM) tools and email automation. Both extremely valuable tools that should be applied to a businesses marketing strategy at the right time.

Biggest Email Database and Email Marketing Mistakes

Purchasing Before You’re Ready

There are a surplus of email automation tools and CRM’s that can make things incredibly efficient. But when is the right time to purchase? Some of these tools can be pricey, others are smaller and more affordable. Tying it back to our starting client number of 5-20, it may not be worth the additional $50/month until you’ve proven the value of email marketing.

We want to proactive by creating an email database but not get carried away until we see the value and scalability. If our prospect database is growing into the 100’s and we are beginning to see some logical groupings then there is value in transitioning away from the custom database into the paid format.

Not Tracking From the Start

The biggest mistake we see from Tactycs clients is a lack of tracking emails. They’ve been operating for 2+ years and have done some marketing but never really focused on it. In that time they may have had 200+ conversations with possible prospects that were interested in said products/services but have no structured way to follow up with those individuals.

They may have remembered a select few and converted them into sales but the brunt of the group is forgotten. One of the key items we push for during the early stages of onboarding is to track emails. Having the database gives us a location, now we need a process. If a business is operating with outbound it may be a manual process of tracking and entering emails. If we’re relying on inbound strategies, we may create opt-in forms, downloads, etc.

The Benefits of an Email Database

#1 – Top of Mind

Everything we do in terms of email marketing is to ensure that we remain top of mind in the customers eyes. All of the tracking and reaching out is done with the purpose of keeping our business a priority for them. Even when we provide special offers or promotions, the underlying goal is to be top of mind.

#2 – Maximizing Current Clients & Previous Selling Efforts (Prospects)

If we spend time, effort, and dollars on getting customers then we want to be extremely confident that we are maximizing our sales and referrals from said individual(s).

“The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. Existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, when compared to new customers.”

The same process of thinking can be applied to prospects that showed interest in our products or services. Although less valuable then an already paying client, this group may have already hit the marketing qualified lead (MQL) status – let’s do our absolute best to convert them.

The Things To Track In Your Email Database

The filters or items you choose to track in your email database will dictate how you utilize Email Marketing as a whole. You must consider your business and how it operates/sells in order to track the right items.

Firstly, we want to have two email databases, one for prospects (potential customers) and one for current customers. This can be amalgamated into one with an additional field if you prefer!

By default we want to have the following items in both databases; name, email, company, geography, last touch, etc.

Then we want to add in the custom fields that allow us to properly group our customers. It may be beneficial to capture industry if your business covers more than one. That would allow us to create ‘industry specific emails’. Taking this example a step further perhaps we also want to gather the contacts current position and company size. Now we can put together a targeted email campaign for a certain city, within X industry, for Y individuals at a company with Z employees.

This example outlined above is something that would apply to a recruiter. Those filters put the recruiter in a position to quickly contact all of the HR Managers that work for companies that fit into the specific filters.

What can we do with this information?

It depends, perhaps there is some local news in said industry that we can take advantage. Maybe this just happens to be one of the most lucrative industries for the recruiter and he or she wants to ensure they stay top of mind for any potential referrals in the area.

Here a few more examples of in-depth fields you can track.

  • What brought the lead in? (ie. which marketing activity)
  • Break your clients or prospects into stages of need (particularly useful in B2B scenarios where you work with clients over a longer period of time)
  • In-depth demographics; age, traits, interests, etc.
  • Using lead funnels? Be sure to create a field for what they downloaded or what ads they clicked on
  • Lead Score – a number to represent the value of a prospect

It’s important to remember that there isn’t a catch all field. Breakdown your sales process and think about the sub groups that you chat with on an ongoing basis. What is the differentiator between these subgroups? Track that and automate the email process.

Email Marketing Checklist

We can’t talk about the benefits of an email database without tying it back to the actual marketing activity. Below is a quick checklist for you to follow to get set up for email marketing:

  1. Create Database & Filters – Simple and effective Excel sheet will do just fine
  2. Capture Emails – Any and all marketing activities should be built with email collection in mind
  3. Emails Into Database – Manual entry will do in the beginning
  4. Create Email Templates based on User Groups, Demographics, Industry, etc.
    • Prospect vs. Current Client
    • Demographic Grouping
    • Industry Grouping
    • Interaction with Company Grouping
  5. Write Strong Email Messaging – Be sure every email hits the following bullets
    • Attention
    • Personal
    • Valuable
    • Actionable (Call-To-Action)
  6. Create Frequency Plan
    • Nurture Track – How many and how frequently should we attempt to nurture prospects into a sale?
    • Minimum to stay top of mind – How many emails can we send without being annoying to current clients?

Getting Started With Email Marketing?

Contact us today if you need any assistance with getting started on your email marketing or email database. The Tactycs software builds you a bias-free marketing strategy. Our team then works with you to take that strategy and marketing calendar to the next level. Working with you to help educate, guide, and improve your processes for a long term sustainable future. Send us a message today!