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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Best Way To Organize Customer Information
Posted by Anonymous on
8/15/2005 at 3:32 PM ET
I am currently focusing on getting our customer information organized. We gather this information from our websites (where only the email address is entered), from our store (where the customer has the choice of entering name, email, address, where they heard of us), and from events (ie. trade shows-same info as store). We routinely send out emails to the email addresses that are entered, but those who only enter their home address get "lost". Currently we have all the information in a spreadsheet and have added the emails to our Constant Contact account.
So, my question. What would be the best way to organize this information? Also, as we have just come back from a trade show - what would be the best way to get action from those who only have home addresses? (I know we can send a postcard , but doing so on an on-going basis is really expensive.) Is there a good way to get those people to sign up to receive our email instead?
8/15/2005 at 4:19 PM
Give them an incentive to supply their email. Run monthly contests giving away digital cameras or some such consumer "toy." DON'T bother with, "Sign up for our email!", as that will entice almost no one!
8/15/2005 at 4:30 PM
Don't give the option to enter a physical home address. Since they are getting lost and are expensive to mail to, they have little to no value to you so don't bother with them.
Keep it simple: First Name, Last Name and email. Once you have this in the database you can contact them over a period of time and append whatever information you need, although it may cost you something in return that you give to the subscriber.
This giving something in return is the same carrot you must dangle to get them to signup. Coupons, specials, discounts, free whitepaper downloads, giveaways, bonuses whatever your product or service is there are ways to build the value of the signup by giving something in return.
Avoiding duplicates is another problem but there are ways in Excel to compare lists that work very well and Constant Contact won't email to duplicate emails, only if the emails are different with the same first and last name.
I hope that helps.
8/15/2005 at 8:33 PM
If you want to retain the leads you have that only offer a physical address and organize everything into one big pot, I understand that Filemaker, a database program I've recently been introduced to, is an excellent tool. It's a customized database system and is more involved to set up than Constant Contact or Outlook, but you'll wind up with a database that's searchable by a variety of different fields, like zip code, how they found you, etc.
8/15/2005 at 10:00 PM
To organise your customer data, I would suggest you look into an affordable CRM database solution.
Here's one that costs nothing but a little time, and a commercial support plan if you need help:
Take a look at the live demo, and I'm sure you will be suprised how good free (Opensource) software can be.
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