Here’s a scenario: Let’s say the building where your business is housed burns down and you lose all your physical assets - computers, files and office equipment. What would you do? Would your business be worth starting up again? Let’s say your staff were traumatised by the experience and decided to leave the company as well – do you have anything left? Should you continue? What assets remain?
The main asset that remains is one that many companies fail to see and therefore don’t utilise. This asset can not only revive your business if you lose everything, but could allow you to quickly rebuild to it’s previous level. Of course if you haven’t lost everything you can make use of this asset to propel your business to even greater heights. The asset we’re talking about here is your database of pre-loved customers, past contacts & partners whom you have a great reputation with.
This is your hidden asset – a gold mine waiting to be exploited. These contacts & leads are not just business & opportunities from the past; they represent potential future business as well as numerous referrals.
Here are 2 statistics you might of heard before;
Previous customers & contacts can either be re-marketed to or encouraged to provide referrals. Many businesses make the mistake of being so focused on acquiring new customers that they fail to properly take advantage of the relationship they have with existing and previous customers.
By focusing more on your database, learning how to cultivate relationships, communicating content effectively and providing value, you demonstrate a level of trust and therefore you’ll benefit from repeat business and referrals.
How can you tap into this goldmine? By having a solid email marketing strategy. While everyone is jumping on the social media band wagon, many businesses neglect to implement an email marketing strategy with trusted customers & warm contacts. By providing useful information in a timely manner, that is valuable and relevant, your business will be kept forefront of mind.
Implementing a permission-based, ongoing email campaign which contains not just sales content, but value adding, helpful and relevant content encourages your previous customers & contacts to think of your business when they are in a position to buy again or refer a friend.
Here are 5 key strategies you can use to utilise your database better:
Teaser To Website Model: I still find today a lot of business’ overload a newsletter with all of their content. The newsletter should drive traffic to your website to read the full article. By only putting in headlines & teasers it gives the reader access to full content on your website where they might browse what else you have to offer. One benefits of this is that a lot of email marketing systems let you see who is clicking on which article which can help with your follow-up strategy.
Automated Email Follow-Up: A lot of the email marketing platforms today give you the ability to set-up autoresponders. Autoresponders are a series of emails that people can subscribe to that covers a specific topic. This is a great online marketing mechanism to put your follow-up strategy on autopilot. By drip feeding content to your customers it will slowly and gradually educate them about what you do and how you can help them.
Database Connectors: A lot of small business owners can feel overwhelmed with all the systems to manage their customer database like CRMs, email marketing or contact management in accounting software. The great thing about cloud technology is the simplicity of connecting platforms together. Zapier.com & Oneasaa.com are great examples. These platforms let you connect your database between multiple platforms making it easier to cross pollinate from one system to another.
Joint Venture Emails: Maybe you don’t have as many contacts as one of your strategic partners, so why not ask to send your content through to their database? In small business, partnering with other companies can quickly help you reach more people you never would have accessed to otherwise. A joint venture email campaign is when you ask one of your partners to launch your content through their database. This will give you transfer of trust and wide reach to more contacts. Most partners are happy to do this providing your content is relevant to their database.
The Ethical Bribe: One way to filter people down so you only get people who are genuinely interested in what your business does is by using an Ethical Bribe. An Ethical Bribe is something of value you offer for no cost - like a free audit, consultation, report, whitepaper or video. You offer this on a landing page and they can only access the offer by filling out the form. Once they fill out the website form you can then either drip feed autoresponder follow-up content or give them call to determine their level of interest to discuss your products & services.