You may have noticed that I have recently made quite a few changes to my blog. I have also been changing my email lists, and my Facebook pages and groups. As a result of some recent training I now work from a more professional perspective, and it is having a massive impact.
One of the areas I have been focusing on recently is my email list. I have had some information about my customers for a while, including email addresses. Unfortunately I haven’t really made very good use of this until recently though. Now I understand the importance of having an email list I simply have to pass on what I have learned.
First of all, something I hadn’t really thought of before was the importance of being able to contact customers outside of platforms like Facebook. What would happen if your Facebook page disappeared overnight? Would you have to start all over again from scratch? What about paypal? or your company website? Are they the ones who hold your customer information?
If you are depending on others to hold your customer information, then really they hold the keys to your kingdom!
Lets examine that for a minute….
Many small business owners think the main part of their business is their website. This is usually a replicated site provided by the company they work with. Or perhaps, if not a website, they think it is their social media page that is the hub.
This is just not true.
THE most important part of your business is your customer list.
When you stop to think about it properly, if you had to start all over again, the most difficult thing to replace would be your customer list. Without them you can have as many fancy websites or social media pages etc as you want. You still won’t have a business.
Big businesses understand this completely. They never depend on outside sources to be able to contact their customers and we shouldn’t either!
This means we need to do what we can to gather contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, addresses etc. Now this is not always as easy as it seems. We might have some of this information if someone has actually bought something, but what about all the other people we have worked hard to bring to our social media pages and groups etc? These are people we have built relationships with. They are the ones who know, like and trust us, and they are our potential future customers.
If we lost access to our social media accounts, how many of these potential customers would we be able to contact? Imagine you lost access to your paypal account. How many of your previous customers would you be able to contact?
If you wouldn’t be able to contact your customers, then it is time to change that BEFORE something happens to make you realise what you have done.
Where to Start?
The first thing you need to do is make a decision about how you would like to store your customer information. Remember you have a responsibility to make sure other peoples information is safe and secure. It can’t be just written on a piece of paper, or on a document on your computer where it is open for anyone to see. It needs to be stored in a locked cabinet or a password protected document.
When you first start collecting customer information, a secured excel document may be sufficient. Once you start to gather a larger amount of information however you may wish to consider customer specific business tools.
If you want to learn more about business tools, as well as have access to all the tools you might need for online marketing, I’m happy to recommend Stiforp.
Create A Master List
Once you have decided how you wish to store the information it is time to start creating a master list.
If you have information in various places I suggest you write a list of these places to start working through. Prioritize the most valuable information you have – your current and past customers are highest priority, so places such as paypal should be top of your list. You can create and download files usually from these sites which make it easier to transfer data to a master list.
After that, places such as your facebook business page, or other social media sites should be tackled. Even if you don’t have a lot of contact information on these sites it is worth creating a record of the information you have at the minute, then we can work on adding to that later.
I hope you found this post useful. Do feel free to share it with others. Thank you in advance if you do share – I always appreciate you helping me to reach more people with my blog!