I am sure you have heard others talk about the importance of building a mailing list. Businesses just like yours have been amassing potential customer data for decades. If you have a sales department, it is likely that they have a lead list that includes names, postal addresses, phone numbers and email addresses so that they can engage prospects and translate them into sales.
If you have been gathering this information and saving it in a central place, well done and my hat’s off to you! If you are organizing all of this information for the first time, well, you will have a challenging time. Notice I used “challenging” instead of impossible…because it isn’t impossible in the least!
By centralizing your customer information, you will be able to market your business more effectively across the board and roll out a social media marketing campaign that is both effective and painless. As the members of your list are already engaged with your brand, you can easily add them to your social networks by using some simple functions on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You will not only be able to grow your connections, but also engage with your list members in a more enriching way.
To get started, open a blank spreadsheet. You can use a cloud-based customer resource management tool (CRM), but if you want to keep it easy, spreadsheets work fine.
Make three separate sheets in your spreadsheet and title them in the following order:
1. Prospects (leads who have not done business with you)
2. Current Clients (anyone who is currently doing business with you)
3. Past Clients (anyone who is no longer doing business with you)
I like to break down customers into these three separate sheets to keep a clear delineation amongst the data that I am trying to organize.
Next, set up three column headings on each sheet:
Now begin the compilation process. (This is the not-so-fun part. But think! This will help grow your business offline AND online!) Look for email addresses where they will be found most readily.
• Professional email accounts
• Personal email accounts (for any customer crossover)
• Trade magazines, newspapers, blogs, and websites
• Business cards
• Marketing collateral (pamphlets, brochures, etc.)
• Conference/event guides
• Association databases
Last, import the data to their corresponding sheets.
Once you have completed this process, you will have a nice, tidy batch of information that can be utilized for social media by simply following the instructions on each site, and that can be used for newsletter mailings and email marketing. The other great thing about this list is that you can also use it to locate people that you are looking for on social media.
For example, say that you are looking for a prospective customer whose name is John Smith on LinkedIn. Well, that could be a tricky name to search for on LinkedIn, as it is so common. But by having easy access to his email address, you can copy and paste that into the search and be able to find him more readily.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, as there are many ways to utilize your lists…and the opportunities will just continue to grow. Like I mentioned, preparing items for your social media marketing campaign will provide benefits to other aspects of your business marketing. Social media is the oil that makes the marketing