Good database can be your goldmine
Come back with me to January 30. It is 12.33 on Monday afternoon.
About an hour earlier I had hit the send button for my online newsletter.
Along with the normal slew of mail delivery errors, changes of address, unsubscribes (sigh), an email came in with a lovely compliment on the newsletter.
It was signed Kate and had a postscript inquiring if I conducted, in Australia, the small group training I had mentioned in the newsletter.
This is, of course, is what you are hoping for when you send out your newsletters. Inquiries.
The smile on my face was quickly wiped off as I noticed that in the subject line of my newsletter to her had been addressed "Kylie, wonderful life and business quick tips to start 2012 with".
I said to myself: "Oh no. I’ve got a mistake in the database. It’s been addressed to Kylie, and her name is Kate".
When I went to check the records, my jaw dropped in amazement. Kylie/Kate had been on my database since 2003. Nine years!
Since I keep the date and the source of each person on the list, I saw she came on it when I had spoken at a financial services conference in which she was a director of the company.
Some time in the passing years, as I learnt later, she started a new business and wrote to my office to change her email address.
This change had been entered into the database by one of my assistants, who did not question the two different names.
When I was chatting with her – and yes, I got the commission to train her team – she mentioned that her name was Kylie but she had decided to go by Kate a few years back.
You might think the point of this wee story is to keep your database correct. Well, yes, that is important, of course.
These three points I believe are extremely relevant, and it’s a song I keep singing over and over.
1. A database can be your goldmine
Are you keeping one, or simply letting people walk in and then out? They may call and hang up, or come to your website and leave. It pays to be proactive instead of reactive.
2. Persistency pays – heaps
Sending a newsletter, or any communication plan, must be a long-term view rather than: "I’ll try this once, twice, to see if it works".
In this instance, my persistency was rewarded nine years later.
However when you think about it, when you push send for your newsletter via email, the cost per person is miniscule.
3. Relevant and valuable
Do you think Kate would have changed her address and stayed on the database if she wasn’t getting information that was pertinent and valuable to her?
You can, of course, have "selling" in your newsletter. But it must be tempered with an ample amount of material your database recipients will find interesting and worth staying on your list for.
Would you be able to have kept Kate?
Debbie Mayo-Smith is one of the most sought-after speakers in Australasia.
For a free quick tip newsletter, a vast collection of "how-to" articles and other resources to help you work smarter and save time, visit www.debbiespeaks.co.nz