Keeping in touch with customers can not only lead to repeat business but also, importantly, it can lead to opportunities to get referrals to their circle of friends and family.
Simple contact information such as an address or even just a post code can be invaluable when it comes to running direct marketing campaigns. At a basic level, there are systems that will enable you to create a map showing where your customers live using nothing more than a post code. At a more technical level, there are systems available to enable you to create a demographic profile of your client base using nothing more than their post codes.
Both of these can be an invaluable source of information for your direct marketing campaigns as they help you to be very targeted in you approach, helping to target people who live in the same area of who have a similar demographic profile. Mapping and demographic profiling will be discussed in more depth in a later article in this series.
Start to capture the contact details from everyone who buys from you and record these details in an electronic format that is easy to use and to access. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet or as complex as a CRM system.
There are many ways that you can persuade people to give you their contact details. The simplest, and often most effective, way is to simply ask them. People are normally willing to give their address details and rarely ask why you need them. If they do ask, be honest and tell them that you would like to keep in touch with them from time to time. Be sure to tell them that you will not pass their details onto anyone else. If you get nothing else, as for their post code people are unlikely to object to this as it is not directly related to them.
It can be a bit more difficult to capture telephone numbers and e-mail addresses as people tend to be a bit more protective of this sort of information. This is primarily because they are do not like to receive unsolicited telephone calls and spam e-mail. This is not a reason for not asking for this information but, again, be prepared to give assurances that it will not be passed on to any third party.
Please remember that if you do promise not to pass contact information on to a third party that you should keep that promise because if you don’t and you get caught out then you will not only lose the customer, you could also damage your reputation.
If you find that people are reluctant to part with all of their contact details then you may have to offer them incentives for the information. This could be a special gift or a discount or some other offer.
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