Database marketing

Database marketing gives customers more of what they want

Database marketing is a strategy that every small business should and can implement to increase customer loyalty, attract new business, boost revenue and increase referrals.

What is database marketing?

It means to gather information about your customers and potential customers to gain a better understanding of them - and their needs. Then communicating with those people in ways that are more relevant and useful by email, social media, phone, post or in person.

What sort of database information is useful?

Businesses gather information and divide up customer databases by things like:

  • products or services they’ve bought from you
  • products or services they’ve shown interest in
  • demographics, eg gender, age, income, family, couples, etc
  • interests, eg adventure, beach, five star travel
  • location, eg state, city, country
  • surveys and competition feedback they’ve provided
  • loyalty – number or value of purchases, people they’ve referred
  • website pages they’ve clicked to from your email newsletter
  • activity and demographics on their social network pages.

You may need IT help for some. Others are quite simple and just depend on how well you keep records and manage your customer information.

Categorising your database into just one or two segments can make a great difference.

5 benefits of database marketing

1. You can tailor your offers

If you know what people like, where they live, etc, you can create messages and deals that appeal much more to them.   

2. You can boost sales and profits

As more of the people you’re aiming at will take time to read your message or offer and see benefits.    

3. You don’t waste marketing dollars

You’re not sending promotions to people who don’t have any interest, eg a women’s hair and makeup offer to a 70 year old man. 

4. You can clean your database

People move, change jobs, get new email addresses and lose interest. You can make sure your database is ‘clean’ and let people unsubscribe to your emails easily (required by law).

5. You can build loyalty

If you know who your best customers are you can show your appreciation – or encourage one time buyers to become repeat customers.

Database marketing tools you can use

Database marketing can be as simple or advanced as you need – and can afford. A couple of options include:

A simple spreadsheet

Gather and store information in segments in Excel spreadsheets. When you want to send out an email to one or more of your segments you can easily load the addresses into a system like Outlook and send. 

And, of course, the names and contact details are in your spreadsheets if you ever want to mail, fax or call about a special offer.

Database marketing software 

There are now very affordable database marketing products that let you do all of the above and much more on your computer, including design your own emails, manage all your contacts, and create web forms to get more customers.