How to collect and use customer data for more effective print marketing
How do I collect it?
Don’t be afraid to ask a customer for their personal information, they can say no if it does not suit them to leave it with you. “Would you like to leave your details so we can keep you up to date with our latest offers, news, reviews?”
Most businesses will automatically collect customer data at the point of purchase or registration but if you don’t, there are some simple ways you can via a loyalty scheme, coupon redemption, business card drop, voucher purchase, survey or competition.
Read my article here to learn some simple and quick strategies to collect it.
When you do collect information be sure to ask permission to contact them or send further marketing – a simple tick box will suffice in most cases; either in digital or paper form.
What should I collect?
Names, address, business name, email address, telephone number, or mobile number (for SMS) date of purchase, membership or registration; which is always useful for future reminders to re-engage lost customers.
You may wish to keep data to later profile customers by age, gender, profession, income, location, hobbies etc and anniversaries and birthdays are always a winner.
How do I store it?
At the very least you need to keep information as a spread sheet i.e.in Microsoft Excel or similar. Many salons, restaurants etc have their own management software for bookings so look at what you already have to hand. If you want to expand on the data you keep or use it more formally to manage a sales process you will need a CRM software like ZOHO CRM which is very popular for small businesses due to it being FREE for up to ten users (but only in its basic form). There are many CRM software’s out there to choose from.
How do I use my data?
Initially you want to devise a way to regularly keep in touch with these people to make them offers and inform them about new products or services. This can be done using either print marketing via direct mail or digitally via email marketing; I suggest both.
Email marketing is relatively simple to do via email marketing software. You can find free or very cheap software online to get you started but you will to need set them up yourself and your emails will be distributed with the software providers branding on. We provide an email marketing software that we set up for a cost and train you to use it – on going costs are from £15 per month which isn’t going to break the bank but you get support and peace of mind thrown in.
Direct mail is a little more complicated and you need to work with print marketing specialist like us but you can get started with postcard mailing which will keep down costs while you experiment. We are always on hand with free marketing advice to ensure you get results.
You can start getting clever with your marketing by segmenting customers in to groups. This could be by location, age, gender or which product or service they are interested in. Then you can send more tailored messaging which is more likely to strike a chord and get a response.
Just using someone’s first name can boost response enormously. If you can personalise messaging to be location or product specific not only does it deliver the right message to the right person it also shows you have taken notice and are interested in them.
Sometimes customers go cold. They may have received a quote from you and not responded or perhaps visited your salon for six months and disappeared. When new customers come to us with data and the intention to start direct mail the first thing we look for in their data is the lowest hanging fruit – cold clients. They’re an easier target because they’ve already used you but may be just forgotten or got a better offer elsewhere – you can win them back.
Data goes out of date
As people move house, change job, go out of business or even die. Mailing dead people is the most common complaint the ICO receive and there is no excuse!
You can sort out this by regularly checking your postal data against the national databases and updating it. We offer a free data audit for all our mailing customers and on average we save them money on wasted postage and possibly worse! By having a return address service on your direct mail you can remove gone away’s and regular checking of your email bounce list can save you money if you remove those who have bounced.
If you collect and store data about your customers you do have a responsibility to keep it safe and follow standards issued by the ICO. There is a guide for businesses here
The data laws are about to change in 2018 and will also affect you as a data controller.