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Cultivating Customers through Databases of the Digital Age

For decades, it has been common practice to purchase lists of addresses and send out a direct mail piece in the area surrounding your business, with hopes that the recipients might be interested in what your company is selling. While this method of outreach is still utilized, there are now other, more cost-effective options for building robust databases and pulling prospects into sales arenas.

We can invite people to share their information through a variety of online and in-person venues, such as websites, e-newsletter sign-ups, co-creation survey forums, social media, guest books at community events, static kiosks and more. Ideally, sign-up opportunities are optional, enabling prospects to opt in to continue their relationship with your brand. That means your database is filled with true, interested and engaged prospects.

The value of a database is not always in its size, but in the quality of the prospects and how you categorize them into effective lists. By asking people for more than how to reach them, you can gain a more precise understanding of their interest. Did a certain page on your website spark intrigue? Do they have a specific question or comment? Utilizing these qualitative and quantitative insights, you can create tailored categories to drive your messaging.

In this digital age, e-communications are an efficient and affordable way to engage the people in your database. You can distribute an update to thousands while using the categorized list to deliver a level of personalization. For instance, a real estate developer wants to announce the grand opening of its model homes. This announcement is relevant to both REALTORs and prospective homebuyers, but we would alter the messaging and graphics slightly and send out two separate e-blasts to effectively engage these groups.

We also aim to strike a delicate balance in the frequency of our outreach. Updates should be distributed frequently enough to build momentum, but content should be developed with discipline to ensure that the information is relevant and not merely fluff. The goal is to keep your prospects interested and eliminate any desire to unsubscribe.

With this approach, companies can build affinities and transform their prospective customers into actual customers. In addition, ongoing engagement lends itself to the creation of valuable brand ambassadors.

Art + Business ONE offers significant expertise in cultivating strong databases and developing e-communications programs as part of a holistic brand strategy. Check out our work for Green Gables Reserve and tell us if you’d like to learn more. (After all, we’d love to add you to our own database!)