How to Build Lifelong CRM with Your Email Database Part 1

Having an opt-in email subscriber database is one thing, but using it to its full effect is another.

As time goes by, it’s inevitable that some people will unsubscribe. It’s therefore vital to maintain a steady inflow of new addresses to keep your database on track. Regular contact is also important in order to maintain the relationship you have built with customers – just make sure that it is meaningful, relevant and not mistaken for spam.

Here are some tips on how to ensure that your email communication is relevant, welcome and effective.

Capture addresses correctly and continuously

You need to ensure that you are POPI compliant for all the email addresses in your database, and that they are all valid – statistics has shown that as much as a third of the email addresses in a database can be obsolete. To ensure that your database doesn’t shrivel and die, you need to keep collecting addresses. But how can you keep replenishing this database?

One way is to incentivise your sales team to collect email addresses each and every time they make contact with a client, or confirm that the current address is still accurate and viable. Reward salespeople for every contact they collect.

Set up your point-of-sale system up in such a way that it captures an email address every time a customer buys something in-store or over the phone.

As soon as an email address is entered into the database, send a verification email with a click-back confirmation button that confirms permission to use the address for marketing purposes – but remember to assure the customer that you will maintain the confidentiality of this address.

Strategix’ data management tool, myDMT, can be used to support master data management by removing duplicates, standardising data (mass maintaining) and incorporating rules to eliminate incorrect data from entering the system in order to create an authoritative source of master data. Master data are the products, accounts and parties for which the business transactions are completed.

Make the most of transaction emails

An often-overlooked communication touchpoint is the transaction email. This would be the confirmation email, e.g. “Your order has been received” or “Your package has been shipped and should arrive by this date”. Transaction emails have a higher open rate than promotional emails, as they are informative rather than persuading. As they are more likely to be opened and read, it would be remiss not to place subtle suggestions for future purchases, especially if these suggestions are specifically tailored to the customer’s specific demographic.

In order to make the most use of this tool, ensure that transaction emails are sent from your email marketing team instead of the shipping department or dispatch company to make sure they are in HTML and contain the correct promotional, tailored content.