D is for DatabaseD is for Database

How much is your business worth?

To look at it from an accounting point of view, past profitability and asset values are the starting points.  But it is often intangible factors, such as key business relationships, which provide the most value.

Underlying that is your customer database and hopefully one that is delivering consistent results for you!  Your database should make you money every time you communicate with it and you need to look at how you build your list and then use it.

I’ll avoid the obvious cliché that size matters!  Anyone can have a big list and still have no customers. There are loads of commercially available lists that you can buy though personally I would warn against doing that.

A small list of buyers interested in your business is hugely preferable to a massive list of unqualified cold prospects.  This goes back to your marketing and social media strategy and knowing and understanding who your ideal prospective customer is …. your customer avatar. So start with a small list of the right people and build it up as you go along.

Here are four great ways to sign people up to your website and build your database list (with thanks to Nigel Botterill’s Entrepreneur’s Circle advice):

  1. Sidebar Subscription Boxes (one on every page) offering great value – free information that helps them or discount codes
  2. Squeeze pages: tantalise people with great value offers “just behind the door”
  3. Pop Up Windows: done at the right time with a good and a thought through headline/reason to act
  4. Contact Us: make it interesting, personal and different.

The Social Media fraternity is very fond of running free (and informative) webinars on different topics of their expertise. They build their database with a free useful session. Then usually, but not always, pitch their linked product offer at the end.  As they have just demonstrated their expertise on the webinar you feel confident that they ‘know their stuff’.  As a result, you are likely to purchase if you want to know more.

These ideas will all help you to build your database and, if you’ve approached it the right way, start to convert prospects into customers and keep them as loyal customers.

Just remember – the money is in the list! Knowing that every time you send out an email you will make some money is a very powerful feeling!


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