This is the second tip of our 5 part series - 5 ways to be successful online. Let's get into how building a customer database can help you become successful online.
Build a Customer Database
Garnering awareness and acquiring customers is one of the great challenges of building a business. It is so essential that there is an entire business discipline dedicated to this - which we know as marketing. It's fair to say that any customer that finds your business or website is highly valuable to you, and you want to hold on to them as long as possible.
That's where the idea of a database comes in. A customer database is simply your list of contact information of the customers that you have dealt with in the past. So why keep a list of them? Because they are your best source for future revenue and word of mouth. Who better to announce your newest product line to than the people who loved your last product line? Who better to spread the word about your new service than those who've used it previously?
That's all well and good, but how can you get your customers' contact information? Here's 4 simple strategies.
- Give something away. Give every customer who fills in an online form something valuable in exchange for their email address. It could be a discount voucher, or an ebook that you have written, or exclusive VIP content.
- A simple "Contact Us" web form. This is a form you can put on your site so that your customers can ask questions and submit their comments. You'll be surprised by how many of your visitors will take the time to ask a question, and in the form, you can ask for their email address.
- Run an online discussion forum. People love to chat with other customers and share their knowledge and opinions. You can empower your customers to do the same, and as part of the process, ask them to give their email address to use as a username.
- Sell something! When people buy from your online shop, ask them for an email address to send the receipt/confirmation to.
Try it out!
With our online business system, you can do many of the above with ease. Most importantly, the contact details are all captured in one, central customer database. Why is this important? Because you don't want your customer's details strewn across multiple disconnected tools - you want them centralized and close to hand.
You can implement the above strategies with your online business right now:
Web Forms are automatically set up to capture customer details directly into your customer database. You can build your own under Modules-> Web Forms, either for a 'Contact Us' form or for a competition/give away form.
Forums are found under Website->Forums. You can add one to your website - all the technical bits, like capturing a username and password, are handled automatically as part of your forum.
An Online Shop is built into your online business from the beginning, and all orders processed through your online shop are automatically linked to a customer record with your customer's contact details in it!