Building an email marketing database is key to any successful campaign. This is one of the first things that any company should do. Ideally, your database should have information about every one of your target users. But this is not always possible. You will not be able to get information about every person who may be interested in your product or service. So, you can build as big a database as possible to capture information about as many target users as possible. Once you have a decent number of users in your database, you can start marketing to them.
Also Read: Drive Sales Via Marketing Lists
How to Build the Database for Email Marketing?
Your database should contain information about your target user and also have details about social influencers, bloggers, press contacts, and analysts. These people have an extensive reach and can help you reach a larger audience.
Your Existing Contacts
This is where you can begin. Make note of all your contacts, and your teams’ contacts if you think your products and services will be useful for them. Add your existing and old customers to this list, and you will have a starting point.
While many people may think business, cards are of no use today, this is not the case. A good business card is as relevant today as it was a few years ago. Business cards can be a good source of information about your potential customer. Check all the cards you may have kept away and use business card readers to automate data capture from them. Make sure to check if these contacts can be your target audience.
Use Your Website
If you have a website, then it can become a great source of contacts. Capture your visitors’ details from the site. Offer them something to get this information from them. This could be a newsletter, a whitepaper, webinar, a free trial, and so on. If you can link your website to your marketing database and automatically capture this data, then even better.
Do Your Research
If you have a niche customer segment, you can build a list through the web using different search tools like Google and LinkedIn.
Purchase a Mailing List of Contacts
This is not recommended every time. Most lists that you purchase will have both relevant and irrelevant target users. You only want to concentrate on the relevant ones. And it can be difficult to get a list of only your potential customers. Even if you do happen to purchase a mailing list, make sure you clean up the list internally to keep only information about your target users and discard the rest. If you skip this step and email everyone on the purchased list, you can be flagged as a spammer, affecting your brand reputation.
Segmenting Your Database
This becomes an important step as your database grows. It will benefit you to segment the database that you have collected based on the information you have. For example, split the existing customers from the new ones. Dividing all the information you collect will help you communicate easily and more frequently with your prospects.
Database Systems to Use
Depending on what you want to do with the information, you can create your database in different forms. One of the simplest ways to store the information is in a spreadsheet. You can add all information like name, email address, and source in the sheet itself. If you want to get a little more sophisticated and organized, then you can use Contact Managers like Mozilla Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook. You can create custom fields for the segmentation and use the notes to record interactions that you may have with the contacts.
You can also use a database manager like LibreOffice Base, Microsoft Access, or MySQL if you are technically strong.
However, if you will only send emails to these contacts, then a simple email marketing system like dotMailer or MailChimp will be sufficient. If you are thinking of combining your sales process with the marketing process, getting an integrated CRM product that can take care of both will be ideal.
Building a database can take time. Similarly, you will not get a great number of sales leads as soon as you build the database and send out that first email. But it is important to stick to it and continue your email marketing efforts to get traction and attract relevant leads to your business over time.