The most valuable thing you can do for your business is to build a database of existing and potential clients. This can be just a mailing list or a comprehensive resource detailing likes, dislikes, spouse, mailing address information etc…
How do you generate this information? This can be done in a number of ways. You might ask people to sign up for a monthly newsletter and have them provide their name and email address. You can request their email at the Point of Sale to enter into a data base later or you can offer them something of value when they visit your site – a special introductory promotion, coupon, e-book, trade secret or special gift. Visitors fill out a form in order to receive their free gift and this email then goes into your database as a mail-out list to your now established customer base.
This information is vital to your business, perhaps now, more than ever before. Now that you have customers coming to your website, and in turn, to your business, you want to keep them coming back – AND you want them to tell their friends.
As special promotions become available – you can market directly to those people on your mailing list. It is easier to create repeat business than it is to attract new customers. Keep in mind that the people who go to your site, or walk into your store, do so for a reason – they are looking for something they want or need, and you are probably not the only business on the web offering similar products or services.
Having a database of contacts allows you to communicate more readily with your customers. Many businesses offer special customer appreciation days to the people on their mailing list sending out invitations informing their clients that the sale or promotion is available exclusively to them – one day only, which can generate tremendous traffic and sales not to mention customer loyalty.