Data Best Practice
How to grow and retain your email database
A good strategy is nothing without a good database. And you can’t grow a database if it’s leaking! As a business, it is essential that you understand who is buying your product and where the opportunities are, so that you can effectively grow and retain an email database that has revenue potential.
An effective retail strategy means understanding how to grow relationships with customers by incorporating and acting on the right data at the right time. Therefore, we’ve put together our top tips and eight best practices for effectively managing your customer data:
1. Stay authentic
Grow your database in a way that feels authentic and relevant. The ‘Refer a Friend’ schemes, Facebook retargeting, social media collaborations and co-branded campaigns or competitions are all great methods to grow your database in theory, but if they aren’t relevant to your business they won’t feel authentic to your audience and you won’t attract the right subscribers, or you’ll risk not attracting many people at all. So, it’s vital to stay consistent with your brand and relevant to your audience.
2. Segmentation is key
Far too many businesses manage their database with lists rather than segments. Not using segmentation is a missed revenue opportunity to engage the most dedicated subscribers. Optimise your database by identifying which of your subscribers are most engaged, then isolate them. Segmentation ensures that you are not sending irrelevant emails to your subscribers, which can result in a higher retention.
3. Incentivise customers
A powerful lead magnet is an essential part of any email marketing strategy and ultimately needs to incentivise potential subscribers to part with their email address. Whether it’s a website pop-up featuring a tempting special offer for first time customers – you need to make it strong and relevant for your business. When you’ve hit them with your lead magnet, it’s time to nurture them with a strong welcome sequence that makes them feel more invested in your brand.
4. Build Trust
Brands can collect data by segmented and personalised conversations with customers across their website, email, ads, SMS and Messenger. These direct online interactions will be empowered to build a stronger, more lasting relationship based on trust and deep personalisation with consumers.
5. Leverage social media
Many businesses fall into the trap of believing that a large database will result in a significant growth in revenue. But, if the right people aren’t on your list, all you have to show for it is a vanity metric. The question is, how do you attract these high quality, high intent subscribers?
Utilising tools like social media advertising, paired with a powerful lead magnet will result in the type of people you need on your list. Social media should not be overlooked as a tool to target and search for your ideal customers.
6. Send purposeful content
It’s a no brainer but if you are going to retain the subscribers on your email database, you need to send useful emails that result in sales. Fitness brand, MuscleSquad is a great example of how ‘back in stock’ notifications can grow a database. MuscleSquad began using ‘back in stock’ notifications in December 2020, and their email list has grown from 2,000 (August 2020) to 15,000 (March 2020). This works because high intent subscribers who are poised to purchase are added to the database. The list can be segmented based on what product they are interested in and how quickly they move to purchase so they can be hit with targeted emails that are relevant to what stage they are at in their journey. It’s a win-win for customers and for the brand.
7. Optimise your Opt-ins
Are you capturing emails from customers when they check out? By optimising your opt-ins and pre-ticking the box, you could grow your email list by 40%, just like Sophie Allport did. Many businesses are missing a trick by not using soft opt-in. This area often feels like it lacks clarity in relation to the regulations, but making it easier for people to opt-in to your email marketing is a sure fire way to grow your email list, whilst still complying with ICO regulations for PECR/GDPR.
8. Take security seriously
When you gather personal data about clients, from their home phone numbers and addresses to other personal details, you need to have a plan to keep that information safe. This helps build customer trust and can save your business from a big headache down the road. Invest in CRM and train your employees to ensure that your customer data is secure (for example don’t allow your staff to email spreadsheets full of customer data!). Investing in the security of your data is an investment in your company’s future, which is money well spent.
Consumer data is now the world’s most valuable resource—“the oil of the digital era”—and needs to be treated and safeguarded as such. Proper data collection and management are absolutely essential for ensuring that your company avoids data breach issues and the resulting loss of customer trust. Make sure you’re leveraging your customer data to achieve maximum benefit for your company.