Start up or established business, you no doubt have some kind of database? It may be a few email addresses or number into the thousands, but are you making it work to your benefit, or is it just a nice to have accessory? In this post we discuss a few ways to engage with your database and how to set up regular communications using different software tools.
The key steps for Marketing to your database are:
- Collect your Data
- Choose the right software
- Clean your Database
- Segment your database
- Create Content
- Build Workflows
- Start marketing to your database.
Where is your Customer Database?
At We are Chain we know how hard it is to find the time to regularly communicate with your audience, we also know how much value can be derived from it. Which is why one of the first things we do when we come across a new customer is to ask what are you doing with your database?
In the first instance we establish the size of the database and where it is located or stored. In the past 3 years this has varied from client to client. Some have a central CRM with all of their client information in, others don’t even know they have a database and that their platform, be it Shopify or WordPress or another actually has a tonne of useful info on. Others, like pubs and restaurants have several locations of data including booking systems and their customer communication history.
Single version of the Truth
Once we have established the location of the database, it is key to get all of the correct information into one place where it can be easily managed. We have a selection of tools that we use depending on the customer. For some the database can stay where it is or it might even be better to gather it all onto a spreadsheet so you can upload into the the most relevant tool for emailing.
Once you have gathered your data together you can begin to clean it and think about the nest step, communications. You can do this within the spreadsheet by adding filters to enable simple selection criteria.
If your database is full of contacts who have legitimatly subscribed to your news then you are fine, in other cases the data may be unclean and you need to ensure you have the correct permissions.
CRM or Mail System
You may want to put all of your database into a CRM which comes with the tools required to do bulk emails, record analytics and collect new subscribers. In this instance we recommend HubSpot. It is a fantastic tool for looking after your contacts and generally doing all of your lead generation work. It is very powerful, but for this blog we need only talk about its email capabaility.
Using Hubspot you can also segment your database by category, potential for sales, location and more. This means you can send out specific emails to different audiences. Where it gets really interesting is when you build up work flows so that your database doesn’t just get a single email but a regular set of comms geared to converting them towards a goal.
You may be familiar with Mailchimp and Klaviyo. These are mail systems that can work with other systems or as stand alone to do just do bulk email. They both have a freemium product if your list isn’t too big but again like Hubspot can be very powerful if you pay for the service.
Sending Emails to your Database
Now that you have cleaned your database and have selected either the whole lot or a segment, you can think about what to send them and why you are sending it. There are different goals for every business, for ecommerce it may be to encourage more sales, for B2B company you may want more leads.
You need to carefully consider what will help your database on the way to completing those goals. Is it a discount code or something a little more informative to get them thinking.
Gather up some content that customers might find useful and then decide when they might be interested to read about each one. At which stage of the funnel will they be interested in a “how to” video. Or might they be interested in a piece of company news.
The right Email Marketing Tool
If you use Hubspot already then you should stick with it. It has an excellent in built email system and work flow builder. It does come at a cost though so consider £££ when deciding.
Mailchimp has been around for a long time. The drawbacks include the emails being sent from the US and it being a little bit complicated compared to others.
Klaviyo is simple to use and building workflows can actually be quite enjoyable. It has a variety of pricing options depeneding on the size of your database.
For us the key is the integration with other systems like Shopify. Klavyio is available as a plug in for Shopify and the two work well together.
Shopify Mail, a new kid on the block that is integrated within Shopify. Quite simple in terms of what you can do but included with Shopify so a budget saver.
Start Database Marketing
You are now ready to market to your database using your prefered software. Here are a few useful guides to get your creative juices flowing:
We do a lot of database makreting at the moment and can help you from the start or just creating the workflows for your ongoing marketing automation. Get in touch to find out more.