One of the most overlooked parts of a strong business is a strong and well-defined email database. An email database forms a key part of a Customer relationship management (CRM) system, a larger system that manages a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It allows you to organize your customer groups as well as automate and synchronize various functions like sales, marketing and customer service.

The importance of having the perfect email database can’t be overly stressed. One of the main benefits of having an email database is that it allows you to communicate directly with your customers and potential customers, something many types of advertising or marketing channels don’t let you do.

The key features of a strong email list

Email marketing allows you to:

  • Send out specific newsletters regarding your new products, gift vouchers, discount coupons and press releases through targeted messages.
  • Communicate free of charge and reach everyone on your list.
  • Say what you need to, with no limits as to the length or types of content you want to put in your emails which make it unique compared to other marketing tools.
  • Really reach your followers: Email is the cheapest and most direct method ahead of Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.

A well-managed and sourced email database can be a great help for any business regardless of its size. Strong email databases are inexpensive and can be easily built. Having an instant access to all your customers and potential customers’ email addresses is a powerful tool for marketing.

Know more about your customers – get good data

Another crucial part of creating an email database, especially from scratch, is the kind of data you add in it. You must know which data will be of most use to you and your business. As a Marketing Agency in Sydney, we recommend different types of data for our clients to allow for different types of segmentation to allow you to create targeted messages.

However, there are some types of data which should be available in nearly every database. The very basics would be:

  • Email address, first name and last name. Ideally, you should have their personal email addresses to directly contact them when they are not busy at work. However, a company email wouldn’t be so bad either. What’s important is you get your message across. You will also need their first names and if possible, their last names. If you have this information you can easily set up merger tags and each email you send out to your customers will sound personalised. Remember: The devil is in the details.
  • Contact phone numbers. Contact numbers are important not just from an email sending perspective but for records and possible telemarketing in case the person responds to your email with questions. Using smartphone numbers to link advertising campaigns back to your database helps close the loop as to how interested your database is in making a purchase or in your content.

Regardless of how convenient emails can be, sometimes it is better to speak to a person directly and hear their voice. It helps reinforce trust as well.

  • Mailing address. Being able to send advertising direct to your customer list and to measure its effectiveness is a key part of measuring your ROI. Understanding how they respond to email, direct mail, mobile advertising allows you to better understand what works and what doesn’t.
  • Company information. You should keep track of your customers’ profession because this will tell you in which sector and industry are your products and services most popular. You can then specifically target that demographic and expand your email database.
  • Type of Customer. It should be indicated in your database if the contact is a key supplier, a prospective client or former client. This allows you to narrow down the database even further and target very specific people with your email.

Some other types of data that are very important include:

  • Purchase Information. It is also important to include a contact’s purchase history. This will allow you to segregate and categorise your database and outgoing emails. This way, you will be able to tell what kinds of products you can market to a particular person, making the e-mail more personalised.
  • Family Settings. Is the contact single? Married? With or without kids? These are the kinds of information that can further help your email reach your target audience. For instance, there is no point in sending out an email about infant clothes to a single person. You e-mail will only most likely annoy the person and then lead them to unsubscribe to your newsletters.
  • Birthdays. If you really want to go the extra mile with your database, add birthdays as well. You cans send out special coupons or vouchers to your contacts with birthdays or if not, send a birthday related marketing e-mail.

We hope this gives you a little understanding of what’s needed for the perfect email database. There are various software platforms available that make this a relatively simple task and if you ever need help talk to your marketing agency and make sure they get expert advice before making recommendations.