This is an important question because unless you have a good reason to build a database, then nothing will happen. After all, database management is a really mundane and boring task so we need to be highly motivated to do it.
Like many small and mundane tasks, this is really critical to your long-term success.
I want you to imagine that at some time in the future you want to sell your business – it could be just a few years from now or even many years into the future.
What are you going to sell? If you are an online business, you may have some digital products but that is probably not where the true value in your business lies.
You may have systems and processes such as proven sales funnels and membership sites etc but that’s still not where most of the value lies in your business.
Most of the value lies in your customer database and the relationship that you have with that database.
If you have taken the trouble to create a comprehensive database and to nurture a good relationship with that database then you have a ready made revenue source.
In internet marketing, most marketers think that it is sufficient just to build a list and send out emails. However, it is likely that you you know very little about your customers and prospects other than their name and email address and perhaps which products they opted into or bought.
This makes it difficult to build a solid relationship with them.
The only way that you can build a solid relationship with them is by gathering as much data as you can about them i.e. really take a genuine interest in them and find out who they really are.
What if you took all buyers of your products and put them into a CRM system and gathered more information on them such as website, social media profiles, birth date, and so on and reached out to them personally?
In most offline businesses, this kind of data is gathered through a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) but I wonder how many internet marketers consider running such a system? Most of them seek to gather email addresses in huge quantity rather than trying to improve the QUALITY of their relationships by taking a genuine interest in their prospects and customers.
Could this type of approach revolutionise your business – I think it could.
It would certainly differentiate you from most other list builders.
If you did this, you wouldn’t need a large list in order to succeed now would you?
So how could you go about deepening your relationships in this way?
Nowadays, I think that if you could invite your prospects and customers into a Facebook Group, or Google+ community or your social media community, it would give you the opportunity to engage directly with them and gather more information that could personalise your approach.
But you could be more direct by simply asking them or incentivising them to give you the information say through a poll or questionnaire.
Rather than just pure list building and email marketing, perhaps you should also be operating a CRM system alongside?
What if you also adopted this approach when recruiting affiliates? It would make an enormous difference, don’t you think to your success in getting them to mail for you?
Here’s a video by a real estate business that does an excellent job of explaining the value of building your data base in this way and how to do it manually – as internet marketers there is plenty of software available to automate this process. (Whilst this video is dated, it is extremely important to learn the message and then create your own system. You’ll thank me later that you took this advice and did something with it.)
It’s called ‘Build Your Database with Gary Keller’ and it is 28 minutes well spent:
You are going to do something with it, aren’t you? Stop right now and implement this today before you forget about it. And don’t forget to subscribe to my list in the sidebar if you want to stay informed and don’t forget to look me up on Facebook 🙂 because I really want to know more about you!
I really hope you build your database along these lines rather than in the normal ‘scatter-gun’ method – I think you will find this approach much more valuable and Microsoft Outlook (or something similar) has plenty of tools to enable you to set up a simple CRM system of your own until you can afford a system like Infusionsoft.