If your database isn’t in tiptop shape, your marketing program is missing its very core. By database I mean the list of people with whom you want to communicate on a regular basis — current and former clients, prospective clients, and referral sources.
Tiptop shape means your database has to be up-to-date with everyone’s current contact information, including email addresses. It also means your database should be targeted so it can deliver its maximum potential. Develop some codes that make sense for targeting your audience. For example, you can code your entries according to the frequency with which they should receive information: As, Bs and Cs. You can also code the database by category (e.g. client, referral source); by profession, and/or by industry.
Getting the database in shape takes time and focus, but if you set up simple systems, it shouldn’t take too much time. Be careful not to slice and dice it into too many pieces, or it will get too complicated, and you probably won’t use all the groupings. Designate one person in your office who should receive information about any updates or additions, and establish a schedule for inputting changes (such as weekly).
This time of year is perfect for focusing on getting your database in shape. If you send out holiday cards and gifts, don’t make the mistake of limiting your clean-up efforts to the subset of recipients. It’s much more efficient to use this opportunity to scrub the entire database. Wouldn’t it be great to start a new year with a database you can actually use to make a difference in your business?