It feels like it has been a long time since I wrote about database marketing. If you've read my column over the years, you'll know what a big fan I am of this medium.
I believe that following the good service you give / the job you do; the second most important way to get new business is keeping and using a marketing database (in an added value way I must add). The database consists of clients/customers. Prospects. Business referrers.
Of course it's not just selling. I'm sure you've read about content marketing - there's oodles of articles about it. Content marketing is about adding value, not ONLY selling.
You educate. Build relationships. Give handy tips and hints. You make your readers more successful. Even better is when you have your database contacts categorised so that with a click or two of your mouse; you can easily create targeted lists to communicate with in any manner you like. Picking up the phone. Writing. Personalised email merges. Next week I'll give you a good 'business' database marketing story.
This week I want to tell you about how I used my database differently for the first time in 14 years. It highlights the value of building relationships (with people who have not personally met you I might add).
My monthly newsletter is normally tips, tricks, ideas for 'them'. The other week I had occasion to need assistance so I wrote to everyone, fully prepared to bite the bullet and suffer through a flood of unsubscribes. My reasoning was 'I've been giving away great value all these years, let's see what happens when I ask for something'. I'd also like to reinforce the delight of technology I wrote about last week.
Now for the story.
I took one of our twins, Daniel on a speaking engagement with me to Cambodia a few weeks ago. While we were there, he received the bad news he knew was coming. Daniel graduated at the top of his CTC Aviation course in September with his commercial pilot's license. He was supposed to go straight through into the Jetstar cadet program then. He was accepted into it before he commenced training. However after six months of stringing along, he got word at last that the program was terminated. He and his peers were out of luck. No contract.
So I did what any mother would do. Help her son. While in Cambodia, using my web based distribution system, I emailed my newsletter database. The subject read: You never know who knows whom. I next asked for a brainstorm and help and if they knew anyone that runs, or is involved in a business that uses airplane pilots and for their contact details.
Are you thinking 'tee hee, you shouldn't have done it girl?' No. stupid me because I always feel obliged to personally answer emails. What do you think happens when someone emails asking help from over 14,000 people at once? Until the stunningly lovely emails started pouring in (and on a Saturday night mind you) I didn't realise what a great relationship I had developed with my database over the years.
It wasn't that hundreds upon hundreds of emails started flooding in like the rain around Russell Crowe's Noah's arc.
It wasn't the fact that out of 14,871 emails delivered only 27 people unsubscribed.
• It was the stunning amount of effort people went through to get to their contacts.
• It was the amazing work people did for us creating lists
• It was the sweet well-wishers to both Daniel and to me
• It was the people who said they love the newsletter and would never unsubscribe because of the email (I mentioned that fact in my email to everyone)
• It was about the strangers who called. Who wrote. Who spent their time writing long emails of advice to Daniel - all for someone they didn't know.
All because a woman 14 years ago decided to start a REAL newsletter.
People can be so wonderful.
So when will you start your content newsletter?
P.S. What I do know is that Daniel owes me a BIG hug and perhaps lunch out (which I haven't gotten yet) because instead of relaxing on our holiday component of the Cambodia trip, his mother spent it writing hundreds and hundreds of thank you emails!