Where do you find your perfect match? How to make relationships last? What can you do to gain a deeper understanding of your partner? These aren’t questions for an online dating service but vital information for B2B organizations that rely on strong relationships with their customers to thrive. Unlike the B2C marketplace, B2B marketing depends heavily on fostering customer relationships that last for years, often across multiple contacts.
Database marketing helps you find the leads who are a good match for the solutions you offer, strengthens your professional relationship with your customers, and gives you insight into their needs so you’re able to serve them better.
The Importance of Email Addresses
Your business email list is one of your most valuable assets. With it, you’re able not only to reach your prospects through the most cost-effective marketing channel, but you also gain access to a wealth of information about them. Email addresses can be an essential relationship-building tool – but only when your database manager keeps your records up to date. Without regular maintenance and hygiene processes, your house list suffers accuracy attrition at a faster rate than you might think, sometimes more than 15 percent annually.
No business can survive getting “ghosted” by more and more of its customers each year. That’s where database management comes in to perform merge/purge operations, de-duplications, and general upkeep on your mailing list to ensure its accuracy. You can also help keep your records updated and accurate with frequent check-ins from your personnel. Every customer service call should include an email update. Sales should also verify email addresses as well as postal addresses. Autoresponders that require leads to click to validate an email address are also a good way to maintain your records.
Investing in Customer Relationships
Think about how great it feels when someone who’s close to you gives you a particularly thoughtful gift. You might say that person really gets you, that he or she understands you so thoroughly that you didn’t even need to ask to get the perfect present. Your customers want someone who can anticipate their business needs, and just as in a personal relationship, that means learning as much as you can about the other party. Those business email lists you’ve worked so hard to gather and maintain truly start to pay off when you relate the addresses to demographic, firmographic, and behavioral data to include in customer files.
The retail sector has a great example of this principle in action. Amazon is growing every quarter in part because it does such an excellent job of evaluating its customers’ habits and anticipating their needs. With each visit, you’ll see a list of items related to purchases you’ve made previously. Click on an item, and you find a number of suggested products like it or related to it to buy as well. In the B2B sector, you want to have the same kind of customer knowledge based on your shared history with leads, and sound database management strategies make it happen.
Communication Is Key
How do you know when you’re doing a good job for your prospects? The surest sign of engagement is an increase in sales, but that isn’t the only way to measure how much of an impact your commitment to clients is having. Dynamic response emails that ask recipients to verify preference page changes and orders act as a way to keep you finger on the pulse of the professional relationship as well as ensuring accuracy in your records.
Database management is about far more than just the facts. It’s an essential element in fostering better relations between clients and the companies with which they do business.
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