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Contact Database: Are they really worth the effort?

Should you invest in a customer contact database? Do you need a client email list?

I was chatting with a dear, old friend a few weeks back. She runs a successful and original biz with a clever social media strategy. She relies on her Instagram and Facebook to ‘house’ her contacts. She told me she doesn’t have a contact database or email list. While this works for her at this stage, I (hopefully) pointed out some risks in this, and also showed her some opportunities (especially in getting a better ROI for her marketing efforts). Although she has enough clients for now, if she wanted to continue to grow, email campaigns would actually be the less time consuming, option, with better returns for her than social media…

With that conversation in mind, I wanted to also share with you, why I want you to consider investing and prioritising your contact database (often referred to as a CRM, Client Relationship Management System). Although it’s not compulsory, I highly recommend it. Here are some reasons why:

Do you use followers on your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and/or Linkedin) as the place you ‘keep’ your contacts? This is risky business because it’s like building a house on borrowed land.

Social Media pages are shut down every day. I’m a member of various marketing groups and I see it happen all.the.time. So many tears. Sometimes the page manager can get the page back and sometimes they can’t. Pages are shut down (or frozen) for various reasons. Sometimes they are hacked, sometimes they are shut down for breeching rules, and sometimes they just seem to disappear! It once happened to me because I hadn’t set a Facebook Page up in the ‘right’ format. The page and my 3,000+ followers disappeared, just like that! I was never able to get the page back and had to start all over again.

Once you have a database (that you own) of your contacts, you can run e-mail campaigns. Did you know email campaigns are far more effective in resulting in a sale than via a social media promotion? According to a study by McKinsey & Company, email marketing is up to 40 times more effective than social media. Yikes! Do you even need more convincing?!

Likewise, if you have a database with various contact details for each person, it gives you the flexibility to run other marketing campaigns. For example: text message/phone campaigns, PR events (make sure you send me an invite to your fancy product launch) and even old school direct mail campaigns (you know your mailbox can receive more than just bills, right?!). How many of your competitors are on social media? How many of your competitors are sending hand written notes and wine through the post?

Depending on how many followers you have, each of your posts will only be seen by an average of 4% of your audience vs an email campaign, where, unless your email goes into spam, your contact will see your email (and it is up to them whether they read it or not).

By building your client database, you are building an asset for your business. If you develop a new product or service, you can always go back to your database to ‘sell’ what you’re offering! And if you ever decide to sell your business, you can sell your database with it! (A quick Google on how much a contact is worth, according to Pawtocol, it’s an average of $35US per contact). That’s $3,500US for 100 contacts and $35,000US for 1,000 contacts!

Have I convinced you?!

Happy marketing my friends!

Love, Jamie

I can help you further with your marketing! I specialise in writing strategies, plans and implementing systems. Using a mix of digital and traditional tactics, I can help you grow your business. Book in a (no obligation chat) via my website (join my mailing list while you’re there!) xx

Jamie is the Director of Bedford Avenue Marketing. For the latest marketing advice, tips and tricks, subscribe to the Bedford Avenue Marketing list or follow along on Insta:


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