If you’re like most other small businesses, your most valuable asset is your customer list. It tells you who your customers are, who hasn’t bought yet, how much they spend when they do buy, how often they buy, and much more. It really is the lifeline of your business.
Many people have asked me what I would do, as an entrepreneur, if I had to start over again today. In most cases, my response is that if I lost my company but still had my list, everything would be okay. It’s that important for a successful business. And yet, I’ve encountered many entrepreneurs who spend zero time thinking about or working on their list. And that’s often because they don’t completely understand how to utilize it.
What To Watch For
One metric is extremely important to keep an eye on in your business. That’s the number of new clients added to your list each day, week, and month. These additions are the one surefire sign that you’re generating leads. They show this better than your sales numbers do. In fact, you should be using your list to predict your future revenue.
You also need to evaluate the quality of the data your list is providing. Get your list scrubbed against various databases to get the most current data on each customer’s record. You can also manually call leads and verify that data. Or you can even create a new lead magnet to give people something of value in exchange for their data. In reality, the safest and smartest bet is to do all of the above. That’s because having clean and complete data is key to having a strong and usable list.
First, look at your list and see if you have the full contact info — including name, email, phone number, and mailing address — for everyone on the list. If not, that’s exactly the place to start. You’ll need as much of this data as you can get for marketing to these leads in the future.
Fill Your Buckets
After you’ve gained all the necessary contact information for your clients, segment your list into at least 3 different “buckets”:
- Bad leads
It is helpful to have additional buckets, like hot prospects or canceled customers. This way, you can run a variety of campaigns to try and sell, resell, or upsell. But at a minimum, these 3 buckets will be a good place to start pouring your best efforts into.
Once you’ve sorted all your clients into their respective buckets, you’ll have a fresh list with clean, segmented data that’s actually useful. We have customers who’ve generated over $1 million in extra revenue simply by segmenting their data and tailoring different offers to different groups. But they were only able to do that once they had a clean and complete list. Once you have yours, you can really start to have some fun with a variety of marketing campaigns.
Hit The Campaign Trail
When it comes to campaigns, one lucrative low-hanging fruit is to simply increase your content and relationship marketing to prospects. Doing so can help provide prospects with information they need to make a buying decision. As an entrepreneur, this is one of your jobs.
Making sure people can easily access and consume that information is also your job. Here’s the kicker: Just because you’ve sent them all your info doesn’t mean they’ve consumed it all. Say a prospect needs to know 10 things in order to buy from you. So, you send them a book with the answers to all 10 of those things. But, it’s not going to matter if they don’t finish reading the book. All their answers might be in one book, but if they don’t read it, they aren’t going to buy from you. That’s why it’s also your job to help them get the info they need using a variety of formats. Doing so means you can deliver your message in different ways.
As an example, take my book on newsletter marketing. In it, I talk about how you must have your prospects on your newsletter mailing list. Opting out in order to save a couple hundred dollars in printing and postage isn’t worth it. That’s because sending a newsletter is simply some of the best content and relationship marketing you can do. If it’s done right, you’ll convert a ton of those prospects into customers, which can cover any additional costs.
Now, my book includes this crucial information to make you feel more confident about buying a newsletter. But, as I said, you may not have read the entire book. So, I now need to share the same message via video, email, or phone. Or maybe I’ll use our newsletter, too. I have to tell you the same info as many times as necessary for it to sink in. Most people retain only about 10% of what they read, so entrepreneurs need to get creative to deliver key points. But very few do. Most entrepreneurs tell prospects and customers something once and believe they will remember it forever. It’s hopeful thinking but a rookie mistake.
It’s All About The List
Sorting through and segmenting the data on your list isn’t the most thrilling part of the job. For many, it can be downright boring. But by focusing on the “boring stuff” in business, you’re building a strong foundation for your company, which will help you scale and maybe even sell for a nice big lump sum one day. That foundation is what will help you sleep better at night. That foundation will give you the experience and confidence you need to tackle new opportunities that come your way.
And it all starts with your list. If you haven’t given it much thought until now, then yes, you have a lot of work ahead of you. But the work will be well worth it.