Like most businesses that depends on the internet and social media to generate leads and conversion to customers, you should not overlook customers that visit your "brick and mortar" store or business as "walk-in" customers. If you do not get their e-mail and their permission to connect with them, this is really a missed opportunity. Depending on your business, most B2C will have plenty of customers whom you have no way to connect with - and email is still a great way. (Personally, I will not "connect" with a business o
n social media such as Facebook or Google+ simply because I do not like receiving promotions or commercial posts (but that is just me). However, I may give up my email simply because I have better control - at the very least, I will not open it if I am not interested.)
Here are 5 good reasons why you should ALWAYS get your customer's email address into your CRM database:
1. EMAIL IS THE BEST WAY TO CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMER. Yes, it is because you can do a lot more with email than you can with social media. Most importantly, through segmentation you can target different messages to different types of customers. You can also control the number of emails you send out to each customer so that you do not annoy your contacts enough for them to hit the unsubscribe button.
2. GET YOUR CUSTOMER'S PERMISSION. By asking your customer for their email address, you should also tell them what you plan to use their email for. This way, you are asking their permission to stay in-touch. More importantly, getting their permission will mean that they will be less likely to hit the unsubscribe button.
3. KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER AS AN INDIVIDUAL. By connecting with your customer on an individual level, you have greater opportunity to build loyalty by getting the customer to feel that he/she is not on another generic mailing list. Your have an opportunity to personalise not only the format of the email -- but the content and offer as well.
4. EMAIL IS A GREAT WAY TO GET FEEDBACK. At the end of a nice dinner, most guest will not like to be interrupted with a survey form. But by offering a small reward (like a discount voucher), you can get some thoughtful and genuine feedback from your customers.
5. EMAIL CAN GO VIRAL AS WELL. Most people think of YOUTUBE and social media going viral -- email can too. Since email is more personal, if it is sent by a friend or someone you know, it is more likely to get more attention. My social media is so full of posts that I cannot possibly keep up ... but I still open emails from friends.
At the end of the day, remember that the value of your business is not only what you sell, but also your loyal client list - sometimes known as your customer life time value but only if you can keep them coming back. Rememebr, it is all about INBOUND, not SPAM!!!
(Image from www.tassc.org)