Without proper contact management, your ecommerce marketing efforts can feel like trying to dribble a basketball — without hands. Through recording customer data, contact management drives marketing, sales, product development, and just about anything a company does that requires consumer insight.
While it doesn’t get the same kind of attention other marketing and sales tools do, contact management plays such a critical role that it’s impossible to ignore it. Still, today’s complex ecosystem of apps, platforms, user interfaces, and software as a service (SaaS) can leave your contact data scattered and incomprehensible.
Back in the day, contact information used to be stored in a company Rolodex, usually tended to by office secretaries and admins. But it couldn’t contain more than a few points about a contact’s location, address, phone number, and a couple of handwritten notes if you were lucky.
Now, contact management software and integrations keep track of your contact data automatically as you receive it, storing near-limitless kernels of information to help your business grow. Contact management is a key aspect of customer relationship management (CRM), making it a priority for marketing and sales teams. Effective email marketing, for instance, relies on curated contact data.
Boost your brand by following these best practices to improve your contact management.
Make Sure Your Contact Management System Works for You
Don’t invest in contact management just because someone told you it would be a good idea. Familiarize yourself with the benefits to ensure you’re leveraging your contact data in the right way for your business.
The main advantage of modern, digital contact management systems is you can instantly share your contact database with anyone in the company, preventing internal friction points. Your team can update cloud-based contact management and CRM systems in real time, so you’ll never be without the information you need.
Clean That Data
The data stores of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft make up more than 1.2 million terabytes of data. It’s not really possible to break that down into relatable human terms. An overloaded contact management database feels just as overwhelming.
That’s why one of the most important ways you can improve contact management is to regularly clean up your databases to save only the most valuable information. Thankfully, many contact data integrations unite contact information from multiple sources into one location.
But there are still some things you can do on your own to make sure your contact information is clean as a whistle:
- Delete duplicates: Make sure no contacts in your database cover the same customer relationship. Services like Google Contacts can handle this for you, but you may have to do it manually the first time around to be sure.
- Verify emails: Customers don’t always use their main email address when signing up for an account. Consider using an email verification tool like ZeroBounce to verify contact information. You may not want to delete every contact that comes up negative, but you will be able to better allocate email marketing resources to active accounts.
- Implement new data protocols: To limit the resources you spend on data verification, your company should have a protocol for adding contacts to your database. This way, each employee is expected to input the same CRM information each time.
Leverage Contact Data on Social Media
Many of your customers’ primary internet-facing profiles are social media websites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. With contact management and CRM software that logs this information, you can meet them where they are most comfortable.
You can also integrate your existing contact data with other services that update each relationship with information like social media behaviors and other data points that improve your personalized marketing efforts.
Social CRM opens new avenues for customer interaction too. Consumers will often take to their feeds to voice their concerns or satisfaction with a brand. If you can access their social media contact data, your brand can reach out on their platform of choice and provide a detailed response.
Segment Your Contacts to Find the Ideal Audience
Using insights gathered from customer data to segment your audiences improves marketing personalization and ROI in a big way. A massive, uncategorized spreadsheet of every customer’s information renders contact management powerless. That’s why you should identify segments of your overall audience that may benefit most from personalization.
Identifying these segments can be as simple as dividing your customer base by region to deliver dynamic ads that will suit their needs. If possible, it’s also a good idea to divide your contact list by where each customer is in their buying journey. A customer who regularly purchases from your brand may respond better to an email campaign than another that has only left you contact details.
Platforms like AdRoll help you segment these audiences to make it easy to decide which portion of your contact list will be included in your next campaign. This tool also allows you to preview your prospective audience before you send it out.
Secure Your Contact Data
Convincing your customers to fill their profiles with sensitive information requires a great deal of trust in your company. A single data leak has far-reaching effects on how the public perceives you. On top of that, consumer privacy laws limit the kinds of data a company can retain.
There are two things you must do to keep your contact information secure: Prevent scammers from illegally accessing consumer data, and ensure the data you have is used only in the ways customers have agreed to. Contact management systems collect opt-in statuses for email campaigns and newsletters to make sure you are forging the right relationships with your customers. (Hint: They won’t like it if you send them emails they don’t ask for.)
Not only will this keep your engaged consumers happy and ripe for conversion, but it can actually save money by focusing your marketing toward consumers who want to interact with your company.
Sync Contact Data to a Unified Platform
A platform containing all your customer contact information does more than house that data under one roof. A centralized contact management platform bridges the gaps created when departments collect data in different ways. For example, a sales team may attach more details to their CRM data than a marketing department focused on accumulating emails for lead generation.
With a centralized platform, both departments access the full breadth of customer data available for each prospect. You can not only easily manage this information but also synchronize sales and marketing data to create new channels and inspire your teams to come up with ideas to reach your audience.
Depending on your sales platform, several companies provide CRM databases as a service. Salesforce, for instance, offers a popular CRM software solution that integrates with Shopify. You can connect your customer relationship data to your store in a number of ways, even allowing chatbots to use that information to improve customer service.
Bolster Marketing With Your New and Improved Contact Management Systems
Now that you’ve taken contact management to the next level, it’s time to put that data to work. To help, AdRoll gives companies the ability to onboard their own CRM data directly onto its platform.
With AdRoll you can:
- Input offline CRM data to use in online marketing, such as email campaigns and dynamic ads
- Create new audiences by analyzing how your contacts interact with your emails, such as building a retargeting list of only those who responded to a previous campaign
- Contact customers who have shown periodic interest in your company with personalized offers to suit the season
Get started by importing your contacts from your preferred CRM database to find out just how far contact management can take your brand.
Angie is the Content Marketing Manager at AdRoll. Prior to AdRoll, she was a Content Writer at various digital marketing agencies. A writer by day and a reader by night, Angie’s other hobbies include cooking and learning useless movie trivia.