Don’t Get Cut Off From Your Customers
On Monday Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were down worldwide for a good part of the day. I have several Facebook groups that I visit regularly and Moxi was of course upset that I wouldn’t be sharing another cute picture of her, but other than that, it wasn’t that bad of a disruption for me.
Did your business suffer from the social media outage?
While it was certainly an inconvenience, I was a bit shocked when I read a statement in the New York Times that said: “businesses were cut off from customers”.
Seriously? Cut off from customers! What?!?!
Don’t let this happen to your business.
It’s another example of why you should always get your customer’s contact information so you can contact them directly.
I received several emails from businesses that reached out since Facebook was down to simply connect with their customers. Those emails stood out to me and I made a point to open and read each of them.
If you have daily interaction with customers on social media and the platform goes down, are you able to contact your customers directly? You should be able to. If you can’t, the next immediate step in your business is to start working on your customer email list. It can’t wait, it’s that important.
Your Email List is a Business Asset
You don’t have control over social media platforms and need to have your own customer list that you maintain. You never know when the site is going to go down or they get upset with something you did that violates their rules and they shut down your page or group.
This is your list of customers and potential customers that have shown an interest in your products or services.
Don’t depend on them to keep up with you, it’s your business, make sure to stay at the front of their mind by keeping in touch with them.
When you have a special, promotion, new product/service, you can send them an email and not wonder if they saw your social media post or paid ad.
You don’t have to send daily emails. Do what you are able to keep up with and feel comfortable doing. I try to send out weekly emails. I don’t always manage it and occasionally skip a week, but that’s ok. As long as you have a list and communicate with your list consistently.
Keep in Touch With Your Customers
Your email list allows you to have direct contact with your customers and potential customers. Here are some tasks you need to make sure you are doing to maintain your list.
- Get their contact information. Make sure you are collecting your customer’s information: Name, Email, phone number and whatever additional information you need.
- Back it up. Don’t depend on your email marketing service to maintain your list. Have a system to back up the data. I set a reminder to download my list from Mailchimp quarterly and after an event where I collect a lot of business cards. How often you schedule a backup really depends on your individual business and how often you are getting new subscribers. You may need to do it much more frequently than I do.
- Segment your list. Make sure you keep notes on where you connected with the customer and also if there is a specific product or service they are interested in. You want to separate these into different groups in your list. Each email marketing platform does it a little differently, Mailchimp allows you to Tag contacts so that you can sort them.
- Connect. You are getting their contact information for a reason, use it! Email them regularly. Whether it’s several times a week, weekly or monthly, make sure to keep in touch with your list.
- Continue building your list. Whenever you are at a networking event or connecting with someone online, always get their contact information and let them know you are adding them to your list and how frequently they can expect to hear from you.
No matter what type of business you have, you need to treat your email list like the important and valuable asset that it is.
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