Marketing can be hard. Automate it.

Every business has data that can be used to increase its top-line sales, even yours. You may not think your business has data that can be turned into additional revenue, but I almost guarantee you, you do.

The most valuable information your business has is your customer list. You may not have a physical or digital list containing all of your customers’ contact information, but you have a set of existing or past customers which you can use to create such a physical or digital list. Just having the data isn’t going to help you, however, unless you do something with it. The more automated your marketing efforts using that data, the easier it will be to grow your sales.

Here are two examples of how sample businesses could set up automatic data-based marketing to increase sales:

Oil service stations could send email reminders to their customers 3 months after their last oil change. Most people put off oil changes for as long as they can. So instead of just emailing them a reminder, include a coupon for 10% off as long as they come in within the next 5 days.

Clothing boutiques could email customers a coupon if they haven’t visited in the past 6 months. I could easily see this adding up to big bucks for boutiques.

Your existing customer list is your most valuable data, but what other data could you utilize to generate additional income? Here are a few ideas:

  • Past inquirers – Just because the timing wasn’t right when someone contacted you about doing business in the past, doesn’t mean that the timing won’t be right three, six, or even twelve months later. Set up automated followups with past inquiries to continue to develop those leads.
  • Current inquirers – Do people who do business with you also routinely do business with other related vendors? For example, if your business rents inflatables for birthday parties, perhaps you could put a small ad on the “thank you” page that people see when inquiring about an inflatable. That ad could be for birthday cake bakers, party planners, or whoever will pay you the most money.

Most of these examples rely on some sort of email reminder system, which can be set up by integrating your data with an email marketing provider like MailChimp. This can be easily done with some e-commerce engines. If you don’t do e-commerce, you may need a custom integration between your business’s data and a provider like MailChimp, but the cost will many times be worth it.

These are just a few examples. Take a few minutes and think about how you can grow your sales by taking advantage of the data you already have in your possession.