Whether you own a dog grooming business, coffee shop, or yoga studio, external communications and marketing should be a top priority for your small business. With effective outreach, you can see improved brand recognition, increased customer support, and greater sustainable growth.
From managing your database to collecting actionable metrics, these four data-driven tips will help your small business establish an outreach strategy that succeeds well into the future.
1. Update customer information with a data append.
If you’re looking to strengthen your outreach strategy, consider partnering with a data append provider. Appending data is the process of using a third-party source to update existing information and add new information to your company’s database. When done correctly, it ensures that you’re contacting and marketing to the right people.
Common information to append includes:
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Physical mailing addresses
- Social media accounts
Keep in mind that the data you choose to append should be dependent on your larger goals. For instance, If you already have a strong understanding of your target audience, but don’t have the information to contact them, you should invest in a phone or email append. On the other hand, if you’re launching a social media campaign, you would benefit from adding each supporter’s social media account information to your records.
2. Leverage segmentation for greater personalization.
One of the first things you should do for effective outreach is adapt your messaging for different audiences through segmentation. Segmenting, or grouping customers based on shared characteristics, allows you to tailor your messaging to the unique interests and preferences of each customer. For instance, if you have a large segment of Millennial customers, you can make a strong case for reaching out to them through Instagram and Facebook, as social media content performs well among this demographic.
Small businesses most often segment their customers by:
- Geographic location
- Engagement history
- Communication preferences
- Customer loyalty
Invest in a database or software solution to organize this important information and group customers effectively. For instance, Gingr’s pet business software has custom filters that allow you to segment customers into target groups, so the right people get the right message at the right time.
3. Take an omnichannel approach to marketing.
After segmenting customers into well-defined groups, it’s time to appeal to their preferences and solicit their support. An omnichannel marketing approach provides your audience with a unified shopping experience. It takes into account which channel each person is using and what their relationship is to your business, such as whether they’re a prospective or recurring customer.
Here’s an example of how the process could work for a dog training business:
- A new dog owner searches online for experienced trainers in the area and comes across an ad for your Dog Training 101 course.
- The prospective customer clicks on the ad and is directed to a registration page on your website.
- After filling out a form and registering for your course, they receive an automated thank-you message prompting them to explore additional products and services.
- The customer navigates to your online storefront and adds a collar and dog bowl to their cart. However, they abandon the page before checking out.
- Using the phone number that they provided in their initial registration form, you send a text message reminding them to revisit the items in their cart.
- The customer returns to the cart and submits their order.
- Finally, you use their mailing address to send a personalized thank-you card and informational flyer to help keep your business top of mind.
To solidify your omnichannel marketing strategy, Kwala’s guide to graphic design recommends maintaining consistent branding across your online and print messages. This helps your audience recognize, trust, and remember your small business.
4. Collect actionable metrics.
Once your marketing campaigns are up and running, collect and track data to make informed decisions about your current and future outreach efforts. Begin by analyzing the following metrics:
- Email open and click-through rate
- Social media engagement
- Website traffic
- Response rate by source
Based on this information, identify where your communications strategy is performing well and where it might be falling short. For instance, if you notice a high bounce rate on your website, you may need to update your web design to create a more seamless experience for users.
As you make these necessary improvements, remember to practice data hygiene. Ensuring that your marketing metrics are error-free by removing duplicate entries and updating inaccurate information will help you more easily interpret their meaning.
Outreach is vital to the success of your small business. By empowering your strategy with data, you can create meaningful messages that inspire long-term support.
About the Author
Hi, I’m Casey! I’m the Sales Manager at Gingr software. Originally from Indianapolis, I now live in Colorado with my wife and dog, Dexter. Our hobbies include hiking, skiing, and visiting local breweries.