Successful Customer Database Management for Winning e-Marketing

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved. Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

So you are generating good responses from your e-Mail campaigns, online advertising, search engine marketing and etc…The next most important thing you need to do is to manage your customer database successfully. Without this, your e-Marketing strategy will always have a missing link. You can grow to certain level with success but if you want to grow from good to great, Customer Database Management is the area you need to plan in the beginning of your e-Marketing effort.

What can you do if you are running on lean budget and do not want to spend a lot to buy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software at the start. Here are some good practical suggestions you may consider:

1. Spreadsheets
2. Mail Client Software
3. Accounting Software

1. Spreadsheets
Obviously, MS Excel is the most commonly used spreadsheet software in the market. However, you can use any kind as we are just keeping a simple list. The trick is that you create multiple files of e-Mail/Contact Lists by segregating your Suppliers, Partners, Customers, Prospects and other categories in different files for ease of management. In future, whenever you have new e-Mail addresses/Contact information, you just need to append to the relevant lists/files to keep them up-to-date.

2. e-Mail Client Software
Most of people would use MS Outlook Express or whatever free e-Mail Client provided by the Operating System in your computer when downloading e-Mails from server. It is relatively simple to keep your master e-Mail/Contact Lists within the same e-Mail system or your e-Mail Client Software you are using. The idea behind is the same as you would do using spreadsheets. You just need to create different “Distribution Lists” or “Groups”…etc to maintain your e-Mail campaign lists. One good function with some e-Mail Client Software is that when you add duplicate e-Mail addresses to the same list, the software will automatically add only one entry to the list rather multiple. This would minimize the unpleasant experience of the receivers when they are receiving multiple copy of your e-Mails just because it was not properly managed.

3. Accounting Software
As I proposed often, your e-Mail campaign should always sending to your closest relationship groups first. e.g. Suppliers, Partners, Customers, Prospects…etc. These closest groups are typically already captured by your accounting software for invoicing or billing purposes. Therefore, you may make just a little bit of effort to keep up your contact database in your accounting software to make sure e-Mails are properly input and up-to-date. Preferrably, you may ensure your accounting software could give you some options or remark fields to sort out the lists with additional criterias to facilitate better management.

Other than the above 3 suggestions, the next best option I can think of is using the e-Mail Marketing software. The price of these kind of software can range as low as US$100 to very high prices depending on the kind of functionalities they can provide.

Starting Your e-Mail Campaign with Your Allies

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant

Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

It is too easy to get bounced back or blocked by Spam Analyzer of any email system whenever you send out anything to anyone these days. First of all, you should try your best to convince the receiver on your distribution list to add your email address to their address book to decrease the chance of classifying your email as junk email sender. Even your e-Mail is safely landed in their In-Box, there are four categories of people are likely to have better interest to read through your message and they are your:

1. Suppliers: Suppliers are the group of people who want to keep up with your relationship and continue to sell you products & services. They are very likely to read through everything you send in order to know you better. We have so many experiences that our Suppliers became our customers along the way! Nice!

2. Business Partners: Business Partners are the group of people who want to leverage your network and business opportunities to grow business together. Since your business direction may impact their business direction, they are typically paying close attention to your e-Mail campaign messages to make sure they are keeping up the pace with you. The power of word of mouth and referral is exponential and greater than you can imagine. However, it takes time to build up a good and solid Business Partner Network!

3. Existing Customers: Existing Customers are the group of people who want to make sure they are getting the value for money from your products and services. As they have already lowered their barrier to your products/services, they have high interests to continue business with you provided the quality of your products/services are fine. Same again, word of mouth will eventually become a power tool of marketing to grow your business when your existing customer base grows larger.

4. Prospects: Prospects are the ones who already took action to call you up for enquiries and explore the opportunities for building up business relationships. Any new promotion and new products/services may trigger their buying desires. We have seen many cases that prospects may not purchase our products/services at the first instance but over time, they come back to purchase other products and services or refer other people to do business with us. So never give up of selling!

E-Marketing Strategy: Generate Sales or Build a Brand?

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant
Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com


When you define your objectives of e-Marketing it is not any different from traditional marketing. The simpliest way is to make sure whether you want to Generate Sales or Build a Brand. However, a lot of time, you may not be able to segregate the two. Depending on your markeing budget, but I am too sales oriented to always recommend my clients to start with generating sales as your primary objective in any e-Marketing activity since the more exposure you have through e-Marketing activities, the stronger the brand may become.

So, what are the better channels to Generate Sales? It is really related to the services and products you are promoting but here are some general tips:
1. e-Mail Campaign:

  • e-coupons: design e-coupons for people to print out and redeem discounted products/services or even encourage receivers to forward to their friends to create an exponential reach of your target customers. This is especially effective for resturants promotions and retail shops or similar industries.
  • online purchase and lucky draw: e-Marketing is very much impulse (buying) base behaviour. Hence, you have to encourage your target customers to make the decision of purchase at the spot when they receive your e-Mail with HUGE Discount and Extremely Attractive Prize of lucky draw.

2. Web Banner Ad & Search Engine Marketing:

  • Beautiful Web Page: Whether you are doing e-coupons or online purchase & etc…you need to have a beautiful web page before you can do Web Banner Ad & Search Engine Marketing.
  • Popular High Traffic Websites/Portals: You do not neccessarily need to own a website to set up your web beautiful web page as there are many popular (high traffic) websites/portals can provide such services at a cost. Nevertheless, you really have to choose the better (and relevant) websites/portals. Web Banners will only be effective if you are exposing to the right target audience in volume. You have to make sure your choice of search engines are including the Local Kings.

Good e-Mail Campaign Begins with Subject Line

By Matthew Kwan © Copyright. All rights reserved.
Principal Consultant
Adams Company Limited www.adamshk.com

We receive too many e-Mail advertising messages nowadays. A lot of them will automatically drop into our junk e-Mail box instantly and some of them may not. Nonetheless, the chances of us opening an e-Mail message depends largely on the sender and the subject line. Hence, writing a good subject line is the key success factor for a good e-Mail Campaign.

So, what is a good subject line? I attended a training course conducted by Bill Jenson, the author of Simiplicity Survival Handbook, a few years ago. He taught us a very simple way of communication which is based on 3 things: Know, Feel, Do. I think this is very useful for use to bear in mind whenever we write anything and especially for writing e-Mail Campaign subject line. Here is the simple explanations:
  • Know: Write what is the real subject to let the readers know what it is about instantly.
  • Feel: Write what is related to the readers especially some emotional facts to get them echoed the facts or to feel the importance of the matter
  • Do: Write clearly the desired actions you what the readers to take after reading the message
It is not easy to do the above when you only have limited space for the subject line. However, the shorter you can write more, the better chance you will get higher response! In fact, not only the subject line should be written in Know-Feel-Do format, the mail body content should be written in the same way!