No doubt you have filled out forms and questionnaires given to you by businesses in the past. As you see the fields asking about your phone number, marital status and occupation you’ve probably thought “why do they need all of this?” you may even have declined to provide that information. This method of getting to know someone is less than ideal (for most businesses anyway). Stop and ask yourself who would ever seek to make friends this way?
We prefer to approach the task of gathering information in a more organic manner. Like making friends in the real world your interactions with contacts and customers should occur over time. You will get to know them better and start earning their trust by staying in touch regularly and building up your knowledge of them over a series of interactions.
This is why we like newsletters so much. They are a great reason to touch base and show contacts and customers what you have been up to. By providing special offers and interesting information within your newsletters you can reward and reinforce the permission that has been granted. Of course when you send your newsletters with Mailshot you can also analyse the data to see who has opened your newsletter, who has forwarded it and what links they were interested in – which helps you to learn more about your customers and contacts with every edition.
Please do not forget that “variety is the spice of life” – do not keep repeating information or making the same special offers time and again. The last thing you want to do is bore a customer or contact and have them stop paying attention to you. This is a two way process and you need to show yourself and your business to be responsive and creative – and grateful for the permission you have been granted.