Keeping track is more than keeping track

Do you get sales letters and emails asking you to buy a non-consumable product you’ve already bought from the same company? That’s because they’re not keeping track of their customers. Tracking involves little more than knowing who bought what and when. It tells you what to market to whom. Keeping track is more than keeping track. It’s caring.

For example, say you bought an app or software that includes free updates. You will never benefit from receiving a sale offer for that product again, but many companies don’t track purchases, so they keep sending emails and offers for buying the same product. What they’re doing is annoying you. Rather than increasing sales opportunities, they’re wasting efforts. They show you that they don’t know who you are, they have no idea you bought from them before, and that they don’t really care much about your time. You’re just a number or an address.

What’s worse, is that they are undermining your trust in them by burying the same old offer you don’t need in sales text that shows up about 85% of the way into a new email. You trust them because you bought from them, so you read, but then they offer something you don’t need. Now they’ve wasted your time. They would know that if they had any idea at all who you were or when you bought. But they aren’t keeping track.

Keeping track is so easy too. It really is. You can use Excel, or if you prefer online apps, there’s Highrise or any number of free or cheap CRMs to choose from. Imagine if you could have two separate lists (or eight). You can. And you can show customers you care by keeping track of other things like birthdays.

Instead of sending a customer an email for a product that never expires, send them a birthday card or a thank you for being a customer. Save the sales emails for true prospects or other products.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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