We are trying to clean up our Customer Database and make it more efficient/effective for our Marketing, etc. Right now we use Constant Contact to manage our email contacts and Microsoft Access to manage our physical addresses. When it comes time to do a mailing, we export our info from Constant Contact (since we have mailing info entered from some of those contacts) and we compile it with our mailing list database.
And since we have two stores, all the contact info we collect at our smaller sister store is collected and then we enter it all at our main store. This is not very efficient.
1. What software programs do you use to manage your email and mailing database?
2. Are they the same programs? Separate?
We know there are some great POS systems out there that tie the whole thing together but at this time we're looking for a way to organize our existing database until we are ready to invest in new POS all together.
Thanks for your input!
After 38 years in business I quit using snail mail altogether 2 years back and am really glad I made the change. Taking the time to set up the art work for mail outs, have it printed and then rangle with the post office for bulk mailing was a hassle and even updating the list year after year I always had a good amount of flyers returned as many folks moved and changed addresses even though they were still in my area and returned as customers. With email I keep a update list on our check out counter where customers are asked to add new information if necessary. If I am running a sale or "special" the emails inform the customer to go to my web site where pleasing graphics and sales prices are listed with dates of sales and details. I no longer find printed advertising worth the time and even my 90+ year old customers have email service so no one so far has been left out. Even with my Mom and Pop small business I save around $1200. a year in printing and mailing costs by going strictly to a email type customer advertising set up. Your mileage may vary! :)
I like Excel. Back end VB can handle the task with a mouse click. There's also the mail merge function that can hand off the email to Outlook if you not into writing your own code. I would agree with Michael about phasing out snail mail. Offer a discount for signing up for email and stopping snail mail.