A customer recently wrote in to our support team with a terrific question concerning the number of contacts he should have in Batchbook. I want to share the question and my response with those of you who may have the same question or would like to weigh in on the response.
The question is:
If the thrust of contact management with Batchbook is to manage a smaller number of “important” contacts, then what happens to potentially thousands of contacts that could be generated from an ecommerce site using webforms?
First, I am delighted that this customer understands the gist of what we are doing with Batchbook and I appreciate the chance to clarify how this approach fits into traditional marketing channels.
Find the Right People
As I have mentioned before, Batchbook is designed to help small businesses build better relationships with the right people. It is not meant to maintain a giant list of every contact who has ever signed up for your newsletter, handed you a business card or bought your product. Instead, it helps you zero in on those folks who are on your mailing list, who gave you the business card or who submitted your form AND want to further engage with you.
Your customers and potential customers should drive the relationship they are forming with you. Just because they bought something from you does not mean they want a long term relationship. If they signed up for your newsletter, keep their e-mail addresses in your e-mail marketing software. If they commented on your blog, keep them in your blog report. If they fill out a web form, ask them how they want to engage and let that determine who goes in your e-mail marketing software and who comes into Batchbook. Let them choose if they would rather be added to your newsletter, talk to one of your sales people, offer up a testimonial or become your living mascot. Or, if you are lucky, all of the above.
What To Do With Thousands of Contacts
Don’t be afraid to leave the majority of customers in your newsletter list or as subscribers of your blog or social media accounts. If you are doing a good job, you will engage the ones who deserve your attention there. Let them hear from you a few times. See who is reading your messages, responding to your e-mails, or liking you on Facebook. Then bring the ones who want more engagement into Batchbook where you can give them the personal attention they are calling out for.
At Batchbook, we have tens of thousands of customers, so we do not keep every customer in our own Batchbook account. When you create a user account in Batchbook, we ask if you would like to be added to our mailing list. We use MailChimp for our mailing list, which gives us the ability to see which subscribers are frequently opening, forwarding or Tweeting our messages. We can then bring them into Batchbook for some random acts of sweetness (we love spontaneously sending chocolate).
We also include in our Batchbook account anyone who does an Onboarding session with us, attends a webinar, frequently comments on our blog/Facebook/Twitter/Google+ or is just well loved by our customer experience team. These are the folks we send special thanks to, as well as reach out to for more in depth product feedback, brainstorming or press quotes. These are the folks we are focusing the bulk of our relationship attention on because, honestly, these are the folks who understand our mission and are helping us improve our business.
I would love to hear more about how you track different levels of relationships with your customers and prospects. We are always looking for ways to improve Batchbook and want to hear what would be helpful to you. And hey, you might even get some chocolate!