What makes a contact database better? The stock answer is build it bigger! The right answer is build it better. Having a first name and email address is a good start, but it doesn’t help you understand their needs or help you deliver solutions.
To go beyond being on a first name basis with a bunch of faceless contacts, consider providing ongoing opportunities for your contacts to share their needs, concerns and dreams. The fancy term is list segmentation, but it’s nothing more than listening to the needs of those you serve best.
Create a special mailing on a specific topic. Offer a piece of valuable (don’t use the word free) content. Tell your list, “You may request..” and provide a web form to capture their interest. The form should lead to an Auto Responder that fulfills their request. All automated. Just make sure you capture their interest.
Once you know what this segment needs. Give them more of the same. Your messages will be sharper and focused instead of “One Size Fits Most”.
Increasing the value of your contact database beats increasing it’s size every time.