The Power of a Database: 5 Tips to Pandemic Proof your Bricks and Mortar Business

If there’s something that we can take away from this global pandemic, it’s the importance of having a digital presence for when things go a little south.

Here at Collaborative Media Group, we always emphasise the importance of a diverse marketing strategy (e.g. not all your eggs in one basket) and the power of your database. We must admit, this push came from us not wanting our clients to be at the mercy of a single platform and not from the thought of a global pandemic and having no platform at all. It goes to show you have to be prepared for anything, so you don’t lose everything.

Hearing and reading stories of bricks and mortar businesses who went into forced lockdown with no line of communication to their customers broke our little marketing hearts. Four, six, eight weeks of not being able to connect with customers and nurture that relationship – we hate to say it, but chances are they have probably moved on. If you’re a bricks and mortar business who has relied on face to face, this pandemic may have been the wakeup call you were needing. Don’t worry, we’re here to make sure that you never have to disconnect again.

Whilst Social Media plays an extremely important component in having a digital presence and allows you to connect with your customers, the ultimate goal should be building your own database. With ongoing changes in how our audience sees our social media content (e.g. organic reach plummeting and customers opting out of advertising), it’s important businesses’ own their customer list and take back some control in how they communicate to their audience through email marketing.

With 90% of emails getting delivered straight to your customers and only 2% of your Facebook and Instagram posts actually being seen - why wouldn’t you start building your database?

Emails are a very personal and direct way of nurturing the relationship with your customers.

Better yet, the beauty of email marketing is that it’s an open platform and isn’t not controlled by third parties that can come between you and your audience. With Open Rates and Click Through Rates increasing drastically throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it highlights that email is still where people go when they want to hear from brands. Remember, we are nurturing an existing relationship and not forcing one. When building your list, it’s important to be as transparent, honest and open as possible with your customers.

5 Tips to Grow Your Database

1. Ask the Question

Take advantage of the loyal foot traffic you have coming through each day and simply ask the question. Using your experience with the pandemic may push them over the edge to sign up.

2. Make Use of Signage

If people don't know, they can’t act. Put up signage throughout your store or office to show customers where they can sign up. We’re talking any space you can capitalise on - menus, business cards, table talkers, receipts, product packaging. You may even think it’s worthwhile investing in a counter iPad or tablet for quick and convenient sign ups.

3. Collect Business Cards

Time is something we don’t have enough of these days. Manually filling out a form can be time consuming and act as a massive barrier for customers. Instead, use a business card box for easy data collection which you can input into your email marketing platform each week. Remember, transparency is important, so make sure it clearly states that they will be joining the database by leaving their business card.

4. Provide exclusive offers and content

People love feeling special. Make your emails exclusive and exciting to attract more sign ups. There’s a lot of value in owning your database, so this should be reflected in the content you send out. For example – send exclusive database offers, special VIP events, educational and engaging content that your customers can’t find elsewhere.

5. Offer an incentive

If not all your customers are willing to sign up for nothing you may need to incentivise them to sign up, so they get something in return. For example - host a giveaway or sign up and receive a discount, a free consultation, a free coffee… whichever fits for your business.

It’s time for you to put these tips to use. Growing your list won’t happen overnight but the earlier you start the bigger your list will become. Remember, clever marketing never builds its entire foundation into just one channel. If you’d like help building your digital strategy, then drop us a line at, and we’ll get you on the road to digital success.





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