Almost every small business I’ve run into has struggled with keeping contact information up to date. So they tend to avoid doing anything about it (until a new system is put in place and then they have to invest massive amounts of time to verify data and delete old records because nothings been done on the database for years :-). But rarely do these same small businesses ever calculate the cost of having bad data (like sending hundreds/thousands of mailings to old addresses or to people who don’t want materials from that company–and haven’t for years).
Well, I was pleasantly surprised this week when I got an email from the American Management Association (AMA) asking me to update my contact information. The reason I say pleasantly surprised was because they didn’t just ask me, they created an incentive for me to do so. In fact, here’s what they said,
Consider All You Get When You Hear from Us.
From seminars and research studies to conferences and special events, AMA is here to help you improve your job performance and supercharge your career.
But we can’t tell you the whole story if your contact information is out of date. Just provide us with your most up-to-date contact information and you’ll receive 20% off any AMA seminar.*
PLUS, your response will automatically qualify you for a Grand Prize drawing of a $500 Amazon voucher. **
Now, I’m a book guy and a voracious learner so a chance to win a $500 Amazon voucher is a no-brainer for me. Plus, for just verifying my data, I could get a 20% reduction from an AMA seminar (which is easily worth hundreds of dollars)–all for just verifying my data. Not bad.
But it got better. In the email, they not only included the data (as you can see in the screen shot of the email (click on it to get a larger image), they also gave me two options. Option one was, "Click to Update," and option two was, "Click to Confirm." That was it.
The whole process was quick and easy. Totally painless. And for just a few brief moments of my time, the AMA was willing to offer me several hundreds of dollars off of a seminar I might have gone to anyway and a chance to win a $500 Amazon voucher.
Now, since I never win any drawing, I doubt I’ll ever get the voucher. But the fact that they were willing to give me two nice options for just taking a moment to either update or confirm my contact info, was incentive enough for me to take the 15 seconds to update the info that they incorrectly had for me (i.e. if they hadn’t created the incentive, they’d still have bad data on me).
So what can you do to create an incentive(s) for your customers/clients/members and prospects to update their own information? What can you do to automate the process? And how can you make it easy for them? If you follow those three steps, I think you’ll find that keeping the contact info on your people and prospects up-to-date will become infinitely easier–and make your business more profitable!
Note: I don’t know about you, but one of my pet peeves is when a company gives me a blank form to update my data so I have to fill out all of the information again. The least they can do is to make sure they send or print out the data they have in their database. In this day and age, that’s not a difficult technological feat :-)