Using Constant Contact as an Industry Database
by Gene Muchanski
Executive Director, Dive Industry Association, Inc.
This is the second article in a Series about Databases that Dive Industry Association uses to keep in touch with its Retail and Trade Customers. We started using Constant Contact in 2004 when it was introduced to us at a National Convention of the Small Business Development Centers Network in Denver, Colorado. Seeing that Constant Contact didn’t start until 1998, we were pretty much on the ground floor of something new in the field of digital marketing. I attended a seminar by Eric Groves, Constant Contact’s then Senior Vice President, Global Market Development. I knew from that day forward, that e-mail marketing was here to stay and could change the future of the diving industry, for the better, forever.
Constant Contact is an email marketing services provider. You’ll have to read Eric Groves’ book, The Constant Contact Guide to E-mail Marketing to fully appreciate what is is and what it can do for your business. Our Association uses it to send targeted emails and industry notices, publish our Weekly Dive News press releases, our monthly newsletter, The Dive Industry Professional, and our monthly Member Birthday News. We also use it to conduct surveys and tabulate the results. None of this would be possible if we were not using Constant Contact’s customer list management program.
Our Association does not buy mailing lists or rent out ours. We use a permission based method to acquire new contacts and we manage our contact information every time we conduct an e-mail campaign. Our customers can opt-in or unsubscribe anytime they wish and they can adjust their preferences according to their needs. We are more interested in maintaining relationships and keeping in touch with our customers than creating a perfect mailing list. Our database allows us to target market each individual campaign. (A campaign is one specific e-mail message. i.e. our Weekly News mailing yesterday is a campaign). We can send e-mail campaigns to specific industry sectors; Manufacturers, Dive Centers, Dive Operators, Dive Clubs, Travel Resorts, etc. We even break these groups down into specific territories so we don’t send important news about events in New York to our California Dive Centers. That cuts down on the number of emails we send to our customers and they appreciate that.
After every campaign we conduct, Constant Contact automatically makes a report available to us concerning campaign analytics. We know how many e-mails went out, how many addresses bounced and how many people unsubscribed. It takes a few minutes to clean our list, but that only helps our stats for the next campaign. It also gives us an opportunity to research the person with the e-mail address in question. Did they just change their e-mail address or are they out of business?
It’s nice to be able to keep your customer contact list clean and up-to-date. It’s even better when you have a method that allows new contacts to subscribe to your mailing list. New Dive Store in Town? New Diver? With Constant contact you can create a list of campaign types that people can sign up for. i.e Weekly News, Monthly Newsletter, General Information, etc. Check out our Safe Subscription URL: Subscribe
NOTES: Dive Industry Association currently keeps track of 5,000 Industry Trade Professionals, worldwide in all of the business sectors that make up the diving industry. We only store the contact information subscribers give us. We do not add any personal preference data about our subscribers. We are re-thinking about adding our 20,000 + consumer names. Let us know your thoughts on that.
The Constant Contact Guide to E-mail Marketing
by Eric Groves, (c) 2009)
(Retired) Senior Vice President, Global Market Development