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The 5 essentials of effective contact management

Contact management is a frequently overlooked tool for professionals, but with these five tips, the process will be maximized for higher returns and more meaningful interacting with clients and prospects.



Effective contact management

Do you know what contact management really entails? Think you’re doing it correctly? In this article I’ll discuss the five essential components of effective contact management. Effective contact management will help you to convert more leads into clients and maximize the amount of referrals and repeat business you get year over year.

Having a consolidated database

I speak with real estate sales professionals daily who have client and prospect contact information scattered in many different areas: Outlook, their iPhone, their website, pieces of paper, etc. Without a consolidated database, these REALTORS® waste far too much time hunting for the information they need to manage their business – often hours a day.

A solid, well-managed database can be worth more than a million dollars in real estate commissions over as little as 10 years. In fact, the only real tangible asset Realtors have is their database. Upon retirement, a well-managed database that produces a six-figure income in referral and repeat business year after year can be sold for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Having a consolidated database is extremely important. It’s actually the foundation of effective contact management and the starting point to building a truly successful business based largely from referrals and repeat clients. Without a consolidated database, it’s hard to stay organized and manage time effectively. Lacking a consolidated database, it’s almost impossible to master the four other “essentials of effective contact management” I’m going to discuss below.

Categorizing and segmenting contacts

Once you’ve consolidated all your contacts into one database, the next step is to categorize them appropriately. At the most basic level, this might entail categorizing people as either Clients, Prospects, Personal, or Business-to-Business. Another popular approach is to apply the 80/20 Rule by segmenting your contacts as either “A List” or “B List.” More advanced segmentation can include creation of community groups such as former work colleagues, church group contacts, people in your baseball league, etc.

The big benefit of segmenting and categorizing your contacts is that it allows you to communicate with specific groups of people in a way that is more personalized, relevant and timely than the dreaded “batch and blast” approach. When your mass communications are relevant to the people receiving them, they are far more likely to be opened and appreciated, and hence far more effective from a marketing perspective.

Keeping in touch with past clients

You may have heard the idiom that it takes seven times the amount of time, money, and energy to acquire a new client then it does to keep an existing one. The saying is very true. It’s your responsibility to stay “top of mind” with past clients and make sure that they don’t forget you. Your clients are likely meeting real estate agents through friends and family members, hearing others recommend Joe Smith’s Realty Services down the road, seeing billboards and posters of Realtors boasting that they’re number one. So, don’t automatically assume that a client who you’ve helped to buy a home five years ago will remember you and call you up again next time they need a real estate agent.

It’s in your best interest to ensure that you have the right technology, such as a contact management system, and a plan in place, so you can keep in touch with past clients effectively.

So, how should you keep in touch? Schedule quarterly keep in touch calls (better yet, try to call one past client each day), send out a monthly e-Newsletter, send direct marketing pieces to your best past clients, plan client appreciation events and various educational seminars, use social media, the possibilities are endless. A good contact management system (my specialty) will make organizing and executing all of this as easy as possible. I recommend that you make contact with your past clients at least 17 times per year.

Make sure that when you reach out to past clients, whether through a phone call, email, or any other method, that it’s all about them, not about you. You don’t want to keep in touch with them by always promoting your services and how great you are. Send out an e-Newsletter with helpful and interesting articles on home decorating, for example. Make a call to ask if they need any recommendations on a business professional such as a Plumber or Landscaper.

Assigning leads to marketing plans

As soon as you get a new lead, enter them in your CRM immediately and then assign them to an “automated lead nurture marketing plan” (also known as a marketing Activity Plan).

A lead nurture marketing plan consists of a number of emails and phone calls at regular intervals over time. The emails are sent automatically (also called “drip email), which means that you don’t have to worry about remembering to keep in touch with all your new leads. The system will remind you when to make a call, and will send relevant email communications to your prospects in between. By nurturing your new leads in this way, your conversion rate of new leads to clients will improve dramatically.

You can use your contact management system (your CRM) to create your own lead nurture marketing Activity Plan. Alternatively, good CRMs have pre-designed marketing plans created for you, so you don’t have to do a thing.

Tracking sources of business, including referrals

You need to know where your business is coming from. Knowing this information will provide you with insight into where you should be investing time and money. Use your contact management system to run various reports, such as an “Original Source of Contact” report and a “Referral History” report. Don’t waste your time and hard earned dollars guessing about where your business is coming from or about what you could be doing more and less to fully maximize your time.

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with REALTORS® to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

Business Marketing

Who’s teaching Gen Z to adapt to working with other generations

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Gen Z patch 1.1: How to work with other generations. The newest tech savy generation might need an update to work well with others



generation z

We know the current work force is made up of a multitude of generations which is the first time so many have been working at the same time in history and this is should be absolutely fascinating to dig in to the research and how this drastically affects businesses.

To think how we each have our work ethic and style influenced by so many factors on how and when (and where) we were raised, plus what generation our parents were in and what was passed down to them from the generation before. Millennials received a lot of attention for being entitled and lazy. Gen X receive constant jokes that they are the forgotten generation. And let’s not forget the cringe-worthy “OK Boomer” meme theme recently.

Now we have moved on to Gen Z (b. ~ 1997-2012) in the work force and many are currently attending college. There were other considerations for their name: Gen Tech, Gen Wii, Net Gen, Digital Natives, Plurals, and Zoomers. If you google about them, there are many books to read about this generation that has never NOT known technology.

They are used to being seconds away to finding an answer on Google, sending their current status to friends via a fun picture or video and learning anything they want to learn via their laptop (for example on YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, Google online courses, Udemy, Teachable, among others). They are no strangers to businesses evolving to continue to be consumer-minded and have an app for that when it comes to convenience like: ordering your coffee before you get there, order a ride from no matter where you are, order your groceries online and pick them up outside the grocery store or (gasp!) even have them delivered to you via some other third-party app. And let’s not forget, there better be Wi-Fi on the plane.

There are a lot of wonderful things about every generation and maybe some things we all contribute to regarding stereotypes. No matter age, experience or style, it’s key to learn about the people you are working with (peers, supervisors, leadership teams) or if you are an entrepreneur and business owner: your customers and any differences needed for them (should you be on Tik Tok? Is Instagram still where it’s at? How do you add online appointments to your site? Do you need an app for that?).

In this world of instant gratification, we have all adapted to the conveniences of technology so why would this new generation be any different. There’s been research shared with how they shop and even how they learn. Is anyone teaching them about those that came before them when they enter the work force or look to gain professional experience working with entrepreneurs, startups or small business owners?

I’d like to recommend taking a look at Lindsey Pollak’s research, read or listen (thank you, Audible) to her latest book, The Remix, How to Lead and Succeed in the Multigenerational Workplace and even her new podcast, The Work Remix, for any limited on time or attention span. It is really powerful how she is able to easily translate lots of research in to actionable items (let’s bring back apprenticeships! Skip the ping pong table for more time in nature!). she is kind and provides refreshing ideas on how to adapt our work styles to others and well as what is important in the workforce. She is also really against generational shaming. ALL OF IT. And that’s beautiful.

So, before we roll our eyes and throw a generational comment at someone, can we get to know each other better and be flexible and adaptable in how we find and work toward our common goals? For one, I’m excited working with iGen and am always asking myself (as a loud and proud Gen Xer) how I can adapt or meet their learning styles. All in fun, I do wish they would read my emails but I might have to let that go and get more used to text.

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Business Marketing

Malomo helps online retailers keep up with retail giants

(BUSINESS MARKETING) With giant companies like amazon able to offer free shipping, and super fast arrival times, how can a smaller company keep up?



Malomo home page

When Amazon is out here offering two-day shipping on all kinds of products from televisions to toothbrushes, ordering something from a smaller online retailer can have an almost humbling effect.

When faced with a basic UPS tracking number and shipping email, you realize how accustomed you’ve gotten to receiving play-by-play shipping information and a little photograph of your package when it arrives at your front step.

People have come to expect a lot from their online shopping experience. Huge online retailers, like Amazon, are crafting these expectations as another strategy to edge out competition. It’s all by design. So, how are smaller companies supposed to keep up with this demand?

Online retailers need tools that allow them to compete with the big boys and Malomo is here to help. Malomo is a shipment tracking platform designed for ecommerce marketers who want to level up their customer experience. Their mission is to help brands build authentic relationships with customers. Their platform allows online retailers to keep their customers up-to-date with shipping information using a beautiful branded platform.

Malomo could be a game changer for online retailers looking to build a more faithful customer base. Malomo’s platform can do so much more than send tracking information. The platform adds another layer to the customer journey by letting you create a digital space where your business can continue to build that customer brand connection.

Online retailers can use the platform to inform customers if there are any issues with their order such as a late shipment or a problem with an item. The platform can also be used to advertise other products, educate customers about the brand, or send targeted coupons.

In addition to offering a beautiful platform, Malomo provides online retailers with valuable analytics on customer behavior such as click-through rates on tracking information. Malomo integrates with popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify making it a smooth addition to your overall strategy.

By integrating these ecommerce tools online retailers can harness the power of data to improve their customer experience, drive future sales, and keep up with customer demands for a world-class shipping experience.

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Business Marketing

Is Easy Advocacy the tool your business needs for ad campaign reach?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Product claims to make employee advocacy easier than ever with a tool that’s designed to enlist employees to share campaign content online.



easy advocacy welcome page

Ever wished you could get all of your employees in on your campaigns, enlisting them all to help make your digital content go “viral”?

No? To be honest, me either – at least not until I learned about a new program called Easy Advocacy, created by a company called Agora Pulse.

Easy Advocacy is a productivity and marketing tool geared towards harnessing the power of larger internal groups (employees) in order to make content sharing (campaigns, social media posts, etc.) as easy as possible. The product is listed on Product Hunt, which is essentially a tech geek’s paradise for new and interesting technology. This week, on February 19th, Easy Advocacy was listed as the #1 product of the day.

The website boasts features like:

• Quick campaign setups
• Making content easier to share
• Knowing the reach of your shares

In addition to making it easier for employers to have their employees share content, the platform also offers basic analytics pertaining to things like number of shares and website visits. Employers can also identify their top advocates through a leaderboard.

Their website’s description of the toolset says that the tool “dispels the hassle of the usual employee advocacy complaints and makes the process of sharing content with employees, who then share on their social channels, easy peasy.”
One way it does this is by emailing your employees the exact instructions and copy the company would like them to share, making it somewhat automated.

Now, while this all seems great, my biggest concern is who their market truly is. Are they going after small teams? Probably not as having a team of only 5 people sharing a campaign would be nearly fruitless – unless you happen to have a major social media influencer under your employment.

If they go after larger companies, like Apple, for example, I can see this tool being helpful. However, it’s a little bit of a double-edged sword. Larger companies typically are beyond the point of needing word-of-mouth campaigns. Let’s use Apple as an example here, too. They’ve been around for years, and according to Statista, 45.3% of smart phone owners in the U.S. go with Apple iPhones. Given this, and the fact that everyone already knows what an iPhone is (unless you live under a rock…), I really can’t see much need for a tool like Easy Advocacy for such a large company.

So, where does that leave the company? Only time will tell. My first bit of advice to the company is that the name definitely needs work. The name “Easy Advocacy” implies that there’s some kind of advocacy happening for employees, when in reality, this platform is meant to help employers. But given my points above, I think they need to think about their model some more and maybe make this tool something that’s more robust that companies of all sizes can use.

Full disclosure, this does not mean it’s not worth trying out. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

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