Building and Mailing Your Database

After your profit, the most valuable assets that you will build using Teemill is your database. Building your newsletter list is an essential part of growing sales, keeping customers coming back time and time again.

Teemill lets you build your web shop and connect to our print-on-demand supply chain – in all respects it’s built to give full control over your project. This includes your database, which you can access, download, query, edit or mail.

Before we start… Data Protection Law

There is one important thing to remember when talking about customer data: Data protection law. It is not legal to see, download, share or contact customers who have not given permission. This will explain why some of your customers may appear like this: D****@*****.c*** – Sorry, they just don’t want to be contacted.

Furthermore, your customers sign up with a strict usage guideline – you should only be contacting them about information related to your brand and your store products, like stories and special offers.

Do not sell, share or spam your database with third parties – you agreed to these terms if you have signed up to Teemill already, and to do so would be to break the law. Teemill is a powerful tool where anyone can make a serious business – data protection is a serious responsibility!

The Housefile

The vast majority of your customers who have purchased from you will choose to hear more from you, and this will form your core database (or housefile, as it is known to the pros).

Building a housefile is like building a brand. It’s slow work and requires determination. The best ways to build a database are to keep existing customers updated with regular quality content, encourage interested people to sign up and ask your most loyal customers to recommend their friends.

Like all marketing, it’s important to focus on your return on investment. It’s quality, not quantity. 10 customers who believe in what you do is better than 100 who only signed up for the incentive.

Quality wins. Like SEO, it takes hard work and patience. Before we move on to working your database, we must talk about cheating. Any goal that requires genuine effort attracts thoughts of shortcuts. It has been thought of already, please don’t try to cheat with your housefile by pilfering data and entering it manually.

Keep it clean

Unless a customer has specifically requested to be contacted, it’s a really bad idea. You will annoy your target. It only takes a few ‘flag as spam’ clicks to be blacklisted by the mailing providers – who have myriad ways to detect this kind of strategy – and then your whole scheme is toast.

Your housefile is a truly valuable thing. Keep it clean.

Working your Database

A housefile is an asset for a reason. It takes very little effort to milk it for sales, as it contains many customers who are receptive, interested and ready to buy what you have to offer.

It’s important not to take your housefile for granted. In return for their data, customers will expect consistent, quality content, fresh new products and preferential treatment.

In fact, it’s often a good idea to combine all of your communications in a multi-channel plan. Sounds quite fancy, but it’s easy. With a little bit of automation, you can create professional marketing results from a laptop and a few hours a week.

If you’re looking for ideas on what kind of newsletters to send, some of the most successful newsletters fall into the following categories:

  • New products
  • Free post offers
  • Great stories

How often to mail?

Firstly, if you haven’t got valuable content to share like a great offer, story or new product, it’s best to hold off mailing and get some great content first. Like a PR, it must be interesting and newsworthy. Providing the content is there, it’s more common for people not to mail enough as opposed to too much.

Mailing frequency depends on the customer’s response: If you’ve got fresh new content, and the customers respond well every day, mail every day.

We suggest starting at once a week, and increasing to every day during peak times, like December. The golden rule is to mail up to 2% unsub, then back off. Most systems from Mailchimp through to Teemill’s own newsletter delivery systems will track this statistic, and automatically cease mailing addresses after a long period of inactivity or disinterest. 

When to Mail?

Think about your customer and their routines. Quite often customers will make their purchases in the evening on a tablet or laptop, or in the afternoon at work for the cheeky ones. This suits Teemill users who are working with Teemill in their spare time. If you’re on Teemill, your customer is probably on the internet. If you’re using Teemill in an enterprise or charity, it’s best to schedule your emails for evenings and weekends.

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