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What Are the Best Tips for Open Source Contact Management?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 16, 2024
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Open source contact management software is used to capture and record customers’ and prospective customers’ contact information; after obtaining that information, however, many businesses just sit on it. Effectively using an open source contact management software database involves taking advantage of all the information the database holds, so the company can garner more sales or improve relationships. Companies can use this software to send out newsletters to educate customers and to get them excited about new products. Sending out sales notifications is an effective method for letting customers know they can save money, which is a great marketing tool. Sectioning off the contacts and informing customers about charities also can raise sales.

Every company is constantly trying to come out with new products or trying to educate customers so they will make more purchases. Creating a newsletter to detail both is one way open source contact management software can build trust and forge new sales. In the newsletter, the company should talk about new products, techniques and information the common customer will not know, and what is happening within the business. By talking about the company itself as an evolving unit, this will get customers interested in learning more about the company and making purchases.

Along with new products, most companies have discounts to drive sales. Companies can use open source contact management software to email customers and inform them about these sales. Customers that are looking for discounts will jump at the offer, and this also will make customers more willing to try new products, which can turn into long-term purchases.

Not all customers are the same; they have different genders, ages and preferences. Marketing the same to every customer can be ineffective but, with open source contact management software, companies will be able to collect information to section off the market. By doing this, customized discounts and emails can be sent to the customer. This also drives down marketing costs, because only customers that fit the demographic will be targeted.

Aside from making products and sales, many companies participate in charitable events, both to help the community and to increase the company’s visibility to the public. Open source contact management software can be used to email everyone in the database about the charitable event. This may get more people to participate in the charity and increases trust in the company. Telling customers about charity events can help public relations by making customers directly aware of what the company is doing to help the community.

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Discussion Comments
By NathanG — On Mar 19, 2012

@hamje32 - If you want to build relationships you need to show that you’re doing something for the community, in my opinion. The best open source CRM will continually let you advertise your participation in community events.

At our workplace we do a lot of “green initiatives” to help clean up the environment and also cut down on wasteful products. We do this because that’s an important part of our community.

It really depends on what’s important where you live. Whatever it is, find a way to get plugged into that, and then send emails to your mailing list letting them know how you’re helping to make the world a better place.

By nony — On Mar 18, 2012

@hamje32 - A free open source CRM is a great way to get started with a contact management system. I have a small business and it works great for me. I've also evaluated some of the paid CRM software products, but honestly I haven't found them to be much better.

Some of them have more wizards and stuff to help you create stylized email messages, but I am more interested in content than style. The sales contact management software that I have works fine.

By hamje32 — On Mar 17, 2012

@everetra - That’s true. But one solution for that is to create opt in mailing lists. That way the customer will be sure to get your promotional emails and newsletter.

I should point out however that what you want is for the customer to opt in, not force them to opt out. What I mean is that it’s better to ask a customer for permission to join your list, rather than just automatically subscribe them and force them to opt out.

You get the idea. If a customer willingly subscribes it helps to forge a stronger relationship with your customers and will ensure that they will listen to what you have to say.

By everetra — On Mar 16, 2012

I think the real challenge with open source contact manager software is how well you customize your marketing messages to your customers. This is important for one reason alone: spam detection.

The last thing you want is for your marketing email message to wind up in the customer’s spam or junk email folder. You almost have to know how the spam filters work – perhaps the software has this kind of intelligence.

But in my opinion the more personal you can make your message the less likely it will be considered as spam and the more likely it is to reach your customer.

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