What is a contact in marketing?
You're probably familiar with social media, but did you know there are other ways to stay connected with potential customers online? You may have heard people talk about "contact lists" or even "contacts." But what exactly do they all mean? And why should you care?
In this article we'll answer these questions so you understand better. Let's start by taking a closer look at the term "contact." We'll explore its meaning here, as well as discuss when it makes sense for marketers to use them. We'll also touch on some examples of good practices regarding their usage.
What does contact mean in marketing?
Contact refers to any communication channel (email address, phone number, mailing address) through which someone could interact with your company. It includes both one-to-one interactions like calls, chats, live conversations, emails, etc., as well as group activities like newsletters, webinars, events, etc.
The goal of using different channels is to give people many options. For example, if you sell books, an email subscription gives readers more flexibility than just picking up the phone to call. If you run a software development firm, giving out information over chat allows clients to get instant answers without requiring human interaction every time.
When used correctly, having multiple forms of contact from the same person reduces friction and helps make sales easier. This is especially true for businesses who offer services where speed matters most.
For instance, a lawyer might send his email newsletter to current and past clients once per month instead of calling each client individually. A consultant would prefer sending weekly emails to prospects rather than trying to schedule meetings across busy schedules. Or maybe you have no choice because you need to communicate frequently with lots of leads, such as public relations firms and journalists. In these cases, using contact management platforms will be key to success -- not only because it saves money, but mainly because it lowers frustration levels.
Using a platform like Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows companies to set custom triggers based on actions taken within those systems. These allow teams to automatically create follow ups after certain stages throughout the lifecycle of their lead/prospect relationship and save enormous amounts of time.
Having said that, I must point out that while automated solutions definitely come in handy, too much reliance on automation can backfire on you. Sometimes a simple conversation via text message or email works best. That way you don't waste valuable resources and you maintain control of the entire process. The bottom line is that whatever type of communication you choose, make sure everyone involved understands the purpose behind it. Make sure all stakeholders agree on the frequency and content of future communications before moving forward.
It's important to note that not every single piece of content you share needs to go out via contact channels. Some pieces of content (like blog posts) can simply be posted directly onto websites and social media accounts. While others (such as product announcements) require some sort of personal involvement due to their sensitive nature.
What is the definition of contact in business?
So now let's take a deeper dive into the concept of contact in general. When discussing the topic further, we'll refer to "customer service," since that's usually the first thing people think of when they hear the word contact. However, keep in mind that contact doesn't always involve talking face-to-face. As mentioned above, it can include anything from texts, emails, and video conferencing sessions.
As far as actual customer service goes, experts say that great customer experiences begin long before anyone actually sets foot inside a store. According to Harvard Business Review, it takes roughly seven touches between initial interest and eventual purchase. Most consumers tend to expect anywhere from three to nine total touches during their experience with a brand before making a decision.
That being said, it's worth mentioning that sometimes it's better to skip direct contact altogether. As a rule of thumb, whenever possible try avoiding direct contact entirely. Instead, focus on creating consistent branding that speaks loud enough for people to find themselves wanting to learn more.
One notable exception is when you want to connect with people offline, perhaps for networking purposes at conferences or trade shows. At this stage, you'd still consider physical mailings and events as part of your overall contact efforts.
But generally speaking, unless you're selling something that requires immediate action, avoid cold calls, pop-up ads, spamming, and similar techniques. They've been proven to annoy people.
What is the customer contact means?
Now that we got all the basics covered, let's move on to defining what constitutes a real contact with a prospect. First off, it involves two parties. There has to be an exchange of value somewhere along the line for it to be considered a valid interaction. To qualify as a proper contact, a prospective buyer or user has to feel as though he or she received something worthwhile. Otherwise, it won't amount to a meaningful connection. People aren't going to buy things from strangers!
Also, remember that contact isn't limited to buying products. Think beyond that and consider providing help and assistance with something else. Maybe you're offering free consultations to new entrepreneurs looking to hire a coach or mentor, or hosting workshops focused on helping women develop their soft skills. Again, the idea here is to provide value, whether it comes in the form of knowledge, advice, entertainment, etc.
As a result, using contact channels becomes increasingly relevant as time passes. Don't treat them like a "set it and forget it" kind of tool. Keep track of everything and respond accordingly. Give yourself plenty of leeway to adjust and adapt as needed, depending on factors like seasonality, budget constraints, and changing priorities.
And lastly, never underestimate the power of persistence. Successful brands realize that lasting relationships are built upon mutual trust and respect. So don't lose hope until the job is done. No matter how challenging it gets, continue working toward achieving your goals. After all, nothing lasts forever except perseverance itself.
What is the contact strategy?
Knowing what a contact entails and understanding how to effectively leverage the available technology is half the battle. Now let's examine the importance of choosing the right ones. Choosing the wrong contacts can cause serious problems down the road, either by losing revenue, wasting time, or increasing costs unnecessarily. Luckily, modern marketers have access to several useful tools that automate processes and streamline operations. Allowing you to spend less time managing campaigns and more time focusing on growth strategies and creative ideas.
Here are a few tips on how to pick the correct contacts for your audience.
Start small. Even though big names often carry credibility nowadays, smaller startups have unique advantages that bigger players lack. Consider starting off with a simpler approach until you gain necessary traction. Then gradually expand.
Choose wisely. Be careful not to spread yourselves thin across numerous sources. Focus on building strong connections with only a handful of high quality partners. Having tons of low-quality contacts dilutes your impact and increases operational expenses.
Be wary of paid advertising. Although targeted ads are certainly effective, they can also be very costly. Try to stick to organic methods wherever possible. Avoiding expensive mistakes like click fraud and cross-device tracking issues will ensure optimal results.
Don't neglect mobile. Mobile devices account for more than 50% of internet traffic worldwide today. Therefore, developing a presence on smart phones is crucial. Whether it's a dedicated app, website, or a combination thereof, strive to optimize your mobile offerings as soon as possible.
Know what you want. Before diving headfirst into the world of contact management, figure out what you want to achieve beforehand. Have clear objectives for each campaign and determine how you plan to measure progress against them. Also, decide on what level of engagement you wish to reach. Will your followers engage with your content passively or actively? Do you want to attract subscribers or merely curious onlookers? Know what metrics to pay attention to.
By following the steps outlined above, you'll be able to navigate the complex waters of digital marketing and improve your chances of succeeding.
In today's digital world, having an online presence means being available 24/7 for potential customers who want to buy from you. And if you're like most small businesses, you may not have dedicated resources to maintain this presence on multiple platforms. This makes it even more important to use one platform where all your customer data goes into one place so you don't miss any opportunities when someone types "your business" or "your brand name."
This article will walk you through what a Contact is in both Marketing Cloud (MC) and Salesforce Foundation Data Service (SFDS), which are two separate but complementary cloud-based solutions that provide marketers with everything they need to run their campaigns effectively across channels.
What is a contact in Marketing Cloud?
A contact profile consists of basic information about people interested in working with your company. You create these profiles by adding details such as first and last names, phone numbers, mailing addresses, emails, etc., and then assign them to specific campaigns based on product type. When you launch a campaign using MC, you'll see Contacts under Campaign Settings & Templates. Here, you also set up fields within each template to capture additional info related to a particular campaign. Once you've assigned contacts to templates, you can start creating new ones right away without going back to the main screen.
You can customize the look of every single contact card in MC by changing the background color, font style, and image. To do this, go to Edit Card Content & Appearance and click Change Background Color. Then choose colors from the palette menu at the top of the page. If you'd rather pick custom images, select Upload Image instead. You can upload photos from your computer, Google Drive, Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Flickr. The best part is that you can add different backgrounds to each contact depending on his role in your organization. For example, sales reps might be able to show off their products while support staff members could highlight services offered.
When building out a new campaign, you can quickly insert existing contacts' cards onto a blank canvas by selecting Insert Blank Cards. Or if you already added some contacts before launching the campaign, you can drag and drop those cards over to its own tab.
Once you get comfortable setting up contacts in MC, it becomes much easier to build out your entire database. Just keep in mind that once you import contacts from other systems, there may be duplicate records because sometimes we enter similar information twice accidentally. In case you find yourself dealing with duplicates, double check all entries and remove unnecessary information. It's better to delete the extra entry than leave one record alone. After cleaning up your list, make sure to update your records manually.
To edit or delete a contact in MC, just hover over it until the cursor changes to a pencil icon. Now tap Delete to confirm.
How is a contact created in Marketing Cloud?
The process starts automatically after you sign up for MC. As soon as you log in to your account, the system creates a generic default contact profile for you unless you tell it otherwise. By default, the only field populated is First Name. However, if you open a campaign later and decide to change the name of the person, no problem! Simply head to Account & Preferences " General and rename him/her. At least you know he won't come across as John Smith now.
If you wish, you can always skip ahead and populate other fields like Last Name, Email Address, Phone Number, Street 1, City, State, Postal Code, Country, Website URL, Company, Job Role, Client ID, Notes, Language Preference, Date Joined, Birthday, Gender, Photo Attachment Size, and Privacy Setting before assigning contacts to templates.
Then again, maybe you prefer to wait until you actually ask them for feedback, testimonial, reviews, etc. How would you feel if you receive an automated followup message asking them to fill out a survey or provide comments on your latest blog post? That way, you can personalize communications to suit your audience's preferences.
For instance, if you sell jewelry, you wouldn't send your clients a message saying "Hi Sarah, I saw you bought my necklace yesterday," since she probably doesn't care whether something else costs less elsewhere. Instead, say "Hi Sarah, I noticed you purchased my favorite necklace yesterday. Congratulations!"
What is contact and subscriber?
Subscribers are anyone who has opted into receiving updates from your newsletter via email. If you haven't heard of subscribers yet, here's why you should consider doing so. Subscriber management allows you to track performance reports, view engagement rates, target users based on demographics, and segment down further.
By tracking metrics such as average time spent reading each piece of content, you can determine which topics interest readers the most. From there, you can write articles around certain trends. These insights help you improve future newsletters and figure out what works and what doesn't. Of course, you can still reach non-subscribers too. But if you really want to take advantage of targeted advertising, you'll definitely want to focus on engaging subscribers.
As mentioned earlier, subscribers are categorized under Contacts in MC. They appear next to the standard contacts you added during registration. To access subscriptions, go to Account & Preferences " Targeted Emails. Select Manage Subscriptions and you can filter your subscription lists by Status, Type, Priority, and Expiration date.
There's another useful feature called Smart Lists. With Smart Lists, you can combine several lists together so you can easily identify prospects. Head to List Management " Smart Lists and give it a try. There are many ways to group contacts—you can sort by status, industry, location, recent activity, lead source, referrals, etc.
What is contact in SFDS?
Contact is simply someone who subscribed to your app or registered for an event. Think of them as active participants. Your goal is to convert leads into paying customers. So keeping tabs on your contacts throughout the funnel can help you understand how well they interacted with your app, website, social media posts, and events.
But apart from that, knowing who's logged into your mobile app gives you insight into usage patterns. Is someone downloading the app but never opening it? Maybe it's not relevant to them anymore. On the contrary, does someone download your app daily, but hardly ever open it? Perhaps they aren't interested in the subject matter.
However, you shouldn't treat everyone equally. Some people might visit your website frequently and others might purchase rarely. Therefore, understanding user behavior helps you streamline efforts on promoting your app or service.
So how exactly do you collect info on your contacts in SFDS? It depends on what kind of application you built for iOS and Android devices. Generally speaking, you can either request login credentials directly from your recipients or prompt them to register for your apps. Whichever option you choose, you must ensure that you have permission to share their sensitive information with third parties.
Now let's talk about how you can monitor interactions between your app and your contacts. Before you begin, make sure you enable App Statistics for Events API under Integrations settings. Also, set up Event Tracking. Go to Analytics & Reporting " Dashboards " New Report " Create a report. Choose Mobile Apps as your metric. Set Up Event Source as Custom Identifier. Make sure to choose Login or Registration. Finally, choose Start Time and End Time accordingly.
Next, switch to Home Screen View. Under Events section, scroll down to Get User Inputs. Hit Add+ and search for the device identifier you used previously. Click Filter Results to narrow down results. Lastly, navigate to Details and hit Save.
Since your app collects this data from different sources, it might take a few days for it to reflect properly. Keep checking the analytics dashboard periodically until you notice improvements.
Keep in mind that you can also integrate SFDS with other CRM software including SalesForce Classic, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Navicore, Unify, and Marketo. All you need to do is connect the accounts and sync the data. Since SFDS supports integration with Zapier, you can effortlessly pull data from various applications and feed it into your CRM solution.
Want to learn more about SFDS? Check out our guide detailing how to migrate from SF Classic to SF DS.
We hope you enjoyed learning about what a Contact is in both Marketing Cloud and SFDS.
HubSpot's Marketing Automation platform features two types of Contacts - Data Contacts, and Contact Tiers. A good understanding of these terms will help you understand what they are used for in the system, when it comes to creating campaigns, building follow-up sequences, etc...
In this article we'll explain exactly what each one means, as well as their differences between them. By the end, you should have enough knowledge to be able to use both effectively while working on any project using our platform. You may also want to check out some additional resources about these topics if you're still confused after reading this post.
What is a contact in a CRM?
When most people think of "contacts" today, they typically picture someone who has filled out an online form or contacted customer service via phone call. In many cases those are actually leads. But technically speaking there isn't really much difference between a lead and a contact in a business' backend systems (CRMs). They're simply different names given to customers based on where they fall within a company's sales funnel.
Contacts are basically anyone who fills out a webform or makes a purchase from your site. This could include potential new clients, existing clients, partners/affiliates, current employees, etc... Essentially anything that has ever interacted with your website, blog, social media channels, etc...
The main reason why companies classify prospects into either Leads or Contacts is because the decision makers at such businesses don't know everything about everyone that visits their websites. Therefore, by classifying prospects into different tiers, marketers can better tailor their messages depending on which group the prospect belongs to. For example, if you sell shoes, then having separate categories like men's running shoes, women's walking boots, kids sizes, etc... would make more sense than lumping all shoe buyers together under one umbrella called "Shoes".
How does this tie into Marketing Automation platforms? Well, just like I explained above, every time someone interacts with your site, whether it's filling out a form or making a sale, they become a contact. And since every interaction becomes a contact, it's important to keep track of them so you can segment them accordingly later when setting up automated processes.
For example, let's say you run multiple blogs covering various industries. Let's further assume that you've decided to send emails to visitors asking them to sign up for upcoming events on your latest blog posts. Now, it wouldn't be very effective to blast a generic message to everyone visiting your sites regardless of industry. So instead you'd need to set up a rule in MA to only target traffic coming from specific keywords related to your event.
This way, you can send personalized emails to each visitor showing off content specifically tailored to them. If you were selling shoes, maybe you could show pictures of models wearing certain styles of your brand, along with descriptions of what goes into producing quality footwear. Or, perhaps you could highlight the benefits of buying said product online rather than shopping around town. The possibilities are endless!
Is contact contact a CRM?
Contact itself was originally coined back in the 1990s to refer to the telephones numbers of individuals. However, nowadays it's often used interchangeably with other similar words like Customer Service Representative (CSR), Support Specialist, Sales Person, Account Manager, Account Executive, etc... Basically anyone who works directly with your customers inside your organization.
If you haven't worked with Marketing Automation before, chances are you already interact with several CSRs throughout your day without even realizing it. These CSRs aren't usually sitting behind a desk somewhere waiting for incoming calls though. Instead, they might be checking Facebook during lunch break, answering questions over IM chat, helping users through live chats, responding to emails, etc...
These same contacts can easily be turned into contacts in MA just by adding relevant information like name, address, title, phone number, etc... Then you can assign them to a particular department, team, location, etc.. Once done, you can then create rules to automatically route interactions to certain departments or individuals based on things like previous purchases, recent activity, subscription status, etc... Just to give you an idea, here's a quick snapshot of how easy it is to add a single contact manually into MA:
Once added, you can edit fields like first name, last name, e-mail, phone number, job position, department, etc... Afterward, you can click on the "+Rules" button near the top navigation bar and select Create New Rule. From there, fill out settings like Name, Choose Actions, Set Criteria, and choose variables to compare against. Finally, hit save and start creating triggers based on that comparison.
It takes less than 3 minutes once you get comfortable with it. That being said, you can always reach out to support and ask us about customizing your own workflow if needed.
Now, although not every contact falls into the category of CSR, sometimes they do anyway. And that's why we included both "contact" and "customer service representative" in the list above. To clarify, a Contact in MA doesn't necessarily mean a person. It can also represent a user experience, a page, a landing page, a form, etc...
What is a contact vs a lead?
Leads are generally considered prospects who didn't yet buy something but showed interest in doing so. On the opposite side of the spectrum, contacts are actual users who made a purchase or gave you permission to collect their personal info.
As mentioned earlier, leads are essentially contacts who are farther down the path of becoming future clients. Whereas contacts are closer to the action and ready to take bigger steps forward sooner. Either way, however, both parties agreed to share their private information with you in exchange for valuable products, services, discounts, free trials, etc...
A major distinction between leads and contacts is that leads almost never agree to provide their full name, home address, phone number, birthday, marital status, income level, occupation, education history, credit card details, etc... Contacts, however, tend to willingly disclose such sensitive information. Some even go ahead and opt-in to receiving periodic updates from your newsletter.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. Sometimes leads won't respond to your initial outreach attempts due to busy schedules, lack of urgency, indifference, apathy, etc... As long as you stay persistent, eventually they will pick up the phone whenever they feel like taking part.
Another thing worth mentioning is that leads are typically identified by unique identifiers like cookies in order to maintain privacy. Contacts, on the other hand, come pre-identified by you based on whichever criteria you chose. There's no cookie involved.
What is a data contact?
Data Contacts are simply contacts who opted in to receive promotional emails and newsletters from your site. Unlike regular contacts, data contacts will continue getting emails sent to them indefinitely unless they unsubscribe. Also unlike regular contacts, data contacts are allowed to change their preferences anytime without needing confirmation from you.
Just remember that sending an automatic broadcast email to thousands of subscribers without letting them decide beforehand is known as SPAM. We recommend giving your data contacts options to control their subscriptions and allow yourself to communicate with them too. Otherwise, you risk opening yourself up to legal repercussions.
One great tool to accomplish this task is HubSpot Email Capture. Using it, you can build forms on your site that visitors can enter their email addresses into in exchange for special deals, promotions, giveaways, etc... When they submit the form, it immediately sends their info straight to your database without requiring visitors to confirm or approve opting in to your mailing list.
And yes, we highly encourage you to read this guide about best practices for collecting email addresses on websites.