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Capturing the details of your contacts/customers is vital for any business in order to engage the customer in any pre or post-sale communication.
Making sure that the right data is being captured is a key part to managing your contacts efficiently, therefore an extensible data capture system is essential.
(Contacts are not part of a log in system. Find out more about password protected areas and "Users" on the extranet page.)
The best way to capture the data of any new customer that uses your website will be through a contact form that the site visitor submits.
Simple contact forms can be added to your site that will allow you to capture the details submitted (such as name and email). These details will then be saved into the CMS and can be viewed and managed in a users and contacts area.
In this area you can filter the amount of information you see for each contact, add and amend contact records and create contacts from scratch.
It's fairly likely that you already have a list of contacts either in a different system or on a spreadsheet of some kind.
These existing contacts can be easily imported into your new content managed site by simply saving them as a CSV or Excel spreadsheet. Once imported they will then automatically be stored in a centralised database for easy management.
The CMS can also provide you with a sample file for you to enter the data into. This spreadsheet can then be imported into the user area via an import wizard.
Making sure that the data being captured is useful and relevant is key, which is why it is important that the platform the website is built on is extensible and will enable you to apply the data model that suits you.
There is a "datasets" system on Zenario, one of our preferred CMS platforms, that allows new fields to be added to a contact's details as well as to any forms that are on your website. This allows you to capture specific details from your site visitors as well as put them into custom groups defined by you.
Keep in touch with your website contacts by using the newsletter system. This system allows you to create your own newsletter templates in a WYSIWYG environment adding in dataset fields, such as first name, which will automatically put each recipient's name into the email for you, saving you a lot of time and effort.
You can filter the recipients by group and/or characteristic and you can also choose to exclude certain contacts as well as set up an "opt out of newsletter" dataset, which the system will then honour automatically.
Unsubscribe links can be added and you can test send a preview of the email to yourself as any times as you need.