Collecting information about customers helps you better understand what they want and need from your company. Hopefully, by personalizing your email marketing, you’ll connect in a meaningful way and your company will start to be looked upon as a valued partner. This would be much like a shop clerk at the clothing store who knows what size we wear, our favorite color and the styles we prefer.
When you target emails based on personal information and a customer’s preferences, you avoid animosity. None of us like to get emails that aren’t relevant. The first things we think when those off-base messages arrive are: “Why?” And “Where’s the unsubscribe button?”
As you collect customer information for personalizing your marketing emails, keep these basic principles in mind.
Realize that gathering customer information is like building a friendship–it happens little by little, not in an hour over lunch. Start simply by seeking the basics: names, addresses and emails. You can ask your clients to sign up for a newsletter or for a white paper or e-book. Make sure you set up systems to collect information in varied ways–on the website, at the checkout, on social media, by phone, through a survey or contest. Make it as easy as possible to sign up. Just this basic information will get you on your way to personalizing your email marketing.
Here’s an important point about collecting information: Don’t collect just to be collecting. Remember, if you ask your customers 48 questions they will (1) never answer your questions, and (2) avoid you in the future. Before you gather customer information, think about how it will be used to improve your marketing and communications with them. What information do you most need to know?
Any time you ask for information–whether it is at the check-out register or online, offer a quick explanation of why you are asking for it, such as “We are collecting this information so we can provide information about our product, company, etc. that is relevant to you.” This full disclosure approach will help build a relationship with your customers beyond just personalizing your email marketing.
After you have an email or mailing address, you can build your relationship through varied communication. Use their transactional history to know what they might like to buy in the future. Customer surveys, especially when someone has purchased items from you repeatedly, are helpful and provide insight that might allow you to not only better target your messages to that customer, but also identify problems in your sales system or even with your product. Customers can also opt to join a particular interest group via your signup form.
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