Email segmentation and personalization help you deliver targeted messages to your subscribers based on their behaviors, preferences, purchase history, and other data.
Once you start building a database of information, it will pay off in dividends. You’ll be able to study your particular audience in-depth and create marketing campaigns tailored just for them.
But how do you go about collecting that valuable information in the first place? As it turns out, collecting information can be pretty painless. You just need to know the right strategies to make your audience want to hand over their details.
And research shows that consumers respond well to personalized messages. A Magnetic/MyBuys survey found that 58% of consumers were fine with data collection as long as retailers gave them a more personalized experience in return.
Additionally, 60% said using their data to expedite their on-site shopping experience was desirable, and another 60% said the same of receiving relevant offers.
In this post, we’re sharing 6 ways to collect data so that you can drive personalization efforts using email marketing.
1. Use incentives in your offers
One of the best ways to collect customer data is to incentivize the process. This means you’re offering something of value in exchange for a few details, such as their name, email address, occupation, demographic information, etc.
You could offer your audience a freebie like a report or a way for them to save money on their next order.
For example, Birchbox offers their subscribers $10 towards their next purchase for referring a friend. This not only incentives them to refer more customers to their business but will bring them back to spend more on their next order.
The key here is that the incentive is valuable. This offer not only gives the current customer a monetary incentive but also creates a more loyal customer who may even become an advocate for your brand with their friends.
Keep your own incentivized sign-ups similarly valuable for best results.
2. Ask for newsletter sign-ups
Newsletter sign-ups are a tried-and-true way to ask for information. It’s also easy—just provide a super-simple sign-up form asking for names and email addresses. In exchange, your subscribers will receive your regular email newsletter.
While it seems bare-bones, getting the most basic contact information is huge. This lets you connect with subscribers directly and follow-up with them about their experience with your brand (good or bad).
Don’t underestimate this data collection opportunity—it will make email segmentation possible for you in the first place.
Additionally, just like your offers, don’t forget to make your newsletter value-packed. You don’t necessarily have to come up with new content for it – just make it useful.
This is a good example of a newsletter from Rolling Stone Australia where they provide summaries and links for their recent articles:
3. Create a loyalty program for better data for email segmentation
Offering a loyalty program is a great way to collect customer details, track transactions, and tie them to customer accounts.
A common way this works is to offer a point-based system, where a customer earns a set amount based on how much they spend per transaction. Eventually, a customer can cash in their points for tiered rewards (the more points, the better the rewards get, such as free gifts or special coupons). They receive a loyalty card to keep track of their points and rewards.
A great example of a successful loyalty program is Starbucks Rewards. According to Access Development, this program gives Starbucks “access to a complete data set of the behavior of their best customers and a way to communicate directly with them.”
More specifically, the coffee giant can tailor their communications based on customer segments the rewards program helped them define, which leads to more sales.
4. Try digital behavior tracking
Another opportunity for data collection is tracking your customers’ digital behavior—their actual actions as they surf the web, read their email and browse your website.
This is valuable information because your customers’ self-perceptions and actual habits/behaviors don’t always match up.
For example, they may answer a survey question about how many hours per week they spend on a computer on the low end (say, 5-10 hours), when, in reality, their computer use is much higher (20-40 hours).
You can track consumer behavior in many different places, including across your website, in the emails you send them, and across the wider internet.
All of the above can be accomplished with analytics/tracking software, like Google Analytics.
6. Use data from customer service
Another place where it makes sense to collect customer data is during customer service interactions, whether over the phone or through email or chat. Your team can collect useful information via simple conversations, help sessions, troubleshooting, and more.
Often, this process is as easy as having the customer service representative ask a few questions about how the customer discovered your brand, what they like and dislike about it, or whether they would recommend you to a friend.
Email segmentation, personalization, and automation all require customer data to work. Strategize your collection methods and take the opportunity to gather information at the right moments. Arm yourself with customer data and give your brand a better shot at making marketing work.