Effective digital marketing strategies depend on customer information. The more you know about your target audience, the better you can personalise your communications. This goes for the content of your message as well as how and when you deliver it. Of course, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in full effect, getting hold of data is not quite as easy as it once was.
The regulations forbid the unauthorised use of any EU citizen’s data – and penalties for non-compliance are strict. This means you have to earn permission to use your customers and prospects’ personal information in order to market your products and services to them. It’s a potentially challenging process that requires convincing people to volunteer their details. Fortunately, there are some successful ways to earn this sort of marketing currency – here are our top five.
Quid pro quo
Consumers are inundated with advertising and marketing information daily. The volume of irrelevant stuff that litters their inboxes and screens is making people increasingly wary of signing over their details for nothing worthwhile in return. If you want a prospect to share their information with you, then you need to give them something of value.
Relevant content is a valuable commodity in this transaction. By identifying your target audience’s most pressing needs, you can create insightful resources such as eBooks, whitepapers and special deals that provide solutions. Be clear about your offer, tell people exactly what benefits they will get and make your calls to action convincing. When people feel they are engaged in a fair exchange, they are much more willing to engage.
Don’t be greedy
We live in a world that seems to favour quantity over quality – and it’s easy for marketers to get caught up in this trap when in pursuit of data. The more data you have does not immediately translate into good data. In fact, gleaning irrelevant information from people can make it harder to focus your communications. Unless you’re Twinings, it’s unlikely you need to know how many cups of tea someone has every day.
Increasingly sophisticated consumers do understand the importance of data tracking, and many are willing to hand over their information – as long as it leads to a tailored shopping experience and more personalised content. However, if at any time they start to feel used and that they’ve given too much away for nothing; they will unsubscribe and move on.
The best way to build a quality database is to go about it the hard way and entice prospects using tried and tested methods like these:
- Add ‘Contact us’ forms on your website
- Encourage visitors to sign up for your newsletter
- Offer a resource like an eBook or whitepaper in exchange for details
- Get people to enter a competition
- Offer the opportunity to attend an event or sign up for a special deal
- Give prospects exclusive access to ‘members only’ content
- Ask visitors to fill out a satisfaction survey
Nowadays marketers are up against many consumer concerns such as privacy, security and abuse of personal information. To overcome these challenges, you need to earn your consumers and prospects’ trust. While the GDPR provides overarching protection, make it clear that your company abides closely by these regulations and respects its customers’ data.
When it comes to payment processes, highlight your verifications with logos such as ‘Verified by Visa’. You are trying to build a mutually beneficially and long-lasting relationship so make it clear that your business is trustworthy, reputable and operates in line with the law.
Put yourself out there too
It’s only fair that if you’re asking prospects to hand over personal information that you share details in return. At the very least, you should list your contact details so that people can put a face to the company name – and get in touch with a human if and when they need to.