5 Ways to Build Customer Profiles

customer-profiles1It’s important to know who is reading your emails. Where do they live? Partnered, single, high income? Do they drive to work, have kids in school? If you know the factors that influence how they interact with your brand, you can deliver specific email promotions that can greatly influence conversions and lead generation.

Here are 5 ways to gather information about your customers so you can more effectively market by email.

1. Track click-throughs – Use your analytics to keep track of who responds to what kind of links, what time of day and day of week, and for what products.

Doing this gives you measurable results from your emails, so you know exactly how effective your ads are with hard data. You can do A/B testing within sub-sets of your database if one type of email format or subject header isn’t working.

2. Use Subscription Forms to sign up to the newsletter. Start with basic information and only a few required fields, like name, company, and email address.

The first engagement with your brand should be easy and not feel like a chore. Make entering information flow by offering drop-down menus for fields like address.

3. Build an app. Apps are an excellent way to gather information because they’re opt-in customer touch-points that the customer uses over days, weeks, or months.

Integrate your customer app profiles with your customer email database (your ESP can help you maintain updated databases).

4. Use progressive profiling on your website. Use forms that retain information from repeat website visitors so they don’t have to re-enter information. When you employ this method, you ask for basic information first — name, company — and move on to more specific information, sometimes triggered by customer behavior. For example, an HR representative would input different answers than a salesperson. You would then know to send different email offers to these two people.

Progressive profiling is effective based on the drip marketing idea: prospective leads are unlikely to fill out a whole survey all at once. Since they are visiting your site by their own volition, there is some buy-in, so answering a few questions over time (usually in response to clicking a link for a download or white paper) is a natural response to their elevated engagement with your brand. Over time, this continued buy-in can convert to a sale.

5. Know Your Influencers. Identify the email subscribers who open every email they receive and purchase high volumes of your product. These people are probably high influencers, who forward your emails and talk about your product on social media. Don’t these people deserve a thank you?

They’re also useful in the ‘canary in a coal mine’ sense, as core users who speak first when you’ve made a bad marketing decision. Consider sending your core users surveys when you are considering making a change.

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