Get to know your customers better

Email marketing tips to help you get to know your customers better

What turns them on? What makes them tick? What music do they like? What clothes do they wear?

There are two sets of people who think these sorts of questions on a regular basis: the first are experienced and enthusiastic blind daters, and the second are email marketers.

Naturally, the better you know the people you’re emailing, the easier it becomes for you to create something which connects with them, but how can you get to know your customers and email recipients better without booking a table for two and making small talk?

Email sign-up forms

The first point of contact is when they actually sign up to receive your emails. You’ll already be asking for the most basic info – name and email address – but is there more personal data you could be collecting without overstepping the mark? Absolutely.

When a new user enters their email address for the first time, you could send them an email asking them to confirm that address. This could then direct them to a longer sign up form asking them to officially confirm the address, their gender and, for retailers and businesses with several branches especially, your nearest branch to them.

You needn’t stop there, though. House of Fraser, as highlighted by Econsultancy, gives customers the chance to provide more information on the type of emails they wish to receive in order to tailor their own email experience. A form says: “Please send me the latest on…” and then provides options for which the customer can tick, including “Women’s fashion & accessories” and “TV, audio & technology”.

Another popular piece of info to collect is the user’s date of birth. A ‘Happy birthday!’ email with a special discount code or free bottle of wine is likely to clinch you a sale that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

Surveys in your emails

If there are a number of contacts on your email list about whom you feel you don’t have enough customer data, you might want to consider adding a survey to one of your emails. Build a landing page to link to, but make sure you have an enticing call to action (CTA) in order to get them there – the chance to win something, for example.

The questions you ask could be about your existing products or services to find ways to improve them, but in order to submit the survey a user must fill out more customer data. Again, if there is a good enough CTA, this shouldn’t be asking too much.

Open and click-through times

There’s some customer data that you’ll have already collected, perhaps without even realising. Of course, you’ll already be looking at your open and click-through rates in order to measure the success of your email campaigns, but have you ever considered taking a closer look at the individual times that each recipient opened and clicked?

It’s a heavy task, but the discoveries you could make may have a big impact on the way you email in the future. It relies on consistent A/B testing of send times; if you can see that some people open the email at 10am consistently whereas others tended to open the emails you sent at 3pm more often, this data allows you to segment your lists based on the best send time for each person.

Experiment with different times to find when they’re online, and when they’re likely to be in a shopping mood, which leads us nicely to:

Abandoned baskets and purchase history

Again, are you really making the most of the customer data you already have access to? If a customer has gone through the process of adding an item on your website to their ‘basket’, what can you take from it? Well, you know that they have an interest in that product, whether it was for them or intended as a gift. This means you can send them a reminder email to jog their memory of the abandoned basket, whilst also suggesting other similar items that person might be interested in.

If you can get them to make their first purchase, or just get them to make another purchase, then you’ve also got their existing purchase history to draw from. Say the customer had previously purchased an item of clothing by a certain designer and you’ve just started stocking their new range – let the customer know you’re thinking of them and drop them an email informing them.

Customer data is what turns your email marketing from a nervous blind date into a steady relationship. The more you get to know your customers, the better the relationship becomes.

Get our guide to Customer Insight to learn more