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How to date your data (the right way) this Valentine’s

It’s not just retailers who get all the luck on Valentine’s Day, there’s a wealth of opportunity to be had for those without ‘the perfect present’ available. In this blog, I’ll look at 3 simple ways you can maximise your data collection efforts, by going on a date with your data.

1. Get to know each other
Data. It’s a “˜big’ topic. There’s a lot of it out there too; in 2012 there was recorded to be 2.75 zettabytes of data floating around in the digital hemisphere. But when your resources are diminished, gaining a bigger portion of that data pie can be a real challenge. The key is to start small and go back to the data’s roots: the customer. After all it’s about them, you’re doing it for them so it’s important you get to know each individual customer first before we attempt to build our data monopolies.

Where you might already hold a lot of data, are there any gaps in your knowledge about your customers? Your data needs will depend very much on your offering but it’s important to identify what information you can easily obtain and use. That’s the key here. Before you go on a mass data collection campaign, decide what you need and more importantly what you can use to make your communications more targeted before you ask for it. Ask yourself, “˜do I have the resources to collect, interpret and implement all this new information, and can I use it?’.

2. Give a gift
Incentivising data collection requests can be a great way of encouraging people to submit. However there are some caveats to consider before you embark on a mass Valentine’s Day giveaway:

  • Does the shoe fit?
    Think about who you’re trying to communicate with. Are they avid fans of your brand or are they people you’re trying to entice? Either way the offer needs to be geared toward them. If you’re clever about it you might want to consider segmenting your data and basing the promotions depending on where the contact is in the buying process. For example, people who haven’t bought from you before might need a bigger incentive to get them started than people who know the value they’ll get from your offering.
  • Is it useful?
    Giving the wrong thing to the wrong person could be catastrophic, they may not come back and they may discourage others from engaging with your brand. The same principle applies from the above point here too; you need to understand who it is that you’re giving to. Then you will have a better idea of what will be of value. For example, a publisher might give existing readers a free 1 month subscription to a similar publication they’re already reading, but for those people only receiving publication newsletters, they may need a slightly bigger incentive, like a 3 month free subscription.
  • What if you’re not sure?
    The above suggestions rely on knowing a little about your data already. However that doesn’t always mean you’ll hit the jackpot with your first incentive. So test them. You could try a different offer, different content, altering the placement of the incentive in the email, the subject line, anything really until you establish the best fit for your data.

3. Thank them for a great time
A thank you goes a long way and especially via email as it can often come across as a lot more human than your generic newsletter. Once people have submitted their details, send them a thank you email telling them how you intend to use it, i.e. to improve their customer experience. You could even use this opportunity to present them with another gift and really leave them feeling special.