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You probably know that the bigger your audience, the more chances you have to convert subscribers into customers. But how do you get those subscribers in the first place? How do you gather usable, engaged, opted-in data from people interested in your brand?

Let me tell you a story that will show you the role of context and offer in data collection. This will help you engage the right audience at the right time, and increase the reach of communications.

Last month I was shopping in H&M Oxford Street. I was about to purchase my items when a sign in the till area caught my attention. It contained the words ‘today’ and ‘25% off’. Before I knew it, I got my phone from my pocket, typed my email address into a text, hit send and instantly received a 25% off code for one item of my shopping.

Data collection SMS

It was as simple as that. An SMS containing my email address was all it took to sign up to receive marketing communications via text and email.

Why did this strategy work?

Although I’m not one to use buzzwords, it’s all about understanding the customer journey. Identify at which point in their path to purchase the customer is most likely to be engaged with your brand. In my case, it was moments away from purchasing. Because I was already happy with the brand and its products, I was happy to subscribe and find out more.

The moments your customers are most engaged will vary depending on your type of business, but right after or before a purchase or donation is a good point to start collecting data.

But it’s not just about the correct timing

Make sure you:

Find the optimum combination of effortless and irresistible

Whether you’re in a B2C or B2B role, take these steps to encourage both customers and prospects to share their data and strengthen their relationship with you:

Use these tips narrow down the optimum moments to introduce data collection, and test! Then use the results as a way to plan further communications and data collection strategies

For practical advice on creating forms, read our blog post ‘Grow your email list with top tips for creating converting signup forms’.