The most valuable thing you can receive from your prospects during their buyer journey is data. This is the golden ticket that will allow you to communicate with potential customers, build trusting relationships and nurture them through your funnel. Whether it’s opting prospects into personalised email communications, tracking their user journey on your website so you can send relevant special offers, implementing Google retargeting, or identifying your sales-ready leads to ensure you close a deal; collecting data gives you permission to engage your customers in a way that will create valuable brand-customer relationships.
Of course, capturing data and opting every prospect into one email campaign will not give you the results you desire. We’ve all experienced trusting a company with our details and then felt taken advantage of when we receive an overload of hard sell emails that are in no way relevant to our needs. Misusing your prospect’s trust will only leave you considered as spam. It is important to nurture your prospects by only sending communications that are relevant to them. This can be achieved through a clear communication strategy.
Being a valuable source of information will help you gain your prospect’s trust even further. Prospects will be more willing to provide data and engage with you if your business is a reliable source of the most up to date information. Creating and implementing a consistent and quality content strategy is more likely to generate sales and create loyal customers that are brand advocates.
Top Tip: Always give readers the option to ‘opt out’. Most will only delete an email they have no interest in, however, those who do opt out are benefiting you by cleaning your database of uninterested prospects.
So how do you approach data collection and capture valuable data that you can leverage in your communication strategy?
Decide what data you need
First, you must identify which data will best help you meet your objectives. The last thing you need is to exhaust your efforts collecting phone numbers when you never intend to send an SMS. Consider the key information necessary to know what your customers need so you can send relevant information at the right time, using the most effective channel.
Incentivise your prospects to fill on-site forms
Incentivising your website forms doesn’t need to be costly. Content is a perfect incentive that encourages prospects to provide their details. For example, gating a white paper or video with a form is a fair exchange of value. You can also provide access to exclusive offers or discounts in exchange for data.
Inviting your prospects to join your email list can be highly effective. Not only are you capturing data, you are being granted permission to send newsletter communications to prospects who have a high level of interest in your business . Ensure that you have a prominent call-to-action on your website homepage that is easy for prospects to populate.
Similarly, you can collect data through competition entries. ‘Enter and share’ style competition entries will encourage social shares to increase awareness of your competition and thus, expand your reach.Use multiple touch points to build dataCapturing bits of data from multiple touch points minimises the effort required by your customer and increases your prospect reach. For example, pre-populate the email address field and ask for a postcode at one touch point, then a mobile number at another.
Top Tip: Avoid free text fields where possible to minimise effort required by prospects and increase your chances of capturing data. Try using tick boxes or a drop down boxes.
Your LinkedIn Network
Social networking platforms are great tools for capturing data. Not only can you post updates linking to specific web pages and track social behaviour with marketing automation, you can also export your LinkedIn contacts and add them to your database.
Export your LinkedIn contacts to an excel file with the following steps on LinkedIn:
Connections > Settings > ‘export LinkedIn connections’ > export
This will provide you with a .cvs file, which you can then import into a workable Excel file
Consider paying for data
A data supplier can provide you with data at a cost. For example, you can purchase a list of qualified prospects that meet your criteria such as location, industry and job title.
For assistance with your data collection please contact us.