The lifeblood of your business is customer data. It needs to be fresh, relevant and up to date. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have a data capture strategy.
Here are 9 things you should consider:
1. Decide what data you need, and then make it easy for your customers to supply it. Making registration, sign up for content and offers, or sales forms easier to complete can make all the difference in the information people provide.
2. By capturing bits of data from multiple channels over time, you’ll spread the effort required by the customer, and increase the likelihood that you’ll reach customers who have different buying behaviours. For example, asking for just the postcode in one campaign, then a mobile number at a later date makes it simpler for the customer, while still providing the information you need.
3. It’s good practice to run automated address and postcode checks at sign up so that your contact information is accurate. This also makes it easier for the customer as with the right software they’ll just have to input their house number and postcode while the system completes the rest of the address. Postcode Anywhere is a software provider that can offer this service.
4. Have a simple de-duplication process. Make sure that you’re not creating multiple data records for the same person, or that you have alternative versions of the same record that contain different data, for example 2 mobile phone numbers so you never know which one is correct. Most CRM systems include ways to avoid duplication.
5. Everybody wants your customer’s data! So make sure you give your customers an irresistible reason to sign up to your services and give you their information. For example access to exclusive content or offers are popular incentives to form-filling.
6. Create an automated thank you email when they sign up and ask them to complete an online survey or engage with you further.
7. In the UK 18,000 people a day change address and 30% of people change an email address every year. Cleansing your data to remove inaccuracies will make your data more effective and enable you to target the right people at the right time with the right information.
8. Make sure a ‘sign up’ option is clearly and prominently displayed on your website – on the homepage ‘above the fold’ (the upper half of a web page), and on all of your most visited web pages. This will maximise the number of people that see it and hopefully fill it in!
9. Retain information from referral websites and browsing preferences so you understand your customer’s journey. If they responded to an advert, include keywords and message. This allows you to target the email content you send to them in future.