Contact details are critical to the success of any marketing campaign. However, not all leads are created equally. Suffice it to say, the best contact details will direct your marketing team to clients who are legitimately interested in your products and services.
What is your team doing to develop new warm and hot leads? In this post, we’re going to explore a few strategies for capturing data from potential customers—data that can then be reworked into your marketing campaigns.
Before we get into a few tips and tricks for capturing contact information, let’s begin by considering precisely what type of data is worth capturing in the first place.
- Telephone numbers
- E-mail addresses
- Social media contacts
- Physical addresses
Any of the above can be used to reach out to potential customers. However, some forms of contact (particularly e-mail addresses and social media profiles) are easier to gain access to than others.
For the remainder of this post, we’ll explore a few strategies your company can leverage to capture more customer data:
Offer a free download
The Internet has created a more dynamic field when it comes to free giveaways. The range of items that you can offer potential customers is not strictly limited to physical products, as soft giveaways are also an option now.
The beauty of a free download is that it, at minimum, requires the person requesting the download to supply an e-mail address. While it would technically be possible to download the prize directly from the site, most people are comfortable supplying basic contact info so that they can receive a download link via e-mail.
As far as the types of prizes that can be delivered via e-mail, this will depend to some extent upon the types of services or products that you offer. Here are a few general ideas:
- Free report relating to your industry
- E-book that relates to your field
- E-course delivered in instalments
- Webinar featuring a guest speaker in your industry
- Podcast related to your service or field
- Suite of online tools or software created by your team
While the above are fairly vague, the idea here is to determine what it is, exactly, that your company has to offer. For example, a company selling roasted coffee beans is presumably an expert in all things coffee. They might release a ‘Coffees of the World’ e-book, which diehard drinkers would take a legitimate interest in. For this the company, the types of people who would like to download a book like this to begin with are precisely the types of customers worth having contact details for.
Set up a loyalty programme
Loyalty programmes are valuable to everyone involved. The customer receives special bonuses or discounts for returning to the company to make multiple purchases. At the same time, the company is able to strengthen and solidify ties with its clients.
There is plenty of research out there indicating that existing customers are worth much more to a business than a new ones. Likewise, the cost of retaining an existing customer is significantly less than that of converting a new one.
With that in mind, an effective loyalty programme is something that your company should probably consider doing already. However, make sure that you design the programme in such a way that customers are obligated to provide you some level of contact information. Simply handing out a punch card that rewards 10 free purchases with a free one is effective at encouraging loyalty, but it doesn’t help you capture any contact info.
When setting up an offer like this, it’s reasonable to require customers to provide a phone number, e-mail address and other basic contact info. You are, after all, offering them something of value in return (i.e. an ongoing discount or the possibility to earn free prizes). Many people will be comfortable providing this information if they feel that the loyalty programme’s value is sufficient.
Offer a newsletter subscription
Most newsletters these days are sent out electronically—usually via e-mail. When clients and customers sign up, they are giving you implicit permission to contact them with an e-mail from time to time.
However, if you are going to send out a newsletter, it is critical that you take time to consider exactly why anyone would care to read it in the first place. If it contains little more than information about the goings-on in the company—who’s coming on board, who’s leaving, etc.—then the readership is going to be fairly limited.
That’s why it’s important to invest significantly in the content of your newsletter. You’ll need someone whose responsibility it is to create content and find angles on stories that are going to be of legitimate interest to a reasonably sized subset of the public. These may be b2b colleagues and clients who share some industry interests with you.
If you’re angling for a more general swathe of the public, then you’ll have to work even harder to ensure you’re newsletter is worth reading. You may consider using it as a component of a loyalty programme, in which case it may contain information about upcoming promotions or events sponsored by the company. It could provide interest information or insight into the company’s products and services. It may also include feature stories about issues that your company could rightly be considered an expert in.
Create an App
This is something of a different approach on capturing contact details. Rather than securing direct access to phone numbers or emails, you’re giving current and prospective customers a tool for their mobile device that helps ensure your company information comes up in front of them from time to time.
Likewise, some apps may also ask for permission to view your contact information. If the user grants permission, the app can relay their phone number, e-mail and other contact details back to you. Your app could make it more convenient to find the nearest shop, place an order or enquire about timetables and prices. It could also add value by performing a function that complements your product. For example, a to-do list app from a company that offers personal assistant services makes sense.
In many of the above strategies, it is not strictly necessary for the customer to provide a phone number in order to receive the benefit. However, it is still worth leaving a field where they can enter their number. This allows you to secure as much information as they are willing to give you. And above all, remember that contact details are only worth as much as the marketing team that reaches out to them. If you require assistance turning contact details into sales, contact Message Direct to learn more about our outbound marketing services.