Just think what you could do if the amount of information you have on your friends is replicated in the data you have on the subscribers to your email marketing list. Those who are close to you might have told you their likes, but you gained most of the information watching them.
The details we have on our subscribers can be classified under two general headings; first person data and third person data. The latter can be called, and more correctly, behavioural information. We monitor what the person does and draw modifiable conclusions from it.
The norm is that we will gain behavioural information passively. Each email marketing campaign returns information on a subscriber that refines the data we already have. However, there are ways of speeding up the process.
If you are struggling to decide on what to buy a friend for their birthday, you could ask them directly what they want. Email marketing procedures can mirror this with online forms. They will probably have completed a basic one when they signed up – basic first person data – but we want to go deeper.
Ask subscribers their preferences. Unless absolutely necessary, do not ask open questions. Tick boxes are the most efficient option, and the one most likely to get a response. This still leaves the decision-making up to them and, remarkably, many get the answers wrong.
To discover if a friend is interested in a particular subject you could bring up the matter casually and then see if they take the bait. If they change the subject you have a clue. If they enthusiastically discuss it, you’ve got an idea for that birthday present.
It is the same for email marketing. Have click-throughs on a website, e-newsletter or marketing email. The classic one is Specifications. This will show that they are interested in the product and want to see if it will fit/goes fast enough/comes in the right colour.
If you want to know if a person favours price over quality then direct an email marketing campaign with two items: one pricier, the other of premium quality. When they click on one, your have some idea of their preferences.
In an email marketing campaign for holidays you could have a landing page that promises to give inside information on a general destination. On the page have click-throughs on images to further information. Have pictures of beaches, trips, museums, adventure attractions and views. When they click, they’ll give firm pointers of what they are after.
Beware the virtual tyre-kicker. Keen cyclists know a great deal about high-end derailleurs, but few are willing to pay a fortune for a few ounces of weight-savings. Don’t feed the ‘if only’ desire in all of us.
Much of what you know of your friends you picked up from their actions. It is almost subliminal. The way for you to discover what interests subscribers to your email marketing list is to give them opportunities to tell you. A simple click-through is a free choice of theirs so gives the accuracy we need in order to target.