8 Ways to Leverage the Data You Collect From Your Fans

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Posted by Sara on 19 Aug 2015 / 0 Comment

Unless you’re a large brand that everyone has heard of, chances are you’re using social media to engage with and learn about your fans and potential customers.

Contests and promotions remain a fun way for followers to interact with their favorite brands. After all, who doesn’t love winning a contest? I can go buy myself a new t-shirt but if I win one (even if it has a brand’s logo on it) that makes it that much cooler!

However, contests and promotions are only powerful if you do something with the data you collect.

Yes, you should!

We also understand that sometimes it can be hard to see the bigger picture and know exactly what your next move is going to be.

That’s why today we want to provide you with 11 ways that you can leverage the data you collect from your fans.

#1. Run an Email Marketing Campaign

This is by far the most common and successful strategy we see. First off, our research has shown that 94.7% of brands use their promotion forms to collect an email address.

Another study done by McKinsey & Company found that email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers.

People are on social media to be social (duh!), and most people don’t want to be sold. However, most people are more than willing to provide their email address for a chance to win something.

It’s best to do a little research before diving into your marketing campaign. What marketers are sending, versus what consumers are consuming is a little off.  For example, according to Business2Community these are the top three uses of emails:

• Newsletters (66%)
• Promotional content (54%)
• Welcome series emails (42%)

However, these are the most effective emails:

• Mobile opt-ins (76%)
• Birthday emails (75%)
• Transactional emails (74%)

The takeaway — don’t rush the sale on social or via email. Use your promotion or contest to collect an email address (and maybe even some additional information, like a birth date) and craft a strategic email marketing campaign that will keep you in communication with your fans even when you’re not on social media.

#2: Keep the Conversation Going

One of the best examples we’ve seen of a company that kept the conversation going through the data they collected from a promotion was when loan servicer, Great Lakes, used a Facebook giveaway to help their customers learn more about student loan borrowing.

Great Lakes promotion featured a quiz with five questions relating to student loans. Fans were not required to take the quiz in order to enter the promotion, but the educational questions combined with the fact that everyone loves a quiz, attracted their entrants to participate. While Great Lakes grand prize was a $ 6,000 payment towards a student loan, they closely monitored their quiz answers and used that to craft their social media and email marketing messages to their followers. They were even able to provide resources to help address the questions they were seeing from their followers.

Hundreds of fans Liked, Commented and Shared the sweepstakes and were exposed to the additional resources and tips that Great Lakes was posting on their Timeline. Compared to a year before, the percentage of fans that had a direct conversation with Great Lakes on Facebook tripled.

Sometimes the most powerful data you can collect is knowledge. Getting creative with your promotions and contests can lead to invaluable conversations with your audience.

#3: Ask for Reviews/Feedback

Reviews and feedback can help draw more customers to your business, more eyes to your website and more money in your pocket.  With the number of review sites out there, most people understand the importance of a review and are more than willing to share their opinion.

If you’re one of the 94.7% of people who are collecting an email address from your followers, use one of your emails to ask your customers for some feedback or to review your brand/product. If you know you plan on eventually asking for reviews/feedback from your entrants, it may be worth it to add some additional form fields such as whether they’re an existing or new customer, how long they’ve been a customer, etc. This will help better analyze the feedback you receive.

If you’re asking for testimonials, make sure you ask for permission to feature the testimonial on your website/blog/social networks.

#4: Offer Something Exclusive

Even though email marketing is still a majorly successful communication tactic, people are still inundated with emails every day, and marketers still need to find a way to stand out in the crowd.

Exclusivity is a great way to not only incentivize your entrants but to also get a little more out of your fans than you previously would have.

Let’s say you’re a beauty salon and you run a promotion where you ask fans to provide their email address for a chance to win a beauty package, then you include a link that suggests they subscribe to your email list, which one sounds better?

• Subscribe to our email list!
• Subscribe to our email list and receive a free gift!

Obviously a free gift is much more enticing than simply subscribing. Exclusivity instills excitement for your product, and excitement for your product builds brand loyalty. Loyal fans means loyal customers!

#5: Offer a Discount

More than 93% of Americans use couponsThis means that those price-conscious shoppers are more likely to hit up your business if they’re offered a little discount of some sort.

Offering a coupon is pretty simple, it can be done directly on your campaign or it can be another email marketing strategy (are you seeing a trend here?!)

If you’re wondering what types of coupons swoon online shoppers, research has shown that deals that offer a specific dollar amount off of a purchase rank most favorably. On the other hand, free shipping is not appealing to consumers so try and come up with something a little more valuable.

#6: Educate

As marketers it’s hard to not think about the sale. Ultimately, every business’s goal is to get a sale! However, the path taken to get to a sale has vastly changed.

As I’ve previously mentioned, people on social don’t want to be sold and marketers are fighting to stand out in the social, email, and online crowds.

Sometimes, well most of the time, the most successful path you can take to the sale is an educational one.

Whichever data you collect from your fans; email address, location, favorite activities, life stories, etc., use that information to simply educate your fans further about your brand and industry.

Depending on your business, there’s a chance that your customers don’t need your product on a daily basis. This means that when it is time for them to need you, you want to be top of mind. This is where educational marketing really steps in. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field and continuing to educate your fans and followers without selling them will mean that once it’s time for them to need your product, they’ll think of you first.

Some of the most valuable ways to educate consumers is through infographics, eBooks, free resources and content marketing.

You can use any additional data that you collect from your fans to target your educational materials.

#7: Start a New Project

Crowdsourcing is another top way we see businesses using ShortStack.com. That’s because social media provides you with access to a larger audience than anywhere else in the world, so why not take advantage of that?

If you’ve been wanting to add some new products, a social marketing campaign can be the perfect place to start. Ask your fans what they’d like to see you start next, or if you’ve narrowed down a few ideas, have them vote on their favorite.

Don’t have plans or hopes of adding a new project? That’s okay, you should still be closely listening to your fans when you run promotions.  Their answers could spark an idea for a new product.

A while back we launched our campaign builder and while we were still in the feedback stage, we ran a promotion for some free plans and we asked fans to provide us some feedback about the campaign builder. It helped us shape the campaign builder into what it is today and even add some new features we learned our customers would love to see.

#8: Run Advertising

Data driven advertising is perhaps the most personal and successful form of advertising available to marketers. Your customers expect a tailored message delivered to them that peaks their interest and doesn’t waste their time.

As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of pressure on marketers to deliver a seamless and relevant experience to their customers.

Fortunately, social networks and online advertising outlets have made it convenient to target advertising as long as businesses are collecting the right data.

Our favorite way to target people is using Facebook ads. Facebook ads are cost effective and we believe the targeting options are the most accurate of any advertising option.  Using a marketing campaign and Facebook ads you can target via email address, interests, hobbies, job function, actions taken, website retargeting, and pretty much anything else you can think of.  So the next time you build your marketing campaign, consider which data you can collect to help you run some valuable ads.

If you’re ready to run your next campaign or promotion, write down your short and long term goals. Take some time to determine what type of follow-up marketing you can and should do and use that information to determine the data you will collect from your fans. Once that data is collected, don’t stop at an email or a sales pitch, nurture those leads and use them in a variety of ways to build a long-lasting list of potential and loyal customers.

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29 Ways to Collect Email Addresses for Your Business

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Looking for ways to grow your email list? There are a ton of ways to get people to sign up for your email marketing offers. I’ve put together a list for you to read, so you have heaps of options for growing your list.

  1. Include a link to your email sign up form in the main navigation bar of your website and/or blog. (Or better yet, include a sign up form in the main navigation bar).
  2. Create a “sign up” call to action on your Facebook business page.
  3. Create enticing visuals encouraging people to sign up for your list, and post them on various social media channels (especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn).
  4. Attend or exhibit at a trade show or networking event and bring an email sign up clipboard or book (or go high tech and bring an iPad or mobile device) with you. Ask each person you meet to sign up, or ask for permission to send an email. Do the same for any business cards you may receive.
  5. Include a link to your email sign up form in your personal email signature.
  6. Place a newsletter sign-up clipboard next to every register if you have a brick and mortar location. Have your employees mention the newsletter and emphasize the benefits (exclusive discounts, events, educational info, reminders, etc.)
  7. Join your local chamber of commerce, email the member list (if it’s opt-in) about your services, and include a link to sign up for your newsletter.
  8. Host your own event. Art galleries, software companies (one here has a party every quarter and invites the neighboring businesses), retail shops, consultants (lunch & learn) can all host an event and request attendees to sign up.
  9. Offer a birthday email club, and give something special to those who sign up.
  10. Incentivize your employees. Give them financial rewards for collecting valid email addresses.
  11. Give something away like samples, a tour, a consultation, a free how-to guide, infographic, how-to video, etc. Have people sign up for your email list to qualify.
  12. Get referrals. Ask your customers to refer you and your email list, and in exchange, give them a discount.
  13. Use Pinterest! Here’s a step-by-step guide to building your email list with Pinterest.
  14. Make and upload videos to YouTube, then include a link at the end of every video directing people to your online sign up form.
  15. Post your sign-up form page on LinkedIn and sponsor it.
  16. Send a postcard. Have a list of postal addresses without emails? Send a direct mail offer that can be redeemed when the recipient signs up for your email list.
  17. Include a link to the email sign up form in your Twitter business profile description. Here’s how to edit your Twitter profile.
  18. Use a Popup (the good kind). When someone attempts to leave your site, display a popup window and ask for the email address. Use a tool like Popup Domination, which uses technology to determine when someone’s about to leave your site.
  19. Include a forward-to-a-friend link in all your emails.
  20. Use a hosted sign up form landing page.
  21. Create a tab on your business Facebook page and include an email sign up form.
  22. Offer “Email only” discounts and mention them on your sign up form page and on social. Don’t use those offers anywhere but email.
  23. Ask people over the phone. If people call your business for whatever reason, don’t hang up until you’ve asked if you can add them to your newsletter.
  24. Put a fishbowl on your counter, ask for business cards and permission to sign up for your email list, then do a weekly prize giveaway of your product and announce it in your newsletter.
  25. Post a photo of an item or an offer to giveaway on Instagram. Then, include a link in your Instagram bio asking people to sign up to participate in the giveaway.
  26. Include a call to action, a link and/or a sign up form at the end of every blog post you write.
  27. Add a link or sign up form in the footer, and/or side bar of your website.
  28. Create a Twitter lead generation card to advertise and gain sign ups for your email newsletter.
  29. Include a link or sign up form on your company’s “about us” page.

Bonus: Optimize your site for appropriate SEO keywords, and ensure your business is on appropriate online listings. You want to appear at the top of (natural) search results when people are looking for your products or services. This will help get your business and your email sign up form found.

Have any additional ideas?  Let’s hear them in the comments below.

Need more ideas for your next email? Check out our list 50 email ideas.

Send effective emails today using VerticalResponse – It’s free up to 1,000 email contacts.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in September 2009 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and relevance.

© 2015, VerticalResponse Blog. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

The post 29 Ways to Collect Email Addresses for Your Business appeared first on VerticalResponse Blog.


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