In this day and age where everyone is concerned about their privacy on the web, marketeers are dealing with problems to connect with their (loyal) customers. Not everyone likes to share their personal info on the Internet, even though marketeers need specific info from individuals to know about their habits and to build a personalised relationship. So how do you get to know your customers without invading their privacy?
With the introduction of social media, customers are already up to date about the whereabouts of their favourite companies by following them on Facebook, Twitter and more. Discount at de Bijenkorf? You will know it by seeing it by updates on their Facebook page. Latest news? Not a problem by following the New York Times on Twitter.
It is almost impossible to imagine how to keep updated about these companies before social media. But it was possible actually, by newsletters. The good ol’ newsletter is seen by many as outdated and unnecessary because people already get their info consumption through social media. This means marketeers are stumbling their head against the wall what to do with the newsletter.
The answer lies not by abandoning the newsletter and give full focus on social media, but to improve it. Consumers are smarter than anticipated and as a marketeer, you have to move with your consumers in order to understand them.
Take the Bonuskaart from Albert Heijn for example. The card gives customers at the Albert Heijn discounts at the supermarket and the new version of it enables to give customers individual discounts. This is possible because the Bonuskaart will register what products you regularly buy and give discounts to similar products to you in the future.
The launch of new the Bonuskaart sparked criticism, because people saw this as another invasion of their privacy. Albert Heijn responded to the criticism by opting out all customers by default for individual discounts, but personalised discounts would be available if the customer would register through the website of Albert Heijn. And now comes the tricky part.
Consumers generally do not like to register, because like said before: personal information is involved, which is something people just do not like to share on the Internet. Also, it takes time. Liking a page on Facebook is a matter of a second, whereas filling in a form is more cumbersome and more time consuming.
However, there is a big plus for consumers: the special individual discounts, so there is some benefit to register. Wufoo is a wonderful online tool to make online forms quick and easy. Because said before that you should not tire your customer with endless questions to answer, keep it simple and not to personal. This is quick to fill in and customers do not have to think too long about this.
Wufoo offers brilliant tools next to the form as well. When someone registers, the entries for the form can be seen on Wufoo only for you. What is interesting to know regardless of the fact what your entry says where he or she comes from, the IP Address can also been seen. The IP Address is based on location and is comparable to country codes from telephone numbers. These cannot be faked and also gives you some idea where most of your customers come from.
Now that you know your customers’ email address, it is time to send some information.
MailChimp offers quick and easy ways to construct your own newsletter that are visually appealing for your customers. As you can see below, MailChimp offers a lot of tools to make a newsletter easily. Even better is the possibility to make a mobile version of the newsletter next to the desktop version. MailChimp does it automatically even and you can edit it.
One tip when making a newsletter is to assume your customer already is aware of a lot of things. Do not share again what was already published on social media, because otherwise, the newsletter would be too long and therefore too unattractive to read. Customers are smart, so respond smart. In the Albert Heijn’s case, only give the personalised individual discounts. The regular discounts are already known by mail, visiting the supermarket, the website and social media.
There you have it: you successfully know your customer better and made a wonderful newsletter. Do not forget:
- Make the form quick and easy to fill in, because most people assume it is time consuming.
- Keep in mind what you are offering is a nice gesture towards your customers, not something that is compulsory.
- Be honest what you do with the data. Do not surprise your customers with something they will not like or condone.
- Respect everyone’s privacy and do not overdo it. Keep it subtle.
- Customers like things free and do not like to share payment details, because it will it them in their pocket. For online shopping, offer a safe platform to keep data protected against theft.