Subscriber Data

Tips on Asking for Subscriber Data and Building Trust

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Getting new subscribers onto your email list can be a challenge. Brands need to be trustworthy, engaging and relevant to motivate people to fill out a subscriber opt-in form. Plus, with how effective it is to send segmented emails, collecting a few more details upfront during sign-up is an efficient way to build out those segments.

There are two main rules to keep in mind when creating your subscriber opt-in form:

  1. Keep it short
  2. Only ask for details you actually need

Outside of that, there is so much room to be creative and come up with strategic ways you can build your list.

We’ve chatted before about using social media to your list-growing advantage, and there were also a few brands who used Instagram to drive last minute sign-ups before Black Friday. But what about the information you’re actually collecting? How do you decide what to ask people to provide?

Think About Your Personalization Strategy

Every move marketers make ultimately levels up to support a larger goal. So, what do you need to learn about your audience members to make that happen?

This is where personalization comes in. Personalization isn’t just putting a name in a subject line. It’s sending a personally relevant greeting because you know from insights that it’s meaningful to that person.

Just don’t go overboard. We marketers love data, and consumers love their privacy. Be mindful when striking a balance between basic facts (first name) and flat-out nosiness (home address/phone number).

We’ve all been on the receiving end of a form that required a little more data than it really needs. For instance, I once was served a subscriber opt-in form that required my home address and phone number, yet there was no clear-cut reason why they needed either. It wasn’t for a product or service, purely email. Suffice it to say, I lied on those fields because I still wanted the emails. And that brand now has inaccurate data on me.

Etiquette Around Required Fields

Obviously, if someone wants to sign-up for emails, they need to fork over their email address. Make additional fields optional. This is a brand’s first opportunity to start building trust with potential subscribers before they sign-up.

Keeping extra fields optional makes it more of an invitation to share personal details, as opposed to a demand. You’re just looking to get to know this new person at face-level. What’s their name? Do they have a birthday coming up? Only ask for what you’ll need based on your personalization strategy.

Besides, if people don’t want to share their data, they won’t. They can easily fill in required fields with false information, at which point you’re collecting null data.

Lastly, if your company doesn’t sell consumer data, that’s a great trust-builder to call out and can help motivate subscribers to share more granular details.

Data Fields to Consider

These will vary depending on your brand and personalization tactics, but here are a few of the most common ones we see that don’t cross the line but are still useful for email marketing.

  • First name – keeping it to a first name shows that you’re not trying to collect everything you possibly can on subscribers, and therefore builds trust.
  • Birthday (or astrological sign) – who doesn’t love getting a birthday greeting or discount from their favorite brand? You can even keep this to just the month and day, since a full date of birth can be a personally identifying detail in some cases.
  • Country/region – this data will be helpful for optimizing send times for certain regions, or being able to send a culturally-relevant message.
  • Self-segmenting preferences – if your brand has a ton of content that subscribers can choose from, let them select what they want to see from you and how often they want to see it.

Again, the layout of your subscriber opt-in form is going to come down to what makes the most sense for your brand, and how you want to tackle personalization.

When You Seal the Deal

As subscribers are swayed to join your list, remember to send them a perfectly polished welcome email. A lot can ride on a welcome email (whether or not they decide to stay signed up, for instance), so run it through Campaign Precheck to QA the content, test for deliverability, and preview the final result before you send.

If you don’t QA, test and preview your email in
Campaign Precheck, are you really sending an email?

We always recommend testing every email every time. But why stop there when you can make so many other strategic and tactical enhancements? Things like accessible code, perfect inbox display, fast-loading images all play a critical role in an email’s ROI. Campaign Precheck is end-to-end email QA, testing AND previews in one seamless workflow. Optimize content and your code, test for deliverability and preview how it will look for subscribers to save time and improve performance. Sign up for a free trial and start sending better email.

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Author: Melissa Berdine

Serendipity steered Melissa into email marketing in 2017, and she's been hooked ever since. Creating emails for luxury hotels, sustainable foods, Netflix series, CBD brands, and more, she can be found with no less than four beverages on her desk, and her dog snoozing beside her. In her free time, Melissa likes to re-watch '90s sitcoms.

Author: Melissa Berdine

Serendipity steered Melissa into email marketing in 2017, and she's been hooked ever since. Creating emails for luxury hotels, sustainable foods, Netflix series, CBD brands, and more, she can be found with no less than four beverages on her desk, and her dog snoozing beside her. In her free time, Melissa likes to re-watch '90s sitcoms.

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