Knowledge is power, and that’s truer today in the Information Age than ever before. The more you know about your leads, the better you’re able to serve their needs, find more like them, and grow your organization. Data gathering starts long before a lead makes a buying decision and becomes a customer, but not every company takes full advantage of the data collection opportunities presented to them. With these data collection channels, you get more than just information about individual leads; you also gain insight into your customer base as a whole.
Like “dem bones” in the song, every piece of data you collect is connected to other data. Postal addresses connect to email, email connects to demographic information, demographics connect to audience insights, and so on in an interrelated web of data. With data enhancement, you start with a single piece of lead data and discover the rest through data append processes. Let’s say you ask leads for a name and an email address on a newsletter subscription; the information you gather becomes the basis of your house list. These pieces of information on your business email list can then be linked to corresponding data via a larger database that contains extensive records, giving you demographic data, firmographic information, and more.
Your leads also recognize that information is a kind of currency. With gated content, they pay a small admission fee in the form of their contact information to gain access to content they consider valuable. With outstanding content, you can charge a higher price of admission by asking for more data from your leads. White papers, case studies, and in-depth reports with a strong focus on your leads’ areas of concern draw significant attention, so gated content works particularly well when combined with clearly defined, granular segmentation.
Sometimes the flood of information leads receive from various sources can be overwhelming. Preference pages hand control back to your prospects and give them a chance to tell you what they’re most interested in learning about. That’s good news not only for your prospects, who now have more say over their communications, but also for you as you get an opportunity to learn more about your leads.
Like preference pages, surveys and questionnaires give your customers a chance to have their opinions heard. While the substance of a survey is useful to you, it isn’t the only part that’s important; you also get vital data just from the information you ask for at the beginning or end of the survey. Because customers know that a customer service questionnaire or product satisfaction survey will ask for multiple lines of information, they’re often more forthcoming with optional contact information they might otherwise skip on forms such as phone numbers and email addresses. Once you have this data, you can then use it as the starting point for data append services to learn even more.
Letting people start their information-gathering and buying processes online first is a strong contributor to sales, and it also gives you plenty of reasons and opportunities to collect data and start an account file for promising leads. When your website lets visitors pre-select and customize their potential purchases, they’re already taking a form of ownership over the product or service you’re offering. Ask to save their input and attach it to an email address, and you’re ready to give them more streamlined service while gathering their data.
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