Expert advice on the business of running a garment decoration company

Following on from last month’s look at email campaign software, this time I’ll look at how to populate those lists and capture new customers‘ data. Capturing data allows you to target your customers specifically on their interests and behaviours, and to tailor email campaigns to what product or service of yours they are interested in. It also allows you to build loyalty by rewarding someone for being a ‘member’ of your list with exclusive deals and discounts. Data capture stokes debate amongst marketing practitioners – it is either loved or loathed – but timing is everything. Make it time-sensitive, not obtrusive to your customer‘s online experience and in keeping with your business‘s brand.

How to capture an email address

There are a few basic methods to grow your business‘s mailing list and capture data.

Data capture bars

A data capture bar feeds contacts straight into your mailing list and is simple to place on your business‘s website – it requires a single snippet of HTML to be embedded in the page source. There are hundreds of data capture providers out there with the main one being Hello Bar, which is free of charge. They can also be created within CRM packages (Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot, etc) to grow your data list and help your leads/sales. Within Hello Bar, you can monitor, manage and maintain your business‘s mailing list whatever CRM package and email campaign software you use.

The bars come in several forms: fixed bars, which are static, or moving bars that appear at the top of the page; pop-ups, which are small sign-up forms that pop up, often in the centre of the page, after a user has been viewing the site for a few seconds; and page takeovers, which are sign-up forms that appear after a few seconds and take over the full screen. The most common method is a simple static bar at the top as this doesn‘t obstruct customers trying to navigate the website, whereas pop-ups and takeovers appear after a certain amount of time and can irritate website visitors. Visually the pop-up and takeover create more of a lasting impact, but users have a love-hate relationship with these, whereas the simple static bar, while lacking the striking impact, often proves more successful as customers are happier, more trusting and comfortable with this simple, less intrusive method.

Landing pages

These are standalone web pages created specifically for marketing a certain product or service. Landing pages are designed to generate interest and include a CTA (call to action), allowing data to be captured.

On-site architecture

You can build opt-in options into your business’s website seamlessly. Wherever you capture any customer information on-site (contact us forms, checkouts, etc) ask customers to tick the box if they would like to sign up and opt in to your business‘s mailing list.

Incentivise your customers

Run competitions and offers in-store and on social media channels that incentivise existing customers to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for a reward or discount.

Remember to ensure that any method you use is GDPR- friendly and that any customer who signs up gives you their full consent for marketing.

Andrew Langridge is from eTrader, one of the industry’s leading suppliers of websites to garment decorators across the UK.