3 Offline Opportunities to Collect More Data

April 8, 2014
By Tom Burke

collect more data dunkin donutsI’ve written before about maximizing opportunities on your website to collect more data. But when it comes to collecting data, email marketers mustn’t forget that offline opportunities are just as worthwhile. After all, brick-and-mortar stores managed to learn valuable personal details about their customers long before the online boom.

Here are three offline opportunities for data collection we can borrow from them.

Opportunity 1: Ask at the Point-of-Sale

In a recent blog, MediaPost writer Tyler Loechner described an experience at an airport Dunkin Donuts in which he bought a bagel while waiting for a flight. When Loechner was handed the receipt, the cashier pointed out a survey at the bottom. Complete the survey, the cashier said, to receive a free donut. Loechner filled out the survey, handed it back to the cashier and happily returned to his terminal with a free maple donut.  

This was clearly a successful transaction for everyone involved. However, as Loechner savvily points out, “In the end, the donut was not free; I willingly paid for it with my data.”

Dunkin Donuts got many things right with this point-of-sale experience:

  • The company recognized the opportunity to interact with the customer when he is happiest: at the moment of purchase.  
  • It offered something of value in return for the data.
  • It made it extremely easy to obtain that value.

Dunkin Donuts did the incredible here, with just a small gesture. The result was that the company was able to get the information it wanted from the customer while also creating a positive experience.

How can you shake things up at your point-of-sale to collect more data in a positive way? Can you offer something of value that encourages the customer to feel good about sharing his data with you?

Opportunity 2: Leverage Untapped Data

As Big Data continues to explode, several new solutions are emerging that allow you to tap into data sources that you hadn’t previously been leveraging. For example, Tranzlogic analyzes the data that is created during credit card transactions to extract important demographic, economic and even psychographic information about your customers.  

The beautiful thing with these services is that you can access data you’re already generating – just not using, says Charles Hogan, Tranzlogic founder and CEO. By accessing and analyzing this data, you can gain insights that will help you improve your understanding of top customers, including zip codes, income levels and general spending habits. The data reflects the activity of your actual customers and, therefore, holds tremendous value. And it’s aggregated and not personally identifiable, which means there are no privacy issues. 

Understanding this data can lead to profound insights. You’ll be better positioned to develop new, hyper-targeted campaigns that grow your best customer segments. You’ll also be able to track the impacts these campaigns have on sales, so you can continually improve your strategies. 

Are there other areas of your business that generate data you aren’t currently using? How can you access these sources to round out what you know about your customers?

Opportunity 3: Blend Online and Offline through Email Intelligence 

Sometimes, if you want to learn more about the names on your customer list, the best place to start is with the list itself.

Services like TowerData’s Email Append allow you to grow an email list by as much as 25% by matching email addresses to postal addresses you already have, enabling you to reach offline customers online. Email Intelligence services can fill in other informational gaps in your list, by providing data on your subscribers such as age, gender, income and home owner status. This data can be leveraged to build customer segments and create personalized messages that drive greater response.

Is there an opportunity for you to learn more about the email or postal addresses already on your list? See how many of your records can be updated and enhanced with a free Email Intelligence test today!

TowerData's Email Intelligence ServicesPhoto Credit: Random Retail