Following on from our last blog article looking at maximising customer data, in this article we will look at data capture and highlight how to populate your customer database.

Data capture is an important part of a businesses Online Marketing efforts. It forms an integral part of the mix when targeting new customers, its where many new customers journey begins with your business.

Love it or loathe it…

Data capture stokes debate amongst Marketing practitioners, they are either loved or loathed but timing is everything. Make them time sensitive, not obtrusive to your customers online experience and inkeeping with your businesses brand.

Target your customers more than ever before

Capturing data allows your business to target your customers specifically on their interests, behaviours and tailor email campaigns to what product or service of yours they are interested in. It also allows you to build loyalty, reward someone for being a ‘member’ of your list with exclusive deals, discounts plus whatever other offer you may come up with.


How to capture an email address?

There are a few basic methods to grow your businesses mailing list and capture your businesses data. 

Data capture bars

Data capture bars are simple to place on your businesses site, it requires a single snippet of HTML to be embedded in the page source.

There are 100s of data capture providers out there with the main one being Hellobar, which is free of charge. These can also be created within CRM packages (Salesforce, Zoho, Hubspot etc) to grow your data list and help your leads/sales. Within Hellobar, whatever CRM package plus whatever email campaign software you use you can monitor, manage and maintain your businesses mailing list accordingly with each one offering differing levels of detail.

A data capture bar feeds contacts straight in to your mailing list. Different pieces of software will be able to feed the data into different programmes, but the popular email software like Mailchimp, Zoho etc are available on most capture bar providers.

The bars in several forms – fixed bars (a static or moving bar that appears at the top of the page), pop ups (a sign-up forming appearing after a few seconds on-site often found in the centre of the page) or page takeovers (a sign-up form that appears after a few seconds taking over the full screen itself).

The most common method is a simple static bar at the top as this is not obstructing customers trying to navigate the website whereas pop-ups and takeovers appear after a certain amount of time and be deemed annoying by a website visitor.

Visually the pop-up and takeover creating more of a lasting impact, but users have a love-hate relationship with these whereas the simple static bar lacks the striking impact. However, it proves more successful as customers are happier, more trusting and comfortable with a simple less obtrusive method.

Landing pages

A landing page is a standalone web page created specifically for Marketing a certain product or service. Landing pages are specifically designed to generate interest and have a CTA (call to action on-site).

Incentivise your customers

You may have customer who visit in-store or follow you on Social Media, but you do not have their physical information to target them. Run competitions & offers in-store and on Social Media channels incentivising existing customers to sign up to your mailing list in exchange for a reward or discount.

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, checkout etc) ask customers to tick the box if they would like to sign up and opt in to your businesses mailing list.

Lastly & IMPORTANTLY, GDPR

The four letters everyone loves to hate. New regulations that came into play last year to look at how your business uses customer information. Ensure any method you use is GDPR friendly and any customer that signs up gives you their full consent. 

Email Marketing forms a crucial part of any businesses online marketing. A way to reach your existing customer database and win new business, it is one of the simpler forms of online marketing that many small businesses are missing out on.

Optimising your email campaign is the difference between your email being a resounding success winning business and being sent straight to the junk folder. 


Below are some of our top tips to help get your business started with its email campaigns:

Focus on the subject line. The subject line is the most important thing to consider, this is the first thing the recipient reads and is make or break for whether they open your email or chuck it straight in the junk folder. First things first it needs to be eye catching, test out your email subject lines and analyse which achieves the highest open/action rate.

Strive for inbox placement. A difficult one to measure, but not all email campaigns need to be actioned straight away, they just need to leave a lasting impression on readers. Just focus on the brand, the core product and services not super salesy jargon – you don’t want a reader to think it is spam and treat your email like junk.

Ensure the email is mobile optimized. Most email software will provide a mobile view of your email, ensure that it can be optimised for any device. Approximately 65% of emails are read on a smartphone/tablet (Marketing Land, 2017) so ensure your email looks the part on any device.

Personalise where possible. Use tags to deliver a personalised message to your customer, use their name, business name etc to give an email a more personal feel. People know emails are being sent to thousands at a time, but you don’t want to make them feel like another name of your mailing list. This encourages better engagement with readers!

Segment your email database. To go one step further and provide an even more personalised touch segment your database. Funnel down your customers and sort them by interests/industries etc into small niche mailing lists and send them a highly personalised email specific to their niche. For example, don’t just send your customers emails about workwear, filter the type of business and got a bit further.

Reduce text and optimize call to action. As much as Marketers hate it, people won’t spend a lot of time reading your email once opened – consumers decided within a split second if it is of interest or not. Be short, sharp & concise with any text to grab any attention. Focus on providing clickable calls to actions and leading them to enquire, order etc.

Make social sharing available. A simple but very over-looked one, ensure your email can be shared using Social Media buttons. Many email providers make this a simple click of the button. This helps grow the reach of any campaign you might send further than your customer database and reach potential new leads. Provide clear share buttons for your readers to engage with!