How to Use Data Driven Marketing to Encourage Website Registration - dummies

How to Use Data Driven Marketing to Encourage Website Registration

By David Semmelroth

Data driven marketing can drive customers to register on your website. If a customer is browsing your website, that’s a good indication that they’re interested, at some level, in your products. This is classic shopping behavior. The problem is that much of this shopping is done anonymously. You can’t follow up with these customers if you don’t know who they are.

One solution to this problem is to get them to register on your site. If they’re logged into your website while they’re shopping, then you know who they are and what they’re looking at.

But even if they don’t log in every time they shop on your site, you may still be able to recognize them. websites leave cookies on each user’s computer. Cookies are small files that are used to keep track of user profile information.

You can drop a cookie on a user’s machine when they initially register on your site. Then when they come back to your site, even if they don’t log in, you can recognize them by the information in the cookie (assuming, of course, that the user hasn’t deleted the cookie).

A significant number of users do delete cookies. Estimates run as high as 40 percent. These estimates are a little murky, though, due to some nuances related to cookies.

Offer content

Newsletters are a vehicle for collecting e-mail addresses. You can publish your newsletter online rather than mail it out. In fact, requiring readers to register on your website to view the newsletter can provide you with a steady stream of new prospects.

One advantage of this approach is that it comes with a built-in opportunity to advertise your newsletter — and in turn, your brand — online. You can place links to the newsletter on various web pages. And you have some control over what web searches will return a link to your page.

The same approach works for other content that you may want to publish online. Some companies have blogs that are partly intended as lead-generation tools. Similar considerations apply to social media marketing.

Provide enhanced website features

Imagine you were shopping around online for furniture. One company’s website had a particularly slick application that allowed you to enter the dimensions of various rooms. You could then click on various pieces of furniture and move them around the room to get a feel for how you wanted to arrange things. You had to register on the website to use this feature, which you were happy to do.

Offering access to enhanced website features in exchange for registration can be a very effective way of identifying shoppers. People who register in order to use these features tend to be very good prospects. What’s more, in using these features, those prospects become even more engaged with you. The longer these potential customers spend using your website, the more likely they are to follow through with a purchase.

There is an interior decorating site that allows you to upload pictures of your house. You can then select different paint colors, curtains, light fixtures, and other options. The site then gives you a virtual view of how all those options would look in your house.

There is also another campaign being run by a home improvement store. Customers were encouraged to register so that they could keep track of past purchases. The hook was that you buy some things — like water filters, for example — quite infrequently. This helps if you never remember which one of the 50 filters available actually fits your refrigerator.

By registering on the site, you make this information available in the store, either through your own mobile device or by having an employee look it up for you.

Restricting access to content is also an effective way to drive registrations. This gated content, as it’s called, is made available only online and only to registered users of the site.

Clearly, the features and content you choose to offer on your website in exchange for registration are highly dependent on your type of business. But given the flexibility of the web and a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.