Customer email address: 5 factors that will gain you more - the communicators
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Customer email address: 5 factors that will gain you more

Which holiday company will get my email address? The billion dollar question.

The run up to a holiday can be more enjoyable than the holiday itself. France beckons next summer and I’m in research heaven – newspaper websites, travel bloggers, reviews of properties, letting companies…I want even more information but I won’t hand over my email address to just anyone.

Once upon a time you could only come to a decision based on a TV commercial, magazine ad, radio commercial, outdoor poster, a mailing… And by default, the brands with the biggest budgets tended to have the biggest market share.

Then the internet came along and changed everything. Over time people got wise (literally) to the wealth of information available on the internet and as consumers we were, and are, able to investigate and compare products, businesses and services to our heart’s content. It also gave the smaller brands a greater chance of success.

The rise of social media has taken this people power to another level. On top of our own, now more considered personal opinions, we can also refer to the opinions of others. Pictures on Instagram, 140 characters on twitter, snapchats, pinterest boards…

An email address is hugely valuable

Consumers have much more of a say. And consumers also hold the power when it comes to emails. Eric Fahey of Mintel said in an article earlier this year that, ‘the consumer decides when to give up their email address and to whom,” adding that they are “increasingly aware of how valuable their attention is to advertisers and can therefore demand more for it.”

Data is gold. As Fahey puts it, “to be granted access to all the data attached to an email address as it travels across the web, reading, searching, shopping, watching, listening, sharing and liking, is what publishers and marketers want more than ever.”

shave

The Dollar Shave Club comes clean

We were particularly struck in the office by the news that Unilever had bought the American online men’s razor merchant The Dollar Shave Club for $1 billion during 2016. Is Unilever a master at selling products the traditional advertising way but struggling with the direct-to-consumer brand building? It’s something at which, teeny-tiny Dollar Shave Club excels.

It doesn’t sell shaving – it promotes personal care.

And this strategy has got them over 3 million members. Kees Kruythoff, president of Unilever North America, has been quoted as saying, “Dollar Shave Club is a brand with incredibly deep connections to its diverse and highly engaged consumers.” And that’s worth its weight in gold, or one billion dollars.

So as this example shows, whether you’re renting out a villa in France, selling razors, software, college courses, or cat food – to increase your market share you need to mix up your marketing. Traditional advertising AND consumer-led marketing.

If you want to grow your customer base, you have to:

  • engage
  • help
  • inform
  • gain trust
  • and above all, provide a positive experience.

It starts with the user and ends with the user. Essentially, you have to earn the right to an email address and the long-term benefits this can bring. Bonne chance.

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