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When, Where and Why Customers Share Their Data

May 28, 2014
By TowerData

why customers share dataWhat prompts customers to share their personal data with brands? And how can email marketers adapt their data acquisition strategies to encourage their customers to share more? It’s a vexing challenge, particularly in this age where data drives most major marketing decisions.

Unfortunately, consumers are often leery of losing control over their data; according a Communispace survey, almost one in three consumers would actually pay a fee to guarantee that merchants would not be able to capture their data.

So we’re at a standstill: Marketers want to gather as much data as possible, but consumers don’t always want to share that data.

Fortunately, all is not lost. It turns out that in the right circumstances, consumers are willing to share their data. It just boils down to two things: building trust and offering the right incentives.

Building Trust

The easiest way to gain the trust of your customers is by establishing a relationship. According to a new report from SDL, nearly 80% of consumers are more likely to share their personal information with a brand they have purchased from before.

Interestingly, whether a customer is shopping online or in person matters. A study fromInfosys found that more than half of consumers always or usually share their personal information with retailers when buying online. This may be a natural outcome of the online shopping experience. After all, consumers expect to have to provide a postal address, phone number and email address when purchasing goods online. However, when buying in a brick-and-mortar store, only four in ten consumers are willing to share. And although consumers often express interest in receiving offers targeted to their location, fewer than half are willing to have their location tracked (such as via their smart device) in order to receive those offers.

As the authors of the SDL report explain, “The trick is to learn what data your customers are willing to share and then act accordingly.”

Offer Incentives

Sometimes, all it takes is a compelling incentive for the consumer to share their data. And it doesn’t need to be much. In fact, the Communispace study found that a whopping 70% of consumers would willingly share their personal data in exchange for even a 5% price discount. And 93% of consumers are willing to share at least one piece of data if it means they can receive more customized offers.

Dunkin Donuts gets this right. Tyler Loechner of MediaPost wrote about a recent experience where he gladly forked over some personal information in return for a coupon to receive a free donut. The cost to Dunkin Donuts was minimal, but the information they received was priceless. Even better, Loechner felt great about the experience, admitting that he willingly paid for the donut with his data.

At the end of the day, consumer data doesn’t have to be that tricky. The key is integrating your customers into the data collection process be it through trust or incentive. After all, consumers will gladly share quite a bit if you have their trust and you’re willing to give them something in return.

Looking for more opportunities to add more data to your list? Contact us to learn howEmail Intelligence can help you gain a deeper understanding of who your customers are!

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