Opt-In checkbox is not 2-way, but it can be!
Currently we have this thing about customers opting in or opting out. If they opt out most companies pine over how can we get them to opt in and continually push market in a shot gun fashion around them hoping someone will forward it to them…..costly.
On the other side you have the people that opt in and what do businesses turn around and do, push market the hell out of these customers. No analysis done around who should get what message, when, why and then the customer gets the dreaded noreply@ email address in the From: so you cannot communicate your frustration with said business……ummm costly and annoying.
So how does the opt in become a two way form of communication between businesses and customers. Data, yes the sexy ever glamorous darling of the businesses, Data. Yeah right who I kidding data is not sexy, but it sure is useful! What businesses need to do is partner with their customer around data. The customer has the ability to proactively collect a lot of information about themselves now and the data the business collect about the customer has holes in it to be affective. Typically most businesses have cookies, email address and minimum information about connecting the exact purchases done by their customers.
With so many customers collecting, storing, analyzing, and utilizing their data to make personal business decisions, like where I buy, how much can I spend, and how much I have spent. On the flip side businesses are collecting, storing, and analyzing the data they are collecting with one two pieces or really three pieces of demographic data missing First Name, Last Name, and email address tied to purchasing actions. Missing the actual person and who they are leaves gaping holes in analyzing to take the correct actions. Being able to line the data profile the customer is building and data profile based on a Cookie ID can lead to a powerful conversation, trust relationship and actual deepening the selling and buying between the two.
Enter a company like Buyosphere! They are allowing customers to store and maintain all the purchases they make based on the receipts they can obtain online and eventually the receipts they receive offline, then get them to their online profile. This purchasing information is the start of the two opt-in of sharing information between businesses and customers. With the customers currating and storing their purchasing data and most businesses wanting to know their First Name, Last Name and email address on those purchases, why not have conversations about sharing this information with each other. Businesses that are in a more brick and mortar setting need to find ways to get this purchase information to their customers! Plus we can save a whole lot of trees by not giving out paper receipts too…
Businesses need to invest in emailing receipts to the customer at the time of purchase, giving them a way to enter a code online to get the electronic receipt once they get online, start putting QR codes on the receipt, or maybe bumping phone to POS to get receipt record onto phone (keep in mind this only covers 30% of customers with smartphones).
What this allows the customer to do is curate their purchases and share the data socially or privately with the businesses they are demonstrating purchasing power with said business. This is the start of the 2-way Opt-In partnership around purchasing power using the opt-in as the contract, the handshake, the trust. The businesses offering these types of services and two way opt-in relationships will be able to increase marketshare, service customers based on mutual respect based on buying and selling, and keep the customers you have long term. In business keeping the ones you have is waaaaaay cheaper than always trying to acquire new. I do believe if the customer felt a little more in control of this opting-in action they would probably be more willing to opt-in! I know I would!
Now the flip side of this 2-way Opt-In relationships are the businesses and needing to earn the trust with this Customer information and not get all up in their customer’s grillz with their Pushy MCPusherton marketing and advertising. They have to allow the relationship to build and grow. With always checking in after sending your Customers information, like “How did that feel, was it pushy?” or “Did we hit the mark based on your activity?” This will gain trust and loyalty like nothing before. Image the cost reductions of trying to acquire new costumers and increasing the spend by already existing customer. Just remember this is earned in the long term and screwed up in an instant. Gut feeling is most businesses would have more fun interacting with their Customers too. Employees would have more satisfaction about a job well done or finding new ways to strengthens the relationship with their Customers. I see productivity gains and reducing talent turning over, which is reduction of expenses. When you make you company fun with happy Customers and happy employees really cool things can happen!
So go forth and build and synthesize your data businesses and customers, the economy will thank you! “In the form of a wholly logical data model, in the form of a buying river!”