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6 Clever Ways to Gather CRM Info for Marketing


 CRM is one of the most effective tools for targeted and personalized marketing. The right CRM is capable of holding everything you know about a customer from demographic details to behaviors and more. And over time, you can learn A LOT about a customer. From the support emails they send to the products they browse for, customers reveal a lot about themselves simply by interacting with your company. Throughout the entire relationship with your contact, your CRM should be filled with details and notes about their preferences, interests, purchase history, engagements, and much more.

However, customers don't always reveal everything you need for easy (and accurate) automated marketing. A customer almost never purposefully reveals their favorite color, their birthday, the ages of their children, or which holidays they celebrate among many other useful little details. That being said, there are ways to effectively gather more personalized data about your customers using creativity, strategy, and automation.

To gather this information, use clever tactics that encourage your customers to readily, and with excitement, share their information. In this blog post, we share six ideas to get you started with creative data collection.


1) Customer Surveys

The simplest way to learn and gather information about your customers' preferences is simply to ask! Some customers enjoy being forthright and may see that there are potential personalized deals and opportunities as a result of sharing small amounts of personal information. Build a survey, send it out with an incentive for them to participate and watch the responses come in. Your survey tool should be directly integrated with your CRM to simplify the data collection and management process.  

Some great ways to use surveys for data collection:

  • Customer feedback on your product, service, customer support, etc.

  • Personal interests and preferences

  • Favorite products/services

  • Service/product/content interests

  • Satisfaction with products/services/customer support


2) Offer a Free Gift to Loyal Customers

By offering a free ‘something’, you can often encourage your loyal customers to release certain data points they otherwise would be unwilling to give. Offering a loyalty incentive can result in (almost) any kind of personal information you want, as long as your questions align with their end of goal of receiving this certain something.

Small holiday gifts are one powerful approach. Gather information by letting the customer know they will be receiving a special holiday promo, but that you’d like to make sure it’s customized to their needs and wants. For example, offer a free training session, but first learn what their most interested in learning about and why. If you are offering a more personalized non-business related gift, inquire about their favorite hobbies, colors, what holiday they celebrate, etc.

No matter the gift, the more information you can collect about your customers helps you build better, more accurate buyer personas and helps you develop more targeted and effective marketing and sales campaigns down the road.  

Ideas for a free gift:

  • Something from your own inventory of products (based on their preferences)

  • Free hour of a specific service (if you are a service-based company)

  • A Starbucks gift card

  • A $25 Amazon gift card (This is always a winner!)

  • A holiday themed gift (holiday specific, location specific, etc.)


3) Updating a Client Portal

Give each customer access to their personal client portal and reward them for updating their information. This is an easy and efficient way to gather pertinent information about your customers that is automatically updated in your CRM.

A client portal is a secure online webpage where a client can login and easily update their information, upload documents and so on. To help seamlessly gather information from your contacts, offer a gift for updating a certain number of required fields. But, don’t just let them update the most basic fields, go deeper and incentivize them to share their interests, hobbies, upload photos, and more.

Learn more about GreenRope’s client portal.


4) 'This or That' Quick Quizzes

A fun way to gather reasonable amounts of information about customer product/service preferences is by including little quizzes on your website or in friendly targeted emails. Add it as a panel that appears when customers browse your site or as a short, mini-game that customers can choose to play. These short little quizzes are called "This or That", sometimes also known as "Would You Rather?" or "Better One? Better Two?".

Similar to a survey, but a quiz uses game theory to encourage contacts to participate. Keep your quizzes short and simple. Use this to generate new leads by collecting emails from new website visitors or just to gather valuable data about your current leads and customers. Once they submit their responses, send them an immediate personalized email highlighting their results.

For example, if you are a outdoor retailers, you might offer a quiz such as, “What’s your skiing style” Include a few different questions with specific responses to choose from. Then, based on their responses, send the appropriate email with their results. Next, take that opportunity to showcase a product offering that fits with their skiing style. 

A B2B example might be offering a quiz called, "What's your Sales style?" Provide responses that align with certain sales styles and then email then their 'sales style' at the end of the quiz. Next, you can send automated emails offering suggestions for software, features, or services that might help them sell better. 


5) Custom Wish Lists

Wish lists are an automated marketer's dream come true. Everyone has a mental wishlist of products they'd like to own or goals they’d like to accomplish, but aren't ready to buy yet, can't justify the expense, or don’t know where to start. By adding an easy-to-access wishlist feature to your website, you gain access to your customer's hopes, dreams, and goals in direct relation to what you can offer them.

Having a customer wishlist is like having direct access to their desire for your products. You can see what they are saving up for and what they just need an excuse to buy for themselves. Multiple named wishlists can even give you an insight into their priorities and lifestyle.

In a B2C example, they might, for instance, have a wishlist for items they'd buy their children, one for future purchase plans, and one for special treats they might eventually buy for themselves. With this information, your automated marketing can begin generating personalized deals that strike directly at the heart of a customer's desires. Discounts on their special wants, gifts for their kids, or package deals of several items on a wishlist along the same theme.

The key is to make adding items to a wishlist so easy that even people without a conscious list will put one together for your own data collection (automatically integrated with your CRM). A simple button that says 'Add to Wishlist' on every product page, and a drop-down for custom wishlists is all you need. People who like wishlists will manicure and customize their lists to your benefit. And even people who don't remember they have a wishlist will start adding items they want, but don't buy, because it's easy to do.

Working in the B2B space? Don’t worry, this works for you as well! Create a “List of Goals” where contacts can add their goals over the coming months. Then, send out helpful emails to help them achieve these goals and/or upsell your products and services at the same time.


6) Suggest Deals/Promotions/Products/Services

Finally, never forget that customers also value your ability to suggest products/services they want. If a customer buys baby food spoons, for instance, they will appreciate you offering them bowls and sippy cups that form a matching set. And allowing customers to personalize their product suggestions is even more powerful. They may tell you some things you would have no other clear way of knowing otherwise

With the responses or data you collect via their client portal, surveys, wish lists, etc. suggest particular services or products they might be interested in.



Is your automated marketing data almost to scarce to be useful? Are you thinking about implementing an automated marketing solution but need data to feed the your automation? With even one or two of these techniques, you'll soon be able to stock your CRM with a bounty of unique customer information that will help you target your marketing in a way the customers will love.

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