Visitors to your website are just like customers walking into a store, but digitally. This digital element is key — unlike customers in a physical store, you won’t be able to speak to them face to face. And yet, you still need data and user information as you market your products and build mutually beneficial relationships with your customers.

 

So, how do you collect this information in a digital setting? Let’s take a look at some user information collection methods that actually work.

 

Let’s take a look at some common approaches:

On-page CTAs

Deploying on-page “calls to action” (CTAs) in the form of clickable links or more sophisticated data capture forms is a tried-and-tested method of gathering info. Make sure these CTAs are logical and easy to follow and that your forms do not have too many mandatory steps that will cause users to lose interest. Also, don’t bombard your audience — adopt a “less is more” approach to CTAs, and make the ones you do deploy count.

Lead magnet assets

Adopt a transactional approach to information gathering. After all, why should your users provide their information to you without receiving something in return? Develop lead magnet assets that are genuinely useful. For example, you could produce an informative video or craft an eBook that helps customers get the maximum benefit from the products and services you offer. Advertise this lead magnet as a free gift, but request that people leave their information in a data capture form to access this asset.

Members’ only content

This model will not work for all businesses, but it’s certainly something to consider. Releasing content or other assets as part of a members’ only subscription service can help you extend the lifetime value of existing customers by encouraging them to sign up for ongoing exclusive content and premium-level support, while also developing your understanding through information gathering. You need to make sure that the members’ only content is worth the effort of signing up, of course, so put time and effort into crafting an experience that users are willing to subscribe to.

You can also explore Facebook groups and Instagram subscriber lists in the same way. While these are not paid subscriptions, they do foster a more meaningful connection with your users.

Competitions and promotions

Competitions and promotions are a great way to encourage users to provide you with their information. This links back to the idea of a transactional approach to information gathering — give your audience something they value or the chance of connecting with something they value, and they are more likely to submit their information. The return on investment you’ll receive from your competition or promotion should make the exercise well worthwhile.

Mail-outs and landing pages

Once you have received a lead’s email address, your information collection strategies do not come to a halt. Use this email address to provide informational mail-outs with eye-catching subject lines to increase click-through rates. Follow this up with a clearly and intuitively structured landing page with a well-positioned CTA.

 

The key thing to remember? Provide something in return

 

The common theme underpinning all of these data collection methods is mutual value. You want your users to provide you with something that you value, so offer something that they value in return. If you can tap into what your audience wants, it should be simple to get them to give you what you want.