When building a mailing list, the number one thing you want to collect is the email address. But what is the second thing you want to collect? Name? Birth date? Blood type?
For most marketing purposes, we see geographic information as the most useful data point when carrying out effective email targeting.
Reasons why you need Geo
- If you are on the road touring or have a string of live events, you can send relevant event updates to subscribers that are in that area.
- If you are planning a tour, geographic information is also useful. Discover cities with a growing fanbase or unexpected places that have a strong fan presence. You may uncover low-hanging fruit that would have gone overlooked.
- Where you have a reach amongst your fans is also data that potential brand partners would be interested in. If a corporate sponsor wants to tap into a certain market that you just so happen to have a strong connection with, that makes you an attractive channel to invest in.
How to collect Geo
You could track down each subscriber individually to get this info, but there are some best practices that are more efficient and less intrusive. To start, aim to get the most exact geo data. If your sign up forms ask for email address and country, that’s a good start, but your Los Angeles fans may not be the best audience for reminders about your East Coast tour dates.
And to be both specific and accurate, aim to get the zip or postal code for your subscribers. Just like in the previous example, your Portland, Oregon fans might not want email campaigns targeted to your Portland, Maine subscribers. And if you have a lot of Springfield, United States fans, good luck narrowing them down.
Along these lines, avoid pre-set geographic categories for fans to self-select like “Nearest City”. This leaves room for interpretation on a piece of information that is rather concrete. You also don’t want new subscribers to feel uncategorized if a group doesn’t fit their location. Getting the exact geo data for each subscriber lets YOU be the judge of what defines a fan region.
Be wary of creative answers. When fans complete a signup form, try to make the fields as error proof as possible. For example, it’s very possible for someone living in Mississippi to accidentally miss one of those double “s”s. Make country and state/region <select> instead of <input type=”text”> because typos happen even to the beast best of us. Other than errors, be on the look out for NYC as New York City, LA instead of Los Angeles, and other geo shorthands. You want your database as uniform as possible so your data isn’t fragmented.
Having an existing mailing list database shouldn’t prevent you from trying to get new information from old fans.Try collecting information gradually, instead. If you worry that requiring a zip code or a city will turn off new subscribers, use Drip Campaigns to lead them down a path of updating information after submitting an email address. Use messaging in your campaigns to let subscribers know why you are asking for the information like “Be sure to put your zip code and country on file so you’ll know when we are performing in your area.” Make it clear why the fan benefits from providing these details.
Completed all your geo updates?
Check out the new Fan Map from FanBridge and see how local or global your reach is.