Using Email to Collect Additional Subscriber Data

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For email marketing, data is king. The more data you have about your subscribers, the more relevant and personalized each email becomes, ultimately resulting in higher engagement and ROI.

However, companies walk a fine line when trying to collect valuable subscriber data while keeping the subscription process quick and easy enough to boost conversion. A lengthy, time-consuming subscription form may deter someone from signing up, so most forms may only collect email or a few other data points, such as name or ZIP code. While these data points are a good starting point for making emails relevant and personalized, more data is needed to truly make the relationship between the brand and the subscriber a strong and successful one.

A good way to collect this additional data is by asking for it at various touch points in your email marketing program. Here are some examples of brands using this tactic:

The North Face asks for subscriber information early on in the customer lifecycle by including a link to the preference center in the welcome message. In order to entice the subscriber to take this action, they explain that the information will help tailor future message content to the subscriber’s individual interests.



Office Max also asks for profile information early in relationship by including a profile collection email in their onboarding series. The email, which reiterates the value of the Office Max email program by highlighting specific benefit such as exclusive coupons, aims at gathering additional profile data to make the customer’s email experience a more meaningful one. 



Seamless uses a standalone email to collect additional profile data. Using the promise of a special birthday surprise, the email encourages subscribers to add their birthdate to their account profile. Most subscribers do not want to spend extra time filling in profile information but by outlining the steps, Seamless is able to show how quick and easy the process is.



CVS gives email subscribers an incentive to create an account by offering them a coupon upon profile completion. Not only will they receive a $3 reward but they’ll also enjoy the many benefits of having an account.



Ted Baker shows subscribers they care about their interests by sending  an email with the subject line “Make the rules & tell us what you love.” The message prompts subscribers to update their email preferences, which including selecting the types of emails they’d like to receive and their preferred store location.



Uncommongoods includes a preference center link in the footer of every message. Through the preference center not only are subscribers able to select the type of products they are most interested in hearing about but also decide how frequently they’d like to receive email.


Considering today’s email landscape, relevancy, personalization, and creating the sense of a one to one communication will help form stronger ties with your subscribers. Data and preference information are key components to making this happen, so don’t be afraid to ask your subscribers for it. Including a preference link in every email is a good way to begin collecting this data while simultaneously testing out other methods, to see what works best with your subscribers.