Today we live in a world where you can get information instantaneously. While the Internet Age has brought so much convenience into our lives, it has done so at a price; our privacy. Having everything at your fingertips is a nice luxury, but it also means your information is pretty much accessible by everyone…especially marketers. Any company who wants to bring in more leads will need to do so by collecting someone’s private, yet public, information.
If you know the reality when it comes to bringing in leads, you know that a customer’s privacy doesn’t really exist. But, how do you create a successful marketing campaign while still acknowledging the person’s right to privacy? Where can you draw the line?
Know When Too Much is Too Much
When it comes to collecting consumer data, your company should do it in a way that’s smart, not invasive. Let’s say a customer comes to your site to browse your store and you want to use that info to encourage them to make a purchase. You can write them an email reminding them of what’s in their cart. Leave it there, and let the customer make the next decision by themselves. That’s a smart way of doing it. On the other hand, posting ads for their prospective purchase in every one of their social media feeds would be invasive, and may deter the customer from coming back altogether.
Save Their Information on Request
If a customer comes to your website to make a purchase and they are on the last page before clicking the “buy” button, they may be given the option of having their information saved. However, the important word in that sentence is “option.” Give them the choice before you keep their credit card number without their permission.
If You’re Using Their Info, Do So in a Way They’ll Appreciate
People these days know that they can’t keep much of their information private. That being said, you as a company shouldn’t take too much advantage. Let your customers know that you’re using their information only to provide them with the best experience possible. For example, maybe you’ll ask for their birth date so that every year you can send them a coupon they can use at your store.
Be Transparent and Don’t Neglect Security
No matter what, if you’re collecting any kind of personal information from your leads or customers, it would be in your company’s best interest to advise them. Customers who know how and why their information is being used will be able to build trust more quickly with the company in question.
It could be something as simple as having them fill out their name and email address and letting them know you’ll use that info to update them on news or trends in your industry. It’s the whole idea of finding a way to ask for their consent before using their information. Of course, there may be instances in which you can’t be perfect, but it’s best to practice this whenever you can.
And, remember. If you’re collecting your customers’ information, especially if it’s credit numbers or a health history, you must care about your network’s security and follow compliance laws.
This article originally appeared in Mission Suite.