One of my favorite local retailers is at it again — in a good way. Kitchen Outfitters here in Massachusetts recently sent a 20% off coupon good for the entire month of May to me and select other customers that have birthdays this month.
How’d they know it was my birthday? They asked me recently in a short survey sent out via e-mail. The survey simply asked, “What month is your birthday?” In return for providing this information, Kitchen Outfitters promised a special promotional offer. The business added the birthday information to its e-mail database and can now easily send out targeted coupons to those customers with a birthday in the month.
Kitchen Outfitters is smartly using an existing relationship with its most valued customers to collect more information that allows it to offer something special to a targeted group of people. In this case, it’s using the recipients’ birth month, but it could be a wedding anniversary, child’s birthday, graduations, or any other event that’s special to a customer. Restaurants often do this for customers, but targeting special events can be a boon for any type of retailer. Constantly learning more about your customers will help you ferret out opportunities to drive repeat business.
There are two ways you can collect this event-related information if you don’t already have it. For existing customers, do as Kitchen Outfitters did and send out a survey via e-mail asking for the information. Make sure you tell your customers why you’re collecting information and what they will get for participating in your survey. Also, ensure that you can tie customers’ answer back to their e-mail address in your database to make it easier on the record-keeping.
For new customers, you can add the questions to your e-mail signup form so you have the data right off the bat. If that’s not an option, include a survey link in your welcome e-mail that goes out to new subscribers. And speaking of the welcome e-mail, that too is a perfect opportunity to offer something special — a coupon for a percentage off or a free item — to new mailing list subscribers.
If your sales records are well organized, you can use purchase anniversaries to send special deals to customers without having to ask them for any particular information since you already have it. If someone bought something from you a year ago and is still on your e-mail marketing list, drop them a special e-mail with a limited-time deal.
Some of us don’t like to celebrate our birthdays as we get older, but getting a good deal from a favorite retailer or restaurant for your birthday makes it a bit easier. For the business, it’s just a matter of collecting a little information in order to target the right customers and drive repeat business.