Office Hours: How to collect data with your signup forms
A couple of weeks ago the product education team here at Klaviyo started holding Klaviyo office hours. Each time, we follow the same routine: we host a small group webinar that begins with a brief demo on the feature of the week, and then we open the floor to live Q&A from you, our customers.
Last week’s office hours topic: Signup forms. If you’re using Klaviyo, signup forms are critically important — because before you can email people, you need to collect their email addresses.
During office hours, there was one question that really stood out to us. After we covered the basics of signup forms, how they help to organically grow your lists, and how they make it easy to collect valuable customer data, we walked everyone through the process of actually adding a signup form to their site.
During our live Q&A that followed, though, the one question that really stood out to us was the question about collecting data:
What type of data should I collect on my signup form, and when should I collect it?
On the one hand, the answer is going to be different for every store. The details are in the data, and these details are specific to you, your business, the type of products you sell, and the type of customers you have.
It’s also a delicate balance. Having lots of relevant data about your customers helps you to make better business decisions, but at the same time, asking for too much information can prevent a potential subscriber from signing up for your list. So don’t collect data just for the sake of it, because this can act as a barrier when someone’s first signing up.
That said, asking customers for the right information is one of the most strategic decisions you can make as a marketer or business owner. Let’s look at an example.
What data should you collect?
Let’s imagine that instead of being on Klaviyo’s product education team, I run an online store that specializes in selling duct tape. Every color, every style — you name it. And more than anything, I want to understand my customers so that I can send them relevant emails and reach out to them with relevant Facebook ads using Klaviyo.
It’s true, there’s a lot I can discover about my customers’ preferences without asking for information. For instance, I can look at the big picture and see which colors of duct tape sell the best. If I have Klaviyo up and running and I have a working signup form on my site, I can also gain insight into my customers’ preferences by analyzing their browsing activity along with past purchases.
Still, there are some important questions that can’t be answered by looking at browsing and buying behavior. Rather than triangulating between my existing data points, guessing, or just staying in the dark, why not ask directly? Asking my customers for the right data in a friendly way unlocks potential segmentation data I would otherwise never have access to.
Sticking with my duct tape example (pun intended), let’s say I know from my years in business that I have two distinct groups of customers: those who use duct tape for repairs and to fix things, and those who use duct tape to create wallets, sculptures, and other artistic items.
The two groups both buy a lot of duct tape, but they have very different reasons for doing so. I would love to reach out to them differently instead of sending one-size-fits-all messages.
A customized signup form is the perfect solution for unlocking this data. It lets me ask my customers a question that I otherwise cannot answer with the available tracking data, and it gives my customers the chance to label themselves according to their own interests.
Adding one simple signup question to my form empowers me as a business owner to develop two sets of emails, each customized to the interests and goals of my customers.
I can reasonably expect that these better-tailored messages will increase open, click-through, and purchase rates for the emails I send.
Strategies for when, where, and how to collect data
Do you remember the last time you found an interesting link or resource on the internet, and after you clicked to download it you were faced with a lengthy signup form, asking for all sorts of personal and seemingly arbitrary data? Ugh. You probably thought, “Forget it, I’ll go read something else.”
With Klaviyo’s default signup forms, you can place a form — ideally one without a million unnecessary fields — anywhere on your site. We typically recommend placing a form in your site’s footer, as this is a familiar place people look.
(It might sound obvious, but every day we see successful online stores with no signup form in the footer — and we know how much it would add to those stores’ success to have one there!)
Once your form is in place, you can customize the customers’ journey. Depending on your preferences, you can start by asking for just an email, and follow up with a more lengthy questionnaire or request for information later — or if you have just one or two key questions, you can ask them right up front in the form itself.
Making the right choice requires you to look carefully at your business and the the type of data that makes the most sense for you to ask for.
Prepare to act on your data
Once you’ve collected information from your customers, you can begin to leverage it to send out better-targeted emails and create more precise customer segments.
Klaviyo gives you all the tools to easily collect, manage, and analyze your data. You can start small and collect your users’ preferences, and all the data you collect from your signup forms will be attached to the profiles in your Klaviyo account. These profiles can then be segmented using the set of criteria you’ve determined are best.
Then look to the flow builder to create unique email sequences for your newly defined segments. As the amount of data in your account builds, you can look for even more targeted segments by adding engagement criteria to some of your new segments. All together, this lets you send better targeted emails to the right customers.
Remember my duct tape store? With more information about my customers, I can create two different sets of abandoned cart emails that feature different imagery and language tailored to each of my two groups. I can promote sales differently, send out different content, and even build out distinctly different welcome series emails.
The possibilities for tailoring to my customers — once I have information about who they are — truly are endless.
Once you’ve decided what information you want to collect and how to do it, you’re ready to make it happen (and if you run into any questions along with way, you can always contact us!).
Check out our guide on adding custom fields to a signup form. With this knowledge, and with Klaviyo’s platform, you’re ready to start collecting more data (and squeeze a little more juice from it while you’re at it!).