Collect more customer data by delivering 2 tiers of content

Using a two-tiered strategy lets you collect more leads with less risk of alienating potential customers early on in the sales cycle.

Using a two-tiered strategy lets you collect more leads with less risk of alienating potential customers early on in the sales cycle.

John Dolon at SiriusDecisions and Derek Slayton at NetProspex presented an interesting webinar, The State of B2B Marketing Data: 2014, in which they discussed how important it is to maintain clean, well-segmented customer data. They emphasized the need for good customer contact data in order to support all B2B marketing efforts: marketing intelligence, inbound personalization, lead scoring, lead routing, outbound outreach, and reporting and analytics.

But, collecting that data can prove difficult if your customers are unwilling to fill out forms on landing pages. We suggest using a two-tiered approach to creating landing pages and delivering content to improve your data collection and qualify leads, without turning away any prospective customers.

More than half of U.S. companies work with unreliable customer data

B2B database statistics

In its most recent B2B Marketing Data Benchmark Report, NetProspex uncovered some important data shortcomings by analyzing more than 100,000 customer records from companies of all sizes and industries:

  • 88% of records were incomplete: Insufficient data makes segmenting and targeting difficult.
  • 64% of records did not have a phone number: Sales reps have no way to instantly contact prospects.
  • Only 35% of companies had functional databases where 80% or more of the records are accurate and complete: Many prospects cannot be contacted, even by email.

The tradeoff between the amount of information you require and the number of registrants you’ll get

Balance the need for data and the desire for registrations

Making landing pages that are easy to complete helps increase the likelihood that they actually get filled out by prospects. Even before designing and coding effective landing pages, tough decisions should be made about how much customer information is required before a prospect can download a white paper, view a webinar, or access other content.

To meet the objective of collecting and maintaining the most complete data, a company could require comprehensive customer information in registration forms: First name, last name, title, company name, website, street, city, state, zip code, phone, email, industry, revenue, number of employees, and any custom information you use to qualify prospects. The advantage of requiring comprehensive information is that it makes segmentation and targeting possible for ongoing communications. Sales reps can save time by only contacting registrants that match a desired customer profile.

However, requiring comprehensive information — more than simply name and email address — may discourage many prospects from completing the form and viewing your content, since they may not want to enter all the information and/or they might want to avoid a phone call from a sales rep. Though sales reps want complete data, having so many required fields could dramatically reduce the number of registrants, some of who could turn out to be customers.

Companies often face this challenge of choosing between requiring complete information and getting fewer leads OR requiring less information and getting more leads, but not having enough data to support effective segmentation and targeting of these leads.

A solution: Create two registration and content tiers

different tiers of registration

A good solution to this ongoing challenge involves delivering content in a two-tiered strategy. For potential customers who are just starting to research the business challenges you are solving, introductory, less-detailed content could be made available at a Tier 1 registration level, where prospects need to provide only a name and email address. Tier 1 registrants would download their content and then be added to your e-mail list for general information and follow-up communications about the content they received.

Once the prospect is ready to request lengthier, more detailed premium quality content, they would complete a Tier 2 registration. Customers who are interested in fully understanding your solutions and perhaps starting a conversation with your company are usually willing to share more information. Receiving Tier 2 content would require a registrant to fill out the comprehensive customer information: First name, last name, title, company name, website, street, city, state, zip code, phone, email, industry, revenue, and number of employees.

Be open with site visitors about the two tiers of content

It makes sense to be transparent about your strategy. Be upfront with site visitors that you have two types of content: One tier for those learning about your company and solutions, as well as the market space you’re in; and one tier for those want to dive deeper and start a conversation.

Tier 1 registrants should be made aware that you want to provide helpful content but will only contact them via email. Tier 2 registrants will understand that they are receiving premium content and could be contacted by a sales rep at some point. Across your organization, authors can then write content with the two tiers in mind, which should result in content that’s targeted to customers at different steps in the purchasing cycle.

This two-tiered strategy allows you to collect more leads with less risk of alienating potential customers early on in the sales cycle.

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