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Email signups are the perfect way to capture 1P data. So why are brands so bad at it?

May 26, 2020 1:00:00 PM

The way users sign up for email and what happens next is a best practice in email marketing. This is a chance for Marketing leaders and Technology to show the organization they can work together. The problem spans marketing technology, content management systems (e.g., forms), tag management, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) etc. Without Marketing leadership, they become disjointed tools. But how brands use 1P data is foundational to success.             

What are the best practices for customer signup?

  • The process is easy. Customer can find where to signup and the form is intuitive. We know there are a lot of ways users can sign up for email (web pages, footers, social media fan pages). And a lightbox can interrupt at any time and to ask for an email, which customers find annoying. So, the best brands plan this out. The lightbox is intelligent and doesn’t ask customers for emails if they’ve already provided one
  • The signup form is short. Signup form only asks for the information necessary, but has a way for consumers to disclose more about themselves and what they are looking for. The best practice here is to make it very easy to signup, but allow customers to add more either with other forms or the welcome stream of email communication that follow. Many brands set expectations during signup, for preferences, but also how email marketing will provide value (not just promotional deals)
  • Brands use what they collect. This is the most important practice – if brands collect information, customers expect the brand to customize the experience.


Hum Nutrition has a 13-page quiz. To most customers, this feels like a hassle, but to Hum Nutrition fans, customers give to get – the information they provide governs the nutrition program, so they’re willing to spend time customizing their own relationship with the brand

The Puppy Shop lets customers add data about their dog. This is absolutely 1P data, since it is data the brand can use to customize the experience for the dog’s owner. Maybe these are recommendations or an auto-ship program.

In the case of a dog walking service, the customer may have even provided a picture of their dog

The best brands collect 1P data, then use it to reinforce the value of the email program, nurture a relationship with valuable suggestions and personalized messages, images, cadence and yes – deals. So spend some time thinking through what information to capture, but then put it to work so it’s not just nice to know.

Hansa is an email marketing agency; call us, we'd be delighted to share more examples

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Roy Wollen
Written by Roy Wollen

Roy Wollen has led some of the top marketers in industries such as travel, financial services, b2b and multi-channel retail. Roy is a consultant at heart and solves client problems using marketing technology and analytics. Roy is President at Hansa Marketing Services and an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, where he teaches Digital Analytics.