Knowing your audience is essential to knowing where to target your ads, but sometimes you don’t know your audience as well as you think you do.  You can gain valuable information about your audience through your conversion form.  If you run an email list, this will not only help you target your advertising, it will also help you target your mailings. To know your audience, you must know who is converting, both in the demographic form (i.e. income and age) and in their interests.

You have the perfect means to figure this out by asking your visitors on the conversion form.  If you run an informational email list don’t be shy to ask your subscribers for their income range, their industry of employment, and/or their area of employment. Just be sure that you are going to use whatever information you gather to better market to those customers.  Subscribers with a higher income range will generally make purchases more often and purchase higher priced items, so you can send them more offers.  This can also help you with targeting advertising, as you can view which web pages and keywords drive the most high-income earners to your list, and then you can spend more effort targeting related keywords.

Some people may not be comfortable giving away too much demographic info.  One thing you can do is to include two forms on your squeeze page: a long form including demographic questions and a short form just asking for an email address.  You can provide an eBook or other free gift only to those who provide their demographic info.  In this way, you are encouraging people to add value to your list while not losing too many who don’t want to provide their info.

Secondly, you should make sure to include a disclaimer on your form that you will not use demographic information to violate anyone’s privacy and that you are simply asking for it to improve the quality of the emails you send to them in the future.  You can include a short line like, “Why are we asking for demographic info?” and have subscribers click the link where it opens in a new window with a longer explanation.

When targeting affiliate offers, it is possible to gain the most value from psychographic info about subscribers’ interests.  If you are running a sports-related email list, for example, you can ask what subscribers are interested in, while including options for betting on sports, attending events, and sports blogging, etc.  Then when March Madness rolls around, you know who to target heavily with bracket challenge offers.

If you want to dig even deeper, you can ask which websites the subscribers like to visit, for example, when they are betting, then you know which specific services from which to send them offers. Once again, this question serves dual purposes: Not only does it help you target your emails, but it can also help you target your ppc advertising.  If you get a lot of subscribers indicating they have certain interests and they visit certain websites, you know who your content appeals to, so you can target your advertising more squarely at the people whom you are most likely to convert.