27 January 2011

Stop Asking for Information You Already Have

There's this marketing company out there that provides tons of great free and paid content.They send me notices about new, really interesting-sounding white papers and studies they're releasing (or promoting for others) for FREE at least several times a month. Hot topics, actual research, well-designed materials. And did I mention FREE?

Yet I almost never download them.

Why?

Because almost every time I click the link to download the latest awesome-sounding white paper they ask for ALL my contact information. All REQUIRED fields. Again. And again. And again.

I know for a fact they already have all my contact information.

Since I'm not a paid subscriber, there is no option to have an account.

But couldn't they set a cookie on my machine or use name and email matching to determine that they already "know" me? And if there is no match on name and email, ask me for complete contact information at that point?

How does this apply to associations?

Most of us have - I think, I hope - gotten to the point where we don't repeatedly ask our members for the same demographic information over and over. We might ask them to confirm/update their information on a set cycle, but we don't ask them to start from scratch and provide full name, company, title, address, email, phone, fax, URL, mobile, certifications, degrees, FB and Twitter handles EVERY time they come to us for anything.

But what about "frequent flyers" who AREN'T your members? Check your abandon rates in your web stats program, and beware of putting unnecessary hurdles in people's way. They will walk - and get annoyed at your organization in the process. Trust me on this one.

1 comment:

Sohini Baliga said...

Thank you for this!! I worked this into a presentation I'm going to make in April. And it basically came down to "it is not the customer's problem that *you* want their information." So don't make it laborious.

But also, it reminds me of another basic - free does not come without a price. Goes for consumers as well as marketers.