Denise Cox: Do you collect too much data?

Denise Cox blogged the other day: “85% collect personal data they don’t use. These marketers are putting off people (how many abandoned filling out the sign-up form because of all the mandatory fields?) and are wasting opportunities to use the information to good affect in crafting personalised emails to subscribers.

I consider opt-in forms to be an essential tool in starting and nurturing a new relationship. Here are some of my thoughts on maximising yours…read on
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Denise makes a good point here.

Everyone should have a email address capture on every page of their web-site really. Just the email address or email and first name.

There is no point asking for all of that information if you are not going to use it. So if you are not going to use it, don’t ask for it.

Sites which ask me how many people in my family, my job role and my interests and even have the audacity to make these fields mandatory lose my trust immediately and normally won’t see me again, let alone have my subscription. If a site needs that much data, most of it is going to be irrelevant, it makes me think they are going to share it or spam me with lead gen 3rd party mails.

The key to it, is to just get them on board and ask for more info as little bit at a time. Start with the welcome email and then regularly ask a question or two in your emails, this way you earn the trust and get the real information, rather than people just putting everything in.

If some of these people did actually try to direct mail me there would be a lot of post going to: Dr. Captain Inbox, 123 private road, Dontspammeville, Itsasecretonia.