[thelist] Arguments against registration forms

Scott pippen at bigpond.net.au
Wed Oct 23 22:50:01 CDT 2002

Good response Frank.

I was more succinctly going to say rather than make
filling in the registration form a "requirement", highlight
the "benefit" and the aid they are providing you in
doing so. Some people enjoy advocacy. Others don't.

Make your brochure registration process a carrot not a stick.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Frank" <framar at interlog.com>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Thursday, October 24, 2002 1:31 PM
Subject: Re: [thelist] Arguments against registration forms

: At 07:46 PM 10/23/2002 -0700, you wrote:
: >Someone in my company wants to require people register in order to
: >download an on-line brochure. I know in my bones that this is
: >foolish. It will annoy customers and many will abandon the site
: >rather than fill in a form. But I need data.
: >
: >Does anyone know of a study or paper or even an expert opinion I can
: >use to win this argument?
: I would be surprised if you found such a document (but would be interested
: in reading one , if it were found.) Not all registrations are bad, and not
: all will drive clients away. I suspect that your argument might carry more
: strength if it made a specific case, rather than a general one.
: Whether a user will fill in a registration form will be based on what they
: think they'll get out of it. I would certainly fill out a long and complex
: registration for a lifetime  of free licences to all Adobe products past
: and future. Some will do it for as little as a picture of a naked woman.
: And they'll even send the company money, to boot!
: I would suggest that instead of using (only) data to support your argument,
: that you use their self-interest. Right now, they seem to think that it's
: in their best interest to do it. Your tactic might be:
:     a) to show that it's NOT in their best interests (neutral), or
:     b) that it is AGAINST their best interests (antagonistic) , or
:     c)  that ANOTHER WAY (cooperative, solution-oriented)  will
:         better serve their self-interest.
: Here are some loose ideas that might serve as a little juice to fuel your
: creative fire.
: 1) To a user, personal information is a form of currency. You must agree
: because you are offering something in return for it (regardless of how
: insubstantial).
: 2) Have you no better marketing ideas than to try to coerce a user out of
: the currency of personal information than to deny them your shot at a
: pitch? (It you don't give me 10 dollars, I won't tell you what I have to
: sell! Nah!)
: 3)  What makes you think that the user finds <your item> so valuable that
: they will part with personal information? (Who doesn't already get enough
: spam?)
: 4) Would you give your personal information away so that some stranger Joe
: Shmoe can advertise his products to you? (Who isn't already bombarded by
: marketing?)
: 5) Have you considered making it optional? This might generate good-will.
: Forcing them to  pay to listen to you sell might generate ill-will.
: 6) Have you considered actually offering something of value in exchange?
: (This is where true marketing comes into play. Marketing is best used like
: a sharp sword, not a blunt club).
: 7) Are you willing to lose potential clients over this?
: 8) What are things that someone could do, or offer *you* that would make
: *you* happily part with *your* personal information?
: 9) Are you looking at things as they *are* or as you wish that they would
: be? (I'd *love* clients to pay me to listen to my pitch!)
: This is certainly far from a white paper, but perhaps it might help
: generate some ideas. Good luck.
: --
: Frank Marion <frank at frankmarion.com>      Tel: 416 825 7488
: --
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