A few weeks ago I was listening to an audio interview with Tim Ash. Tim wrote an excellent book on Landing Page Optimization. He’s an expert on getting people to take specific actions after they get to a web site. During the interview, Tim gave one piece of very simple (yet highly effective) advice. His advice was especially important from a list building perspective. Here is Tim's advice - "When you’re collecting information online, collect the minimum amount of information to complete the transaction." It’s important to think of Tim’s advice from the user’s perspective . . .
Remember – Upfront - They Don’t Know or Trust You!
Would you give a complete stranger personal information about yourself? I’m guessing probably not. The previous question is directly applicable to collecting information online. A big mistake made when trying to collect personal information online is asking for too much information on the first visit. In most cases you have zero rapport with a prospect that just arrived at your web site. The more information you ask from a first time web visitor, the more difficult it is to collect information. I’ve seen web sites that ask from full mailing addresses, fax number, and cell phone (all as required fields) up front. As a result, less people are going to sign up.
Gain Some Trust
Your initial focus needs to be on establishing trust and credibility with your web site user. You can start to establish trust by offering your prospect something they perceive as valuable. It could be a free report, video, or audio. You might offer some great articles for free or insider information. It is crucial to focus on the prospect’s wants and needs, NOT what you think is important to them. The better you know your market, the better you can position information for them. The same advice rings true when planning an event . . . The best events are those built specifically for the target market – not for the event organizer’s ego.
Collecting Info Online - Where to Start
I suggest starting with the bare minimum for online data collection, first name and email address. Have any easy way for people to opt out of your list and have sound privacy policies in place. You can collect more information as you grow rapport with your prospect over time. The best way to grow rapport over time is to give additional information that the prospect deems as valuable.
Seeing too many information can fields makes user apprehensive, regardless of those fields being required. When collecting personal information online . . . Start with first name and email address, build trust, then go from there.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- Simple Customer List Building Suggestions
- Start Building Your List Early
- Late Event Promotion - Big List Growth
- Building Your List Above the Fold
- Are You Opting-In Above the Fold?
- Form Placement and Growing Your List
- Turn Your Event Into an Experience
- The Event Promotion System
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