Barriers to entry – Email marketing foul ups

A pattern I am seeing become more and more common is excessive data requirements to sign up to newsletters. There should only ever be one mandatory field to enable someone to sign up to your newsletter and that is an email address where they can read it.

Looking at a number of charity and non for profit sites today I am seeing a varying range of mandatory fields from needing your full name all the way to your postal address, date of birth and telephone number, all to sign up for an email newsletter.

Let me in you idiot!

If you must feel the need to obtain every ounce of data on your subscribers, whether it’s to personalise emails, target products and services accurately or because you’re a marketing hoodlum who wants to sell data, stagger your collection.

Get the subscriber first

Start by only requesting an email address to get them onto your list. When you have done that use the thank you page as an opportunity to get some more information, maybe just their name.

Easy does it

Slowly extract data out of your subscribers over a number of engagements. It’s no different to dating, you have something you want them to buy, they don’t know whether they want it. You don’t want somebodies life story in the first 15 minutes of your first date.

The Devil you know

Many people are hesitant to provide strangers with their real information and rightly so, after all chances are you’re trying to get loads of information to bombard their inbox with your shit, so don’t expect people to give you the real information if you demand it.

Providing a softer longer approach to data collection will help you evolve a stronger relationship with more chance of happy faces all around.