That’s John Doe to You

When marketers ask for information, we lie. In fact, an older Knowledge Storm survey published by Marketing Sherpa showed only 38% consistently provide accurate phone numbers and nearly half don’t even provide an accurate company name. We lie for a reason, and if marketers want us to stop lying on registration forms, they need to give us reasons to stop.

Registration Form LiesHere are a few of the reasons people have shared with me recently when asked why they lie on registration forms:

  • I register for information, but get a barrage of emails and phone calls.
  • Most of the content is useless, I’m not giving up my information for that.
  • I don’t want to be contacted.
  • Why would I give them my real information?

Marketers are facing an uphill battle. Many objections to registering are about what happens after we register, before we know what an individual marketer will do with the information we provide. Marketers have some marketing to do, they need to change our behavior, starting by changing our perception.

For marketers that embrace putting the audience first, the solution is easy.
Ask for the absolute minimum information you need. Content is distributed freely, newsletters require only an email address.

Regrettably, not all marketers are ready to take this leap and set their content free, even if they should. For those marketers, here are three recommendations to collect better contact information.

  • Clearly connect information with its use. If you don’t share information collected and use it only for specific defined purposes, say so! If you don’t say it, we will expect (at best) average behavior, and average behavior is what landed marketers in this situation. Just remember, badgering us with constant emails and phone calls is bad, badgering us after promising not to is far worse!
  • Give us a reason to provide accurate information. How WILL you use the email, phone number or address I provide? What will you send I actually want to receive? Unless you have given a compelling reason why I want your newsletter, chances are I’m not looking forward to receiving it, and am likely to use instead of my real email.
  • Offer a different way to register. While social sign-on case studies in B2B are limited, initial results are impressive. With social sign-on, you may not receive as much information, but you are nearly assured the information will be usable. For us, social sign-on is both convenient and puts us in control, with the ability to stop facebook messages or block twitter followers on our terms. It will be interesting to see how this evolves as more people learn that services like Google share the underlying email address.

All marketers are being dragged down by the behavior of some, setting our expectation, as individuals faced with a registration form, very low. We expect bad behavior, and we lie to avoid it.

Are you ready to market your marketing and begin changing perception and behavior? Will you go all the way and remove your registration forms?

3 Responses to That’s John Doe to You

  1. Carmen Hill says:

    This is so relevant for marketers evaluating the trade-offs of gating vs. not gating content.

  2. bizzduniya says:

    Networking is the basic foundation of B2B marketing. The broader your network, the more amount of potential customers would visit the site. Online social networking sites have emerged as a good weapon for this purpose. They assist in building links with other online businesses having similar interests. Ideally, bookmarking or posting on these sites few times each day and spending time befriending people on such platforms can help your business to get noticed. You can also make it easy for visitors to subscribe to your site by sharing business newsletters through social networking sites.

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