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Personalization, Not Privacy Invasion: Getting Sign Ups on Contact Forms

I have a confession: I’m kind of a double agent on the topic of getting people to fill out contact forms. On the one hand, I’m a marketer – I understand the need for that information in building up prospect and customer lists, and I know the importance and value that companies place on it. But on the other hand, I’m a consumer – I worry about my privacy. How is my information really going to be used? Am I going to have to deal with spam email and intrusive, sales-y phone calls all the time?

So, in other words, I guard my personal information very closely. But there are ways to get me to crack. And being the marketer that I am, I want to tell you how to get others to crack too.

Make It Clear What Information You Are Collecting

By seeing clearly defined fields on a contact form, people are able to understand at a glance what kind of information you’re looking for. And if a person sees that you’re asking for just the basics – first and last name, email address, phone number – then it can help nudge them toward filling it out.

Now, it’s okay to add a few more non-essential fields that would help you drill down more into individuals’ preferences, but too many non-essential fields can also scare people off too. Remember that length is key – if a contact form page seems to go on and on with fields, very few people will have the patience (or the desire) to fill it all out. And some people simply aren’t willing to divulge anything but the basics.

If you add other fields, demarcate the ones that need to be filled out, and leave the other ones as optional. For example, for information such as name, phone number, and email address, put a red asterisk next to each field, and have some text at the top that says, “The fields in red are mandatory”.

Make It Clear What Information You Are Collecting

A contact form should ask for the basics and be relatively short; the quicker and easier you make it, the more inclined that people are going to fill it out.

Communicate the Benefits of Giving Information

To push people to commit to filling out the contact form’s fields and submitting their information, you need to clearly communicate the benefits that they will receive after submitting.

For example, will they be signing up for a newsletter that tells them about new arrivals, promotions, and discounts? If they sign up, will they be receiving special offers directly? And remember that the content you send is crucial: the better stuff you send, the more likely people will sign up (and the more likely they will encourage their friends to join too – everyone likes to share cool, new things). So don’t just send sales-focused emails – send messages that will be of value.

And be truthful – when describing what people will get if they volunteer their information on a contact page, don’t say that you’ll send specific stuff if you don’t (or won’t) actually send it. If you don’t stick to what you say, then people won’t stick with you – and they will also be sure to tell family and friends as well.

Communicate the Benefits of Giving Information

On your contact page, be sure to clearly communicate what benefits people will receive if they choose to give their personal information to you – people are not going to risk getting on spam email lists for no reason. And always be sure to send valuable, interesting content that makes it worth subscribers’ while.

Make it Easy to Opt Out

If a customer no longer wants to subscribe to you any longer (for whatever reason), make the process for unsubscribing as easy as possible. In fact, make it just a click of a button. And also prominently display the ability to “unsubscribe” in not only the emails you send, but also in your contact page as well.

Although it might sound counterintuitive, telling people that they can unsubscribe at any time if they sign up is really persuasive in getting them to actually sign up. Because again, people are wary of giving their personal information away – if they know they can opt out at any time, that they can choose to no longer have their personal information used, then they feel far more comfortable. They feel an element of control – which is important, because people will not give you their information if they don’t feel safe and secure about giving it away in the first place

For more tips and information on how you can optimize your retail channel, please email us at retail@ignify.com.

Ashley Harbaugh is a Product Marketing Specialist at Ignify. Ignify is a technology provider of ERP, CRMeCommerce and Point of Sale software solutions to organizations. Ignify has won the worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2013, 2012 and 2011. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing business in North America for 7 years in a row by Deloitte, Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine from 2007 to 2013.

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