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Thursday, May. 10, 2007 at 9:03 am

Back to Basics: Customer Information Forms

By Holly Buchanan
May 10th, 2007

OK, this is conversion 101 stuff, but it’s still too common a mistake on websites.

When you’re asking customers for information, only ask for what you absolutely must have. Especially if you’ve just met. (Lead generation sites are usually prone to asking for too much information.)

Do you have to ask for a phone number? Why not let the visitor tell you their preferred method for contact? Give them the option of receiving a reply by phone or email.

The same rules apply when asking for a “friend’s” information as well. If you have some sort of “email a friend” option, do you clearly spell out what you will do with that friend’s information?

I had a friend–yes, I did have a friend, once ;) –who was very proud of her email. She’d kept it “clean.” Hadn’t made it onto any lists. Then a friend of hers (not me, thank goodness) signed her up to receive a special promotion. Well, not long after, her pristine email was infected. She started receiving lots of unwanted email solicitations. She did not have a good reaction to this.

It’s basic, but important: ask for minimal information. And tell them what you’re going to do with that information.

Click to read more about customer information forms.

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Comments (4)

  1. Some site’s customer service forms should be labeled what they are intended to be, customer DISservice forms. I find sites that bury their contact info usually have the worst forms. This is just to ask a simple question via email. Home address? Phone number?? Shoe size??? ;)

    You’ve been warned Blockbuster! and many others

    P.S. Netflix respects their customers enough to not hide their email and makes it very easy.

  2. ok

  3. agreed sometimes way too long and sometimes way too short

  4. Easily the best advice for creating sign-up forms of any kind. I just mentioned this on another post.

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Holly Buchanan is a marketing to women consultant specializing in marketing to women online. You can read her blog at She is the co-author, along with Michele Miller of The Soccer Mom Myth - Today's Female Consumer - Who She Really Is, Why She Really Buys.

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