Monday, January 28, 2008

No way out: Why I lie on some registration forms

Why are so many companies forcing me to lie on registration forms?

Are people like me corrupting your leads? It's bad enough that many companies insist on prospects completing a dozen fields to get a white paper, etc. But what I really hate is registration forms with questions that don't give me any way out.

I have no choice but to lie to get the report or the case study, etc. And I hate to lie. It makes me squirm, feel sick, go red. It is an ugly sight.
Recently, I was forced to lie about five things:
  1. The size of my company's revenue: Kadient.com forced me to make a best guess so I could get a white paper. My company, Progressive Business Publications, is privately-owned with its fingers in a few different pies. I really don't know the answer. So I entered the smallest figure, figuring that was least likely to whet Kalient's reps' appetites.

  2. My top business challenges: Again Kadient didn't give me a chance to reply "other" and then elaborate if I chose. I know I am not a typical prospect, but perhaps serious
    prospects also have problems and challenges that don't fit nicely into a pigeon hole.

  3. My weekly ad spend: I didn't know so I was forced to lie again. Sorry Clicktracks.com. It looked like a good white paper about problem pay per click campaigns and you didn't give me any way out.

  4. My industry: A few registration forms didn't give me a chance to reply "other."

  5. Number of people in my company: Our company has telemarketers all over the place, many employed only during the summer, and a bunch of offsite editors. Any guess could be off by several hundred depending on the season. Why not give me the option to say, "I don't know?" or "I can't remember" or "If only I knew?"

Research has shown that most people don't want to lie on registration forms but in many cases, they're just not being given the choice. If too many prospects are like me, chances are the data will be full of lies, damn lies, and bad statistics. For more on this topic, take a look at the interesting little chart by Pacifica Group showing the kind of stuff that prospects are more likely to lie about on forms. It also has some suggestions on how to avoid these lies mucking up your data. One way,
gather information in bite-sized chunks as prospects get even more interested.

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Google Ad Words 101: Proven Techniques that Drive More Revenue Wednesday, February 13, 2008 - 1PM EST



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We'll be covering more on these issues in our print edition, Internet Marketing Report.



Posted by Julie Power, editor, Internet Marketing Report, Monday January 28. 2008, updated Sunday February 3, 2008



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