Collecting info from your usersFirms are often told that the information they collect from users through their websites, especially email lists, is extremely valuable. But most of the companies I have worked with over the years really have no idea how to use this information to boost business. I think this stems primarily from the fact that most give little thought to why they're collecting information, what information they collect and how they collect it. In this post, I'll touch briefly on these three topics. Purpose Collecting information from users for collection's sake is a poor business strategy. Before you ask a single user to provide you with any information, you need to answer a simple question - why am I collecting this information? I have worked with companies that take the "collect now and figure it out later" approach and in many cases, this leads to a situation in which the company eventually determines that the database it has built is incapable of being used effectively because the wrong information was collected. This is extremely frustrating and counterproductive for obvious reasons. Thus, start with the most basic step - determine the purpose for collecting information from your users. The Information Once you have established a purpose for collecting information, you should have a rationale for every piece of information you ask users to provide. This rationale is best determined by giving thought to what information is truly valuable to your business and what information will help support your purpose. Whether it's collecting information to generate leads or to provide updates to existing customers, answer the following questions:
- What information is absolutely required?
- What information is nice to have?
- What information is unnecessary or redundant?
View Marketing News Archive