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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

How Much Personal Info Do You Need?

Tonight, I was lead by a record company to a free download of a song. A splash page asked for my email address. Well, I didn't want to give that, but I figured I couldn't get the song without that, and whatever they do, I can remove myself later from a list.

The next page wasn't the song. There was more information they wanted me to fill out. They asked for:

  • First and last name
  • Full birth date and year
  • Country and zip/postal code
  • Gender
  • Whether or not I want to be contacted by them

I wasn't comfy giving that info up to a record company for a free download of a song that's coming out soon, a song I've already seen on YouTube (so I can get it other ways).

How much info do you really need from me? If you are going to market to me about this or other band, you only need my email address and my permission. If you are going to market by geography, say to tell me that they are coming to my town, then you need email and postal code.

You don't need my name. You certainly don't need my date and year of birth. And what's gender for? If I'm a fan of this band, are you doing different marketing to men and women?

I wasn't comfy giving this much info out, which means they got none from me. And we've all seen forms like this. A company asks for so much info that you don't want to fill out the form because of the time it'll take... or the info they are asking.

With people having no attention span now, it's more important than ever to keep things short, and only ask for what you really really need. Catch more flies that way!

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And maybe part of their operation is reselling this information. And I wonder how many say they won't sell your info but then do so anyway.

What really happened was that they stole your email addy off you on false pretenses, then led you to a page that was so downright insulting that you forgot all about them stealing your email addy!

This was just a song download! Well, I didn't bother with the record company's website. The song was already on YouTube.

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