TMI? Big Demands May Be Scaring Off Your Prospects

TMIFor many businesses, obtaining personal information from potential customers is the first step in the sales process and an important part of how their business is run. But where does the balance lie between how much information your business wants to gain — and how much your prospects want to give?

Of course, lead generation has always been an exchange: Information for value. Sometimes the value your prospect gets is a white paper, a price quote, a newsletter, or an informative blog or article. But recent studies show that your prospective clients are getting pickier about what they’ll trade their personal information for.

DemandGen’s 2013 B2B Content Survey revealed that the collection of personal information is under attack. Here are some troubling statistics:

  • In 2012, 10.8% of people agreed to provide detailed information in return for access to a whitepaper; in 2013, that number dropped by more than half, to 4.8%.
  • In exchange for an e-book, those numbers were almost identical: 11.6% in 2012, and 5.1% in 2013.
  • However, willingness to provide information as part of webinar registration has increased, more than doubling from 2012’s 10% to 2013’s 21.6%.

These numbers could illustrate that a webinar has become more valuable as a marketing tool, while whitepapers and eBooks have lost status.

What happened? We may never know for sure. But what we can know is that in order to avoid scaring away prospects, information collection processes need to be updated to reflect these new findings.

When reviewing your registration forms, keep these tips in mind:

  • Shorten your forms. DemandGen reported that 66.7% percent of respondents want shorter registration forms. The more spaces on a form, the less likely that any given person will be willing to fill it out. Winning over that substantial 66.7% will mean ensuring that you’re asking for the minimum amount of personal information that you need.
  • Make sure you’re asking for a fair trade. It might be okay to ask for a mailing address when signing someone up for a webinar, but don’t ask for it when readers subscribe to your eNewsletter. That’s just the kind of “TMI” request that will lower your subscription numbers.
  • Offer something good. Not getting any leads? Maybe you aren’t offering your readers and viewers enough value to earn their trust, and thus their personal information. Try upping the ante on what you’re providing.

A lead is about first contact —prospective customers figuratively “raising their hands” — not getting everything from their mother’s maiden name to their social security number. Trust is key in obtaining the information your business needs, and if you haven’t earned that trust yet, your customers will click away.

Want to provide high-value content to your prospective and existing clients? The experts at Proven Systems can help. Contact us at (800) 720-5398 or to learn how.


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