I doubt very many of you jumped for joy the last time the Census bureau asked for an update.
Of course, good citizen that you are, you filled it out. Returned the stamped envelope. And were happy it was done.
But I wonder when was the last time you filled out more than five fields just to sign up for a newsletter. Or even more than three.
Odds are, it was a long time ago… if ever.
Which begs the question: How much is just enough? How much is too much?
Make it personal
One of the advantages offered by most email marketing products is the ability to add information specific to your contact, taken from your contact list, to your emails. This lets you personalize the content of the emails you send (and helps them get opened, more often than not). You can also create segments based on information like location or previous purchases, if you have it.
So how do you get this information?
The question isn’t so much how, but rather “when” – in all likelihood, you don’t need the information immediately.
Your prospects’ email and first name is more than enough to get started (even their first name should be “a nice to have”, rather than “mandatory field”). Once you have that, get a conversation underway.
Get to know each other by presenting more of yourself – tell your contacts about what’s new with you, tell them stories and share what’s important for you. When they’re ready, they’ll open up. So add a link at the bottom of your emails that sends them to your signup form so they can update their information.
When they trust you, they’ll open up.