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If you want marketing, contact, or demographic information from people, give them a reason to give it. As Seth Godin found, people have become wary of hading over their information. They’re sick of being spammed, telemarketed, and junk mailed. Your customers know that when you ask for their mailing address, they’ll probably start getting catalogs from you.

Those catalogs are there for you, not for them. They don’t get any real value from the unwanted catalog, but you get a potential sale. If you want your customers to provide their email address, their marital status, or anything else, give them an incentive.

Are you running a marketing drive to find out the income level of your average shopper? At the end of your checkout process, after the customer has commited to making the purchase, tell them "You can get this order shipped for free if you complete this short survey."

Or maybe, "Thanks for your order. Tell 5 friends about us and we’ll take 5% the order total." Then give them a form that they can use to email their friends.

Your customer’s personal information is valuable. Don’t expect them to give it to you for free.

Recently Written

Great prodct managers own the outcomes (May 14)
Being a product manager means never having to say, "that's not my job."
Too Big To Fail (Apr 9)
When a company piles resources on a new product idea, it doesn't have room to fail. That keeps it from succeeding.
Go small (Apr 4)
The strengths of a large organization are the opposite of what makes innovation work. Starting something new requires that you start with a small team.
Start with a Belief (Apr 1)
You can't use data to build products unless you start with a hypothesis.
Mastery doesn’t come from perfect planning (Dec 21)
In a ceramics class, one group focused on a single perfect dish, while another made many with no quality focus. The result? A lesson in the value of practice over perfection.
The Dark Side of Input Metrics (Nov 27)
Using input metrics in the wrong way can cause unexpected behaviors, stifled creativity, and micromanagement.
Reframe How You Think About Users of your Internal Platform (Nov 13)
Changing from "Customers" to "Partners" will give you a better perspective on internal product development.
Measuring Feature success (Oct 17)
You're building features to solve problems. If you don't know what success looks like, how did you decide on that feature at all?

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