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May 13, 2002
Blog Post

Online registration forms should include a privacy statement

SUMMARY: No summary available.
A Sherpa reader who'd like to be known as "KC," just cc:ed me on a letter he/she emailed to a business vendor he/she was considering using. KC is definitely a highly qualified sales prospect for this vendor, and after surfing the vendor's site for a while, KC decided to click to see a demo of the vendor's service in action.

That's where the trouble happened, like many B2B marketers, this vendor's marketing department put a free online registration form up as a barrier between the sales prospect and the juicy stuff so they could collect more data on prospects. Again, like many B2B marketers, the vendor forgot to include a link to their privacy policy next to their request for prospects' email addresses.

KC wrote, "I got as far as [the registration page] before I high tailed outta there! I wonder how many other visitors bail out at this page? Have you ever considered posting a privacy policy? Your pitch is good and I would have really liked to take the test drive. But without some assurances that my personally identifiable information is not going to be sold, rented, or given to third parties once I sign up, I am afraid I cannot take the chance.

I am truly amazed that you have not gotten on board with the other quadzillion websites and positioned your company as one that can be trusted to conduct business forthrightly and treat their visitors with respect."

Now, I happen to know folks at the vendor in question personally and I know they are cool about privacy; they would never do anything untoward with an email address they collected from their site. But, their prospects don't know that. And in this spam-crazed environment, people are getting warier about handing their emails out daily. (I'm picturing a 'Wariness Chart' and that arrow is shooting up off the top edge of it.)
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