The All-Purpose Email Registration Form

Email forms are a necessary element in today's website - there's simply no other way to get prospects into a CRM system or marketing automation platform so that enterprises can start communicating with them (unless, of course, you're using some sort of third-party ad retargeting).

For information publishers and Web-enabled service providers, the importance of enabling users to sign up to a product or service (or download a white paper, or request a phone call) through a Web-based form is well documented, but many web professionals just plain get it wrong. The reason is because they either ask for too little information, too much information, or the wrong information entirely. This makes it much harder for those that have the ability to do something with the personal data (like an email marketer) to segment their list which can dramatically increase message interaction as well as the volume of conversions.

Forms can be daunting to an end-user so the process of creating an official request for information needs to be addressed seriously, balanced between the objectives of the enterprise (who often believe more information is better) and the needs of consumers, who are increasingly hesitant to provide any personal information whatsoever. There has to be a better way - and there is. The most effective registration forms today get more from less and you're about to learn how to do the same.

When email forms are created to obtain only the most important information to the enterprise from consumers, it won't feel that way (or look that way thanks to the power of digital design). When you design an email form with the end in mind (in this case, the end we're discussing is a greater volume of conversions as a result of using segmented lists), consumers won't feel violated and marketers will have information at their disposal which can accelerate users/recipients path to purchase.

So what should you include on a registration form? Each enterprise will obviously differ but you'll find that a few distinct approaches will take your email marketing efforts a very long way. Demographic information including age, gender, location, level of education, and marital status, for example, can definitely provide enough information to segment a list for an effective mailing (sending an email to those users that are younger could differ from those that are older - as they may have different objectives for interacting with your service or product).

Demographic segmentation is effective but it pales in comparison to the segmentation capabilities available with psychographics. It is a lot more work for the enterprise marketer and data scientists however; and you'll need to know the right questions to ask to make it work. What marketers are ultimately after with psychographic segmentation is a understanding of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests and lifestyles. Even including one psychographic question in a registration form can yield incredibly positive results. For example, after some basic demographic questions, why not ask a prospect to indicate which attribute of a product or service is most important to them? For example, does the user prioritize value over design? Knowing this information could influence what content is included to a prospect in an email marketing message.

Demographic and psychographics are powerful mechanisms in getting the most out of your marketing (specifically, email marketing) efforts. If you're serious about Web success, start asking questions that really, truly matter - to you and your future customers.