Just get your foot in the door

Do you have a form which is getting plenty of traffic? Here’s a test you can do. You might like to use Google’s Website Optimizer to do it, or you might just do a simple switch between the two versions over a certain time period. The test is: try making all the form fields optional. Yes, I know some of you would rather sell your children, but bear with me. Research has shown that the statement “all information is optional” can considerably increase the number of forms which are completed, which might not surprise you. But there’s also the good feeling you get from looking through lists of responses which don’t have junk data in them just to get past your requirement. Finally, even if you don’t get as much data as you would by making firm demands, you’ve got your foot in more doors, and you can always press for more information later.

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