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The Wrong Way to get Prospective Buyers to Sign Up

Posted on 8th March, by Tom Williams in Conferences. 6 Comments

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I recently received an email solicitation from a sponsor of an online conference that I attended.  Now I understand that sponsors need to be able to reach out to attendees and try to get a return on their investment.  I’m sure that somewhere in the fine print of my registration I agreed to be contacted by these guys.  No problem.

Email MarketinghThe email solicitation was actually very well done.  They had an image from a video “commercial” on their email with a big WATCH NOW button.  Good calls to action, guys.  All this was done RIGHT.

The email was so good that I actually clicked on their video commercial to see what it was all about.  I was taken to their website where I prepared to watch the commercial…but the video didn’t play.  Instead a Sign-up form popped up and demanded that I fork over all my information.  They REQUIRED me to give:Form requiring sign up

  • My Name
  • My Email
  • My Company
  • My Title
  • My Phone
  • My State
  • My Zip code
  • My Industry

What is so insane about this is they are requiring me to give them all my information so I can Watch THEIR commercial!

OK folks – this is how the “GIVE / GET” game works… I GIVE YOU my information when I receive something of VALUE.  You then GET my contact information and a warm Lead.

Things of value include Gift Certificates, Entrance into a Raffle, a Statistical Study, White paper or other Proprietary information not available in the public sphere…etc.  The example above completely violates the Give / Get principle.  These guys are trying to use a GET / GET principle.  They GET all my information and then the GET me to watch their commercial.

Did they get my information?  NOPE.            Did I watch the commercial?  NOPE.

So instead of Win/Win we wind up with Lose/Lose.  What a waste of a great email marketing execution.

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6 Responses to “The Wrong Way to get Prospective Buyers to Sign Up”

  1. Good article! What was it about the email that you liked?

    • Tom Williams says:

      Steve, I liked how the email was worded and the graphics used. I thought the graphic of the video player was highly effective. Gave the illusion that the video would play inside the email (which of course it would not) but it was less intimidating to click on than a link that said “Click here to go to our website and watch the video”.

  2. Andy says:

    I think they were selling too hard.

  3. Jason Velliquette says:


    Whatever online conference that you initially signed up for, I must have too, because I received the EXACT same email solicitation! Just like you I clicked through, because I was intrigued and wanted to discover what the video had to offer. But ultimately the pop-up, sign-up form was too big of a buzz kill and so I jumped ship too.

    Here is what really rattles my noggin though: Didn’t they already have my email address? Chances are the sign-up form that I filled out for the initial program already gathered most of the personal information that they were asking for a second time here.

    If you want prospects to cross the conversion finish line, don’t put so many hurdles in front of them.


  4. Tom Williams says:

    Jason, you’re right! Chances are this company already had most, if not all, the information they were asking for. That didn’t even occur to me. As if it wasn’t bad enough. On a side note, these guys actually called me last week to see if I was interested. Since I didn’t submit the form, I guess they had my phone number from the prior info. I told them about the poor execution after the great email. They were appreciative but a little annoyed. Wonder if they ever fixed it. Sometimes people don’t take constructive criticism very well.

  5. [...] would have just skipped the video and not clicked “Like”. It reminds me a little of the blog post I wrote about a company who wanted me to fill out a huge form in order to watch their [...]

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