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Is it necessary to inform the visitor about why we want the information we ask for if they want to sign up for a newsletter.

At this moment we ask for:

  • E-mail
  • Title
  • First name
  • Surname
  • Date of birth

I can imagine that visitors, for example wonder why they need to fill in there date of birth and maybe this could be a reason to not sign up.

  • why do you need their title, out of curiosity? – Toni Leigh Oct 19 '15 at 18:12
  • If we know the title, we know the gender of the person. – Maxime Oct 21 '15 at 8:14
  • are you really sure about that? There's more to gender than Mr. and Mrs. these days - you'll most likely alienate people who don't fit into those categories and present an extra hurdle to completion for everyone else - it's probably best left off a form – Toni Leigh Oct 21 '15 at 13:06
  • Why is all that info required/needed? Many applications just ask for an email only. Plus you conversion rate will be A LOT higher if you just ask visitors to fill in one field. – Igorek Oct 29 '15 at 1:48
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If the most important factor for you is to get more subscribers, then only ask for an email address. (I assume name and birthdate are irrelevant to the subscriptions. Though some newsletters might require subscribers to be of legal age, so date of birth would be necessary.)

If gathering marketing info is more important to you, then you can ask for more, but you're right, you will get a lot fewer sign-ups.

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I would say the data we capture will depend on the how far on the buyer journey path your user is.

If the user is not far from the beginning of the journey, I would say requesting just the email & first name could possibly pursue them do us the favour of signing up to a newsletter.

On the other hand if the user is far into buyer journey, they will be inclined to give you more information like you have at the moment.

The rule I use is to make it quicker for the user to carry out her/his task if the user is at the beginning of their journey and make it compelling enough as they near the end of the user journey.

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You want to give users an understanding of what they will receive in exchange for their information.

In the case of an email address only, it's clear: you'll receive our email updates.

What do they get for including their birthday? Are you using that data? Is that data valuable enough to offer some sort of incentive?

I would also add that you should include a specific "Yes, I agree" to receive emails.

edit: you can write an explanation for this: Why do we ask for your name and birthday? Because we customize every email for our users and the more information you provide, the more relevant your updates will be

  • We want to know the name, so we can start the newsletter on a more personal way. The age is interesting for us, because if we know this, we can send a different kind of email to a 18 year old than to a 80 year old person – Maxime Oct 19 '15 at 13:35
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It is absolutely important to inform the visitor why the certain is being captured from them, how it is going to be used, etc.... Usually the less information they have to input the better. Nobody wants to spend time filling our useless form. I would suggest only to request the absolute essential, if the DOB is not needed, dont ask for it. Also as an upsell you can inform them of benefits of having them share that info with you, and what will happen after it is done. How many times will you be contacting them? Do they have control in the frequency of emails...

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