E-mail Databases in the Age of Spam (1,049 words)
The desired quantity of registrants, target audience and level of qualification need to be considered and balanced when creating a registration form, as does the value of what you're offering. If your offer has a lot of value to a potential audience, respondents typically are willing to offer more information.
Consider building multi-phase data collection processes. For example, when someone completes an initial request for information, send a confirmation e-mail message that offers an additional product or service, which requires the respondent to provide another level of information. Confirmation messages are key to developing future communications, and customers will be more likely to open your message if they know who sent it and why.
Your preferred demographics likely will change over time to stay in tune with the needs of your business and product set. To maintain a high level of integrity for the data you've collected, document the database layout, including field names and values, as well as any conversion efforts that have been undertaken.
Sometimes data collection inadvertently changes if a form is set up with different questions or response choices, in which case you may decide to convert data to maintain consistency and simplify data structures.
Don't rely on your technical or engineering team to record and document these changes; as a marketer you are the primary user of the database, so take ownership of this task. The database layout and attributes may be clear to everyone who works with it now, but as we all know, memory fades over time and other contributors may enter the picture who also need to have an intimate understanding of the data.