It has come to our attention . . .

I download lots of whitepapers, ebooks, and webinars, habitually – just part of trying to keep up to speed with what’s going on in eCommerce, social computing, content management, and open source software in general.

Often downloading these things requires registration, and some level of profile information: an email address, a phone number, a corporate address, etc. (Optaros often does this as well, and I can’t tell you how many times or similar has registered to download whitepapers – but I generally use my real email address. I like to follow rules.)

Recently I got this email, presumably in reference or followup from one of those downloads:

From: Sales Person
Subject: BigCo

It has come to my attention that you requested some information from BigCo. Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

Take care
Firstname Lastname

I’ve removed the names not to protect the innocent but because I want to make a general point, not a company specific one.

Taking registration information is fine (though perhaps after the initial fervor dies down you might take down the registration wall and set the content free) but please:

  • Be clear about what you’ll do with that info, and more importantly what you won’t do with it
  • Give me an option to be contacted. I may not immediately want someone to follow up, or I might – but it should be my choice not yours.
  • If you are going to follow up via email, don’t make the prospect feel like they just got caught stealing wifi, or some other bad behavior. “We see what you have done, and we are not amused!

Publishing thought leadership is a wonderful inbound marketing technique, and gathering registrations can help you understand the audience you’re reaching. Just make sure the follow up is appropriate, on message, and preferably at the option of the receiver.