My FREE email address is also MY free email address

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Yes, I am using GMAIL as provider for my professional conversations. I also have a account which I only use for really really important stuff like bank, leasing, social security, … communication. This means that my primary inbox is gmail. This both for communication with people or application/account registration. And here is the topic of the day with that:

Screenshot 2014 08 09 01 13 54

Lead, leads, leads …

I know, I know. I’ve had this discussion dozens of times and it always comes down to these two major reasons:

  • We don’t want anonymous competitors downloading our software
  • We need your personal information to SPAM you as a new lead

I’ll leave the first reason to you for judgement. Personally if I trust my software, I wouldn’t mind my competitors using a public trial (not beta!). That second reason is where I’d like to focus our attention on for a moment.

It’s not you, it’s me

You do understand that everything is about perception, right? This is what the error message above is telling me: we don’t care about you, it’s about us! Think about this for a second. There are two main reasons why I would register with a free account:

  • It really is my account and I would love to get your information through this inbox
  • Although I am genuinely interested in the information behind this form, I don’t want your follow up emails

The result of this error message also has a twofold:

  • Because I really wanted to have the ad-hoc information, I registered through my business account and immediately unsubscribed after receiving the confirmation email.
  • I know that when I do so, you still have my email so I don’t submit the form as my privacy is more valuable to me than the information behind the form.
Have you noticed that by unsubscribing on my business account I won’t read your future information although I was not against it initially?

What is your intent?

By now you probably noticed I like twofolds. Let me give you another one. What is your intent as a vendor to provide me a whitepaper / webinar / free book?

  • You care about me and you would love me to come back for more on a future occasion
  • You don’t care about educating me and you just want my email address to ‘nurture’ my lead

Guess which one of the two I, as a potential future customer, are NOT interested in?

By the way, have you ever considered that gmail account could stay longer in my inbox than my professional account? If I was genuinly interested in your product, this alone should make you remove the error message.

FOOTNOTE: I know there are dozens of workarounds with alternative email addresses but that only confirms my message that this should not be necessary.

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One comment

  1. This bothers me as well, although sites that don’t allow RFC-compliant email address extensions (i.e. rnovak+cheezburger@whatever) annoy me even more.

    My personal domain (Indyramp) predates most of the companies demanding registration, and was on the Internet before most people who work at those companies, so I have a built-in workaround and aggressive filtering on that one and even if I do register I probably won’t see their emails.

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