Registration The Right Way

Provide special services to customers and gain useful data.

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Ever heard of marketer's gold? That's what a database of contacts with key demographic data is to any marketer. Build your own highly qualified e-database of names and visitor information by implementing a registration system on your site.

Why register? Some of the reasons why someone might register on your site include:

1. Access to a premium information area
2. Special gifts or promotions
3. The ability to post or chat in your online community
4. To enhance their shopping experience with a wish list (favorite items), a customer profile and other convenient features.

I always advise clients to keep registration forms short and sweet, asking only for demographic data (age range, education, income) and limited additional data (how long they've been online, do they shop online, their favorite Web sites).

And remember to prominently post your site's privacy policy! Be clear about what you will do with your visitor's personal data at all times.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.

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