Reward vs. Reciprocity
October 4, 2011
Increasing your database is not just a radio problem.
Lots of websites force -- try to force -- you to give up personal information before they let you do whatever it is you want to do on their site.
I know the arguments in favor: If we let them listen without getting their name and e-mail, how can we contact them later? If we let them see our videos without contact info, we've wasted an opportunity.
Sounds logical, but it's not -- and this study proves it.
Twice as many people will willingly give you personal information if you let them use your content first.
The truth is, a lot of people, maybe even most people, resent and mistrust sites that demand personal information of any kind before they are allowed to navigate everywhere on your site.
Can you blame them?
We've all filled out those forms online and then watched as the spam increased. It's a very rare site that doesn't sell this information. At least, that's the way it feels.
The Reward system says if you give me the information I demand, I will reward you with what you came to see.
Reciprocity is more effective. If you let me see what I came to your site to see (or do) and then ask for some information from me, I am more than twice as likely to give you what you want.
And you know this is information given voluntarily, willingly.
You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours.
Now which do you think does more to begin a relationship of trust that has the best chance for growth?