Email: Don’t Ask Too Much From Strangers

When we’re young, we’re taught not to accept candy or take anything from strangers.

Although the online world differs in communication and requests, the basic premise starts out the same way.

You shouldn’t start out an online relationship by asking too much of your website visitors.

Gaining trust and building that relationship takes time and it’s important to proceed step by step.

Giving Away Free Products or Ebooks

The best approach to take to giving away a free item is a simple name and email request, at the most.

When you have this information, you’ll be able to follow up with them and give them support for unanswered questions.

It also gives you the chance to share new products you may offer, including affiliate products.

By respecting this relationship and only passing along items truly worth their notice, they will continue to work with you and visit your site regularly.

Larger Promotions and Necessary Information

Anytime you ask for more than a name or email, you should tell the reader exactly what it’s for.

They should receive a benefit in exchange for sharing with you and understand the decision they’re making.

If they don’t see why this information is pertinent, they may simply opt out and you’ll be unable to build your email list. This comes back to the issue of trust and the relationship you’re trying to build.

A strong list of online contacts can be a source of income and website traffic for you for a long time. By treating them well and making sure they are rewarded, you’ll be able to capitalize on this data.

Sensitive Information Requests

On those rare occasions when you ask for sensitive information, always give your reader the option to remain anonymous.

Anything beyond a birthday is going to be difficult to obtain without a previous relationship being established.

As long as you let them share this data on its own though, it might help them feel more comfortable.

This will let both you and your readers benefit because they will receive the product or service, and you’ll receive the data you need.

Personal Objections to Sharing

Personally, as an online marketer and consumer, I don’t like to share anything beyond the basics.

I realize people can look up my name and probably find enough data on me already. However, I don’t want to help them out and make myself vulnerable.

If you keep this in mind for your readers, you’ll be more respectful of their privacy and information requests.

Opt-Out Choices:

  • Let your readers know that their privacy is important to you
  • Have your privacy policy front and center on your website so they can read it
  • Give them clear instructions on how to opt out of emails and don’t share their information with others
  • Respect them and they will return the favor

Treat Your Visitors Right

As long as you start out slow with your website visitors and readers, they will come to trust you more over time.

Always give them more value than they’re expecting.

When they understand your main objective is to move slowly and help them, you’ll find they are willing to share quite a bit with you.

However, if you scare them off at the beginning, they will likely never return.

What experiences have you had with sharing personal information online?

Have you ever left behind a great free product because they asked for too much too soon?

Let us know in the comments …


  1. I agree, that the relationship needs to be established before asking for anything. Every relationship can be mutual, and no relationship should be parasitic (one person gaining everything while the other loses everything). Both parties should be able to gain from the relationship equally. Otherwise, it won’t last and it won’t work out for anyone.

    • I think relationship goes along with trust. Somehow people must trust what you have to offer’em so they return again. In my opinion, you can’t jump this step. Usually it takes time to establih that relationship, but if it’s based on trust, then you have a solid foundation.

      Thanks Lisha for your insightful comment.

  2. Lisha, You are so right! Our readers bring value to our site and we have the opportunity to help them achieve whatever their goals are, in regard to the objective of our website. If we don’t provide consistent value, then the relationship is going to fall apart and they’re going to go somewhere else.

    Thanks for reading! :)

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