the visitor you collect and what you do with it.
Clearly, we need to do what we can to make our visitors feel
safe and secure in all of our relationships with them. This
becomes even more critical as we move more towards one-on-one
marketing and personalizing our sites based upon the information
that we have learned from them.
Some web site visitors want ultimate anonymity. Others don't mind
providing some personal information and having their information used
by companies for sales or other business purposes. But even they
want to have the choice of how their information will be used.
Online customers want control over their personal data.
- Decrease customers' fear over providing personal information.
- Make your online users more inclined to do business with a
higher level of confidence.
- Encourage your customers' participation in your one-on-one
web marketing and long-term relationship building efforts.
Personalizing a Web site has benefits for both the users and
Web marketers--users receive personalized service and marketers
learn more about their customers and what is
working and not working on their Web site.
- Increase the accuracy or truthfulness of the information given
by your visitors. Again, personalization based on false data
is useless, and perhaps harmful.
- Gain visitor trust - the bottom line necessary for doing business
with government data.
There are various options:
- Tell them what information you collect.
- Tell them how the information will be used. Will you use it to
send newsletters? Offers? From your company only? From
- Tell them whether you plan, or want to share the information
to a third party. If so, under what circumstances, and for
- Give the customer the choice of how you are allowed to use
- Give the customer the choice of whether the information
can be provided to a third party.
- 'Opt-In' vs 'Opt-Out' - There is debate over the idea of
providing an 'opt-in' or an 'opt-out' policy. Should the
default option be to use an 'opt-out' policy where the information
is used unless otherwise informed by the visitor, or an 'opt-in'
policy where the visitor has to provide permission prior to
the information beig used.
Some users feel comfortable with 'opting out' while
other users prefer to 'opt in' and maintain ultimate control.
We believe in the 'opt-in' policy. You may feel otherwise.
Knowing your customers will help you determine what is best for
- Tell them about any SSL encryption employed and how that
makes the use of the credit card or other personal information
safe. Mention that the credit card company guarantees the security
of the use of the card through SSL enabled sites.
as a check list for other issues you need to address in your
policy statement and to get your creative juices flowing for
template is found at:
- Educate the visitors about the specific benefits and services
they will receive when they provide personal, preference and
interest information. Some of the benefits that you could
- Choice. Web services based on online profiling give users
the choice of receiving information or advertising that
meets their own declared preferences or interests.
When designing your online profiling methods, consider
letting customers have control over their profile.
Don't just add information or let them build their profile,
let them also modify it. Or, let them maintain multiple
- Time savings. Let your customers know that you will save
them time. If they build their own profile, your web site
can save them time when they are searching for products,
services or information that matches their unique needs.
- Personalized service. Your customers want to know that you
are meeting their unique needs instead of pushing products
or services that are not of interest to them. Let them know
you are looking out for their best interests.
- Extras. Some sites "bribe" the users with rewards, such as
premium content, to give information to be used with the
one-on-one marketing process.
- Use plain language (avoiding legalese) to enable visitors to
quickly understand how you collect and use their personal
information. Your visitors will trust you more and your sales
If you have any questions, we would be pleased to discuss this topic further.