Worst Practices :: Salesforce.com’s Amnesia

I just spent 45 minutes watching an interesting screencast from Salesforce.com called Marketing In the Google Era.  The presentation was actually fairly interesting.  No real new material but a well presented overview of good practices that all companies should be following.

The interesting thing is that it seems Salesforce.com doesn’t understand their own material.  I found out about the presentation through an email from Salesforce.  I clicked the link in the email to view the presentation and was presented with this screen.
Salesforce Info Collection

When I click the link, Salesforce already knows who I am because they sent me the email.  So why do they ask me for all of my contact information before allowing me to watch the video.

Ok, maybe they figure the email could have been forwarded so they don’t REALLY know who I am — we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

After filling out all the redundant information on the form and educating Salesforce.com that Minnesota is in the USA, I watched a good video presentation.  In fact the video was good enough to make me want to watch part 2.

The video ends with a link to ‘Register’ to view part 2 and I just ‘Registered’ so I certainly don’t want to go through that again.  So I go back to the original email and click the part 2 link from there.  Which sends me to the exact same form again.  It seems they have already forgotten who I am!  Amazon would never do this.

After watching a couple minutes of the video I am reminded of an App I want to check out on Salesforce’s AppExchange.  So I open a new tab, find the app on the exchange and click the demo link and once again I am prompted for the EXACT SAME INFORMATION.

One browser session, one website and I had to enter the same information 3 separate times to try an learn about and test out their products.

So what did they do wrong?

1.  Requiring too much information to view material

This is a common question from clients.  Do we aim for widespread distribution of our material by not requiring data collection to view it.  Or do we restrict the distribution but make sure we get all the information possible on everyone who sees it?  I generally recommend the less data collection the better.  Get the message out and if its good, the users will come back to the product.

2.  Not remembering who I was 

When we send out email campaigns we feel delighted that the user wanted to click on our content and learn more.  We make sure the experience they receive after clicking speaks directly to them and is as painless as possible.  We want them to remember the experience favorably so they click again in the future.  By not remembering who I was from the emial or from the first time I filled out the form, Salesforce.com has made certain that I will remember how difficult it is to click on their links and view their material.

I would love to see the increase in views they would have if they implemented these two recommendations in the future.

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