Persuading people to impart more info

There are many 2.0 websites which try to put their users in touch, either to find your ?other half?, the job of your dreams or simply to stay in touch with your friends.

To facilitate contact and, particularly, to do so with a certain level of quality, they need their users to provide as much information about themselves as possible.

But how can we get users to provide a complete a profile as possible? There are many strategies we could consider.

Strategy 1: Going all out; simply making all fields compulsory.
With the danger that this poses of people fleeing the site or false fields, completed in a hurry, this is a luxury that only players with sufficient critical mass, like Meetic.com can allow themselves.

We find a more subtle way of doing this on Infojobs.net which, after making registration simple and requesting only the most basic of information, reminds you that, to register for an offer, you need to fill in your profile with multiple, compulsory fields.

Strategy 2: Just a click away from giving us the info
We think that giving us the option of filling in certain information little by little in a private area is much more sensible. Either straight after entering the private area or dedicating space to it with the field or fields they hope we will complete.

Strategy 3: Show how much progress has been made and invite users to go one step further.
There are many websites ? like Linkedin – which show you how complete your profile is and give you advice on how to take it further.

Nothing new here. But there are two strategies which I find extremely interesting to persuade users to have as complete a profile as possible.

Strategy 4: I?ll give you if you give me.
One approach that I find extremely persuasive is to make completion of the profile directly proportional to the visibility these users get on the system.

On Mybestplay – a meeting point for players, clubs and managers, we are working on this. We are going to launch a points model. Points will be awarded to players who upload their video files or have a full, extended, technical profile. These points will be used to stand out more in searches and to appear as a player who is associated on the profiles of the same sport and country as the user.

Strategy 5: Give the user a taste of something sweet.
But the most ingenious strategy is the one used by Badoo, one of the best examples on the Web 2.0, with a simple and highly-visual user experience. Once you have created your profile, they offer you an extremely interesting application: the option of chatting to other users on the system. The problem is that, to contact a guy or girl who is online, they tell you that because of the conditions that the user has put to being contacted, you need to complete a certain % of your profile if you want to start chatting to this user.

Extremely persuasive.

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