SIDEBAR: Don't ask for something unless you're going to do something with it.

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  • Get real names, addresses and phone numbers, so you can match Web data to other databases.

  • Every question you ask cuts the response rate.

  • Ask just a few questions at a time to build a complete customer profile. Build a relationship, not just a registration list.

  • Provide a quid pro quo -- indicate clearly how the answers you get will benefit the people giving them.

  • Respect privacy. Don't share, or sell, data without telling customers up front.

  • Integrate your registration databases with other information -- both your own and commercial databases.

  • Don't respond to telephone queries via e-mail, or e-mail queries via the phone. Respect customers' contact preferences.

  • Use profiling to provide value. Give business customers a customized look at your Web, or give consumers recommendations that fit the preferences they've given you.
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