Let's say you've just met someone. They seem nice enough. They tell you a little about themselves. You start to build some rapport. You seem to have some common interests and values. Then they ask about you -
"What's your name?"
"My name's Holly"
"What's your last name?
"Buchanan" I answer, though with a little hesitancy.
"Where do you live?" Ok - now I"m feeling uncomfortable. I am very security conscious and don't often give out that information unless it's to a trusted source.
"What's your phone number?" "How much do you earn?" It gets worse and worse. I just met this person and they are asking me for all sorts of information. It's creeping me out.
When you ask people to submit information on your site, keep this scenario in mind. How much information do you absolutely have to have? Don't ask for anything more, or if you do, make it optional.
Let's look at our Allmomsgotoheaven.com example.
All Moms Go to Heaven has a submission form where you can nominate a mom for recognition and a weekly prize drawing. (note - page may have changed - see example to the left)
When visitors land on this page - they are asked for all sorts of information about themselves AND the person they are nominating. Does AMGTH really need all of this information? Could they simply ask for a first name and email for both the sender and the person that sender is nominating? The less information they ask for, the more people will fill in the form.