Stop Asking People for So Much Unnecessary Information!

Your goal is to attract and capture as many prospective recruits as possible. To accomplish this objective, a key best practice is to eliminate friction for your prospective recruits. What do we mean when we say Friction? Lets look at an example of a good call-to-action that we might promote to get prospective recruits to subscribe to your organization

Calling All Music Students Experience the Great Sounds of Our Music School! For a limited time, we are giving away free tickets to our band, orchestra, choir, and theatre performances for any high school student who is considering applying to our school. Just tell us your name, select which kind of concert ticket you would like, and the best way to send that to you. We look forward to seeing you on campus!

The prospective student just enters their name, their interest (band, orchestra, choir, or theatre), and their preferred method of communication (text message or email). What high school musician will say no to this offer?! Its compelling, its exciting, and its super easy for them to take advantage - they only need to provide three pieces of information. You are offering the ticket as bait to initially attract the student and get them to submit their information. You are putting your best foot forward to collect his or her contact information and start a high-quality relationship with a high-quality prospective student. If you can't do this they are going to study music at a different school or get involved in an activity on campus other than music.


Now, imagine the same call-to-action, but this time, the student needs to submit both their phone number and email address, and their date of birth, and their full home address, and application status, and a bunch of survey questions, and an emergency contact person! The student is thinking to themselves, Woah, Im just interested in learning more about this music program, why do they need all of this information from me?? The more information you try to collect from people at the first point of interaction, the fewer people will submit your form. Once they navigate away from your form, they are gone for good.


At the first point of interaction, you want to ask for as little information as possible to reduce friction and increase the chance that everyone will complete your form. You only want to ask questions that hold some meaningful and useful purpose. In other words, the information you collect from people should align to the content you send them to create a more personalized experience. For example:

  • Which Degree Are You Interested In? ---- Read more about your future Conducting degree here
  • What Instrument Do You Play? ---- Click here to schedule a free private lesson with your future Clarinet professor!
  • Which ensembles are you interested in? ---- Watch this video showing our Symphonic Wind Ensemble performance

Each of those example questions can play a helpful role in your engagement efforts. Anything else is just creating unnecessary friction and repelling people from your organization.


At the first point of interaction, giving people the choice between receiving communications via text messages or via emails has been proven to increase subscriber rates. If you need to eventually collect both their phone number and email address, later in the process is when you can ask for whichever communication method the student did not initially provide. Once the student is ready to pull the trigger and schedule their audition, for example, that is when you can ask for things like their complete contact information, applications status, home address, zip code, and some of the more boring questions that you would not want to ask at the first interaction point. This is called Progressive Profiling.


Whenever building a form to collect information from people, simply ask yourself: Do I really need to ask this question on my form? If the answer is no, remove that question from your form.


Surely, some people will subscribe and at the end of the day, not provide all the data you want them to. However, getting some information from the prospective recruit is much better than getting no information. If you ask for too much data at the first interaction point, you will most likely receive no data. 

Benefits to your organization:

  • More people providing their information ---- a fuller recruitment pipeline
  • The opportunity to collect additional information from more people (who want to provide additional information) as they continually interact with your organization
  • Fewer people slipping through the cracks. A new subscriber is valuable! You do not want to repel people by asking for too much data.

Please contact your Musicwindow rep for help setting up your Progressive Profiling so that you are asking prospective recruits for all the right information at the right stages of the prospective recruits journey.

Post updated January 29th, 2020