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How to ask nicely

Recently, a customer of ours (let’s call him John) needed a way to collect data from thousands of different people. These weren’t people his team already had a relationship with, and we knew they weren’t likely to be very technical; so, where do you start?

People are more aware than ever about the risks of clicking on links in emails – particularly John’s new user base, who were mainly retired and not very technical. John’s team knew these people would be expecting some contact from them to kick off their relationship, but he also knew that the whole process needed to be short, clear and concise – keeping the amount of support calls low and avoiding people going elsewhere.

John’s CRM was set up with the contact data for all of these people, and they’d created an initial email for the onboarding process – however, this needed the new customers to reply to the email and attach a load of files, including sensitive stuff like pictures of driving licences.

John’s team were already using DOQEX for sharing sensitive B2B data with their suppliers. He asked us if we could integrate with his CRM and capture the files being emailed back.

We were a bit concerned about people emailing the wrong things, or sensitive data getting lost along the way, so we suggested they add our Email Gateway system to their DOQEX service. This way, we could intercept all the emails from this CRM campaign, without needing to make any changes to their legacy system, and modify the emails to include a few short words and a link to their fully white-labelled DOQEX service. This gave their new users a sense of security from start to finish – the email came from them, and the link went to a branded service under their domain name.

The file upload page was linked to each email, so we could easily link uploaded files to individual users, and send this information back into John’s team without it ever being transmitted in the clear.

One of John’s management team was a bit concerned about this approach, so we ran an A/B test across a few hundred users: around 7% responded with the “please email files”, but they got an 84% success rate with people using the upload portal. Success!